Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fall Leader/ Coordinator Orientation

Making the trek from all corners of our beautiful state, this year's group of Campus Corps leaders had the opportunity to spend some quality time together at the Montana Campus Corps headquarters here in Missoula.  This year we mixed things up by having their coordinators join in on the festivities, which allowed for some quality project planning & goal setting time for each campus.

During orientation Corps leaders gained valuable leadership skills preparing them to best support corps members serving on their campuses as well as several new tools to assist in their efforts to facilitate team building activities and meaningful group reflections.  Additionally, they had the opportunity to establish contacts for potential collaboration efforts in the future; not only amongst each other but also with other State and National AmeriCorps programs currently working to meet critical community needs throughout the state of Montana.  It's always exciting to hear about our members joining forces with other programs to maximize the impact that they can have on their communities!

On Thursday morning leaders had the chance to get off campus and down in the dirt, as we travelled to Garden City Harvest's Orchard Garden for a service project.  With their fall crops ready to be harvested, we spent the morning picking broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, & tomatillos (and of course, the best part- sampling some of each along the way!). Our team was kept on track by Sarah and Kate, who we were excited to discover was a fellow Campus Corps member and had spent the summer working as a volunteer at the garden.  Not only did we experience some hands-on learning, but we also learned about the great work that Garden City Harvest does throughout the community from various education initiatives, to providing food to Missoulians in-need, to running the Youth Harvest program for at-risk adolescents.

Overall, orientation was a great success and leaders returned to their respective campuses more than ready to hit the ground running for fall semester!

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