From Training to Reality

It’s been a few days since we finished Pre-Service Training and I’m anxious to hear how our Volunteer Maryland Coordinators are doing at their Service Sites.  By the last day of training, there was a healthy mix of excitement and anxiety as they prepared to take the theories and practices of training and apply them to the realities of their Service Sites.  I have no doubt they will work wonders this year.

Why am I so confident?  Haven’t I talked before about how tough the AmeriCorps service year can be?

I’m confident because I know this group can take on the challenge.  They were fantastic to work with in training – and that is a great indicator of what’s to come.  See, training requires one to be engaged even when you’re tired or uninterested.  Training means working at a pace that might be a bit fast – or sometimes too slow – for you, because you have to adjust to the norms of the whole group.  Training participants can make or break each and every workshop and this group really made it.

They were thoughtful in discussions, thorough in assignments, and managed to maintain high energy through 11 full days of training.  This all bodes well for developing and improving volunteer programs.  Being open to others’ ideas, bringing important points to help make a decision, staying motivated even when it’s difficult – these are all characteristics of successful Volunteer Maryland Coordinators.

In short, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Pre-Service Training.  I enjoyed it because of the energy that this class brought every day.  I was impressed and I’m sure I’ll continue to be.  No doubt they will face challenges and have moments that push them further than they thought possible.  If they can retain the passion that has fueled them so far, though, they will meet those challenges and do what they came here to do – serve those who need it the most.

Hooray for VM24!

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