former volunteer retreats: community after community

Liz Purdy, Outreach and Events Coordinator, reflects on post-volunteer life and the joys of finding former volunteer community:
Community meals, once again!

Even as a JV I knew the former volunteer network was vast and supportive, particularly after several random FJV run-ins when strangers generously offered whatever I might need as a JV simply because they were once in my shoes. My greatest joy as Outreach and Events Coordinator so far was organizing the Former Volunteer Retreat held in November 2012 at Ghormely Meadows in the Cascades. An amazing community of 41 former volunteers from a variety of service organizations came together for a weekend of resting, reflecting, and spending some quality time getting to know each other and hearing about their experiences as volunteers. Post-volunteer life can be full of just as many joys, unknowns, and challenges as serving a volunteer year. Gathering as a community for a weekend to listen, learn, and honestly examine all that we encounter each day reminds us of the beauty of coming together to support one another and continue our work for positive change, in whatever form that may take after our service year.

Join us for the next Former Volunteer Retreat, May 17-19 at Miracle Ranch, near Port Orchard, WA. Two nights lodging and five meals included in the $35 fee.

Former volunteer with MCC, Neah Ortman, FJV Millie Duchow (St. Louis, MO ’10-11), and FJV Amanda Baker (Juneau, AK ’09-10).
FJV Sean Fitzpatrick (Hillsboro, OR ’10-11) finds joy in an early-morning snowfall at Ghormley Meadows.
FJV Colleen Sinsky (Gresham, OR ’10-11) seeks adventure on the camp zipline.
What’s a retreat without a group photo? The whole crew gathers before we go our separate ways at the end of the weekend.

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