18 Oct Trip to Pisgah!
A few months ago, I had the privilege of visiting one of my office’s partners in region 8 for a week. The partners were putting together an annual wilderness training that they put on with the Forest Service and a few other partners. The training was based in Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, North Carolina. The trip was a weeklong camping trip, it was the first time I had ever been camping! It was a very rewarding and exciting trip full of a lot of firsts. I learned how some basic camping skills such as setting up a tent and cooking food outside.
During my week at the training, I picked the volunteer and partnerships training course to take. I learned a lot about the difficulties and rewards that organizations have at the field level when it comes to working with volunteers. It was largely volunteer geared which I had no experience with, and I came to understand some of the challenges that organizations have with obtaining volunteers and keeping them safe as well as their challenges to recruit more diverse volunteers. It was also rewarding to hear people’s rewards of leading a volunteer experience and to get a sense of how impactful these volunteer experiences are to the forest and their communities.
I left the training feeling reenergized about the importance of partnerships as well as the importance of diversity in conservation organizations. Overall, it was a great trip, I felt very fortunate to network with organizations that are doing great work and learn best practices when it comes to understanding the support partners need.