Monday, March 23, 2009

Wednesday, March 18: Creating a Cadre of Youth Facilitators

March 18: All of us except Robert attended this pre-conference workshop. Robert was with parents visiting Vanderbilt.

The trainers did an excellent job using Power Point with interactive games and activities to teach and get the group involved. There was a lot of pre-preparation.

We were also part of the group's problem solving because they had lost their computer. Also their binders for us did not arrive until the last day.

After getting to know who was in the audience with a game using a ball with questions in it, they asked to compare best and worst workshops and what made them successful. They also asked to tell the difference between presenting and facilitating on big post-it notes with ideas coming from small post-it notes. There were two facilitators per table overseeing the needs of the table. If we plan for 100 people at the gym, we will need 10 tables with 2 facilitators looking at the needs of every table. They had a great number of crayolas, small post-it notes, toys to play for the bodily-kinesthetic, candy to munch and a lot of water to drink.

They taught us that facilitating is as easy as PIE (Preparation, Implementation and Evaluation.)

To grab the attention of the participants, they taught us that facilitation must be REC (Relevant, Engaging,and with Choices) The facilitator should also have in mind to combine feedback, novelty, movement, water, humor, and music.

Then, they helped us find our multiple intelligences. They used a test that did not take in account the foundational intelligence. I should make my own from the one at the Internet. I must remember to ask permission to use it.

To keep people interested in the training, they suggested techniques such as brainstorming, brain writing, card posting, case study, dramatic skit, working in pairs, teaching each other, fishbowl (group on group activity. They used all of them. We found more in the binder. Finally, they taught us about the 4 elements of service learning, the standards of best practices, and reflection interactively. They divided us into groups and gave us scenarios of volunteerism, community service and service-learning.

They used similar technique for the standards of service-learning which have been revised. (Curriculum Integration, Youth Voice, Diversity, Meaningful Service, Duration and Intensity, Cognitively Challenging Reflection, Progress Monitoring, Reciprocal Partnerships

As I reviewed the training the following ideas are emerging for the Fresh Start Retreat, which I think should be handled mostly by Casady YAC and willing facilitators representing the four houses available in August 1.


1. Opening: Getting to know each other: We could use the Shinnyoen's way of self reflecting. Then, have them share with the person next to them to use the engaging part. We must have 10 people taking pictures one at each table and getting the pictures developed inmediatly to add them to the profile.

To use movement, the name tags should have numbers from 1-20. We will go outside, weather permiting or stay inside and create 5 circles with inner and outer circles. Numers 1-10 will be the outer circle and numbers 11-20 will be the inner circle. As they stand, each person will receive a card from the table facilitator. After introductions, the outer circle will stay in place and the inner circle will rotate to the right. Instructions will be given by the table facilitators to avoid shouting. The questions should help participants smile, have happy feelings and find a personal ability. As they come back, we will take a few minutes for people to share.

2. Low Ropes Course and Blind Trust Walk at Camp Fire USA

3. Colors Test or Multiple Intelligences: The person we hire will provide the colors test and facilitators will be able to participate in this too. If we do not have money, we could use the MI Inventory and make beaded bracelet with it. Every person will have a bracelet that reminds them of their strenghts and weakneses.

4. Introduction of Service-Learning: Art Activity PARC Hand: Student Voice (Who?, What?, Where?, When?, Why?, How?)and Roots of Service Tree with positive values and people and/or institutions helping those values. We call our program community service-learning because we ask students to own their projects based on meeting a community need with their interest, talent and academic preparation.


1. Site Visits: Community need assessment. 6 buses, 2 sites per bus with 25 people each: Infants, Toddlers and Children (direct service) (Infant Crisis Services, Boys and Girls Club), Animals (Animal Shelter-Humane Society), Elderly (direct service) (Independent Living Facility-Assisted Living Facility-Nursing Home: Vineyard and Canterbury), City Renewal (Habitat for Humanity-Rebuilding Together) The disable (Special Care-The Medows), Poverty Advocacy (The Food Bank, World Neighbors), Research and advocacy for the Environment (Department of Environmental Education - Recycling Centers)

2. Reports from Site Visits. Decision making: Groups divide in 1/2 to work on sites. Bus transportation provided to and from Casady


1. Service on sites
2. Celebration: Brunch by 9th grade mothers and Gathering of the Elders: 9th grade Advisors and Teachers to speak about their experience when they were between 13-18 years of age and to share advise to make the 9th grade as stress free as possible.
3. Reflection led by YAC Artist: Make a drawing of a lasting memory of the retreat and explain why.

Sasha was the first to reflect the group and she did a wonderful job.

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