August 6, 2018 | In early May, 34 Stewards AmeriCorps VISTA members descended on the Capital Retreat Center in Waynesboro, PA for a three-day leadership development training. The Stewards VISTA members met with Stewards staff and VISTA Leader, networked with each other and participated in educational sessions focused on everything from grant writing to securing government jobs.
Amy Showalter, Program Director for the Stewards VISTA program, said that getting all of the new Stewards VISTAs together in one place is a great opportunity for both staff and members. “We look forward to training just as much as the members do,” she said. “The Stewards Training is an opportunity for members to prepare for their year of service, learn more about resources that are available to them and how their role as a National Service member can prepare them for a successful career.”
The Stewards VISTA members attended sessions on meeting facilitation, volunteer engagement, grant writing, public speaking and much more. The training also featured Member Spotlights (presentations by members who had served over six months of their term) and small group sessions both of which allowed members to share challenges and successes from their projects. The ability to network with each other and brainstorm ways to improve their service projects was a highlight for many in attendance. “Connecting with other VISTAs across the nation really helped my understanding of what it means to be an AmeriCorps VISTA, and created a network of like-minded individuals that I will carry with me throughout my term of service,” said one Stewards VISTA member.
Along with the educational sessions, members also took advantage of the beautiful surroundings and drove out to the Appalachian Trail for a quick hike. Check out some of the photo highlights from the event below!