For residents of the Delmarva area, especially us Marylanders, the mention of Saint Michaels is usually followed by a harmonized combination of “oohs” and aahs.” In recent years, it has been called the new Martha’s Vineyard. So you can imagine my reaction to learning that this year’s Mid-Year Retreat would be at Harbourtowne in Saint Michaels!
Last week, I spent two glorious days with the Volunteer Maryland (VM) Support Team and Volunteer Maryland Coordinators (VMCs). By participating in various workshops, team building activities (pun intended with the photo to the left), having “family” meals, and competing in games I learned that we are more alike than we are different. Though we come from different backgrounds, have different personalities, and work at different Service Sites, we are still similar. Prior to the Mid-Year Retreat I did not have the opportunity to make that connection with all of the VMCs and VM Support Team; however, after two days nestled with one another we reconnected as a class and are re-energized for the remaining months of this service year!
You may be wondering why we needed to re-energize in the first place. Valid question. Since Pre-Service Training in September, aside from once a month for In-Service Training, the VMCs have been working hard at their separate Service Sites to further develop volunteer programs, the VM staff have been busy working in their individual roles, and the Peer Leaders have been fulfilling the aspects of their positions with VM, the VMCs, and their Host Sites. Before we know it, this service year will be over and all of us are working at a sprint and marathon pace to meet the goals of this year. By the mid-point of the year we have experienced a dip in a our energy levels, which is why the Mid-Year Retreat is strategically planned as a time to step away from our offices and refocus on why we love what we do. Not only that, but Laura, Maureen, and Patrice facilitate awesome workshops that pertain to the service year and beyond! I have not laughed that much in a long time or played Apples to Apples that long. I am looking forward to staying connected to the VM class and Support Team after the service year ends in July. I can’t imagine working with a better team.
So what is next? The next big project for the Peer Leaders is the third annual Destination AmeriCorps. This event will be at the Mount Washington Conference Center in Baltimore on AmeriFriday, May 11. AmeriCorps members in Maryland are invited to attend this great networking and social event. There will be food, fun, and prizes, and the best part is that it is FREE! We only have twenty spots left, so if you want to attend be sure to register sooner rather than later. We hope to see you there!