August 16, 2011
>Over 60 Chapter Leaders and Jump-Start Coordinators Attend Camp GLSEN 2011
>By Community Initiatives Intern Noah Branman
Camp GLSEN returned to Edith Macy Conference Center in Chappaqua, NY for the third year in a row. Over 60 Chapter Leaders and high school leaders across the country who make up our Jump-Start Coordinators joined with much of the GLSEN staff for an extended weekend of learning, planning, networking and fun. All attendees were given tools and knowledge about the new GLSEN brand, the Safe Space Campaign, Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project as well as a sneak preview of some of the new GLSEN research that will be forthcoming. Additionally, all attendees learned more about how to work within an anti-oppression framework. Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s Executive Director, gave attendees an overview of our successes and challenges from the past year, and a preview of the year ahead.
Chapter Leaders engaged with one another and members of the GLSEN staff to build their skills to create stronger Chapters able to recruit and retain excellent volunteers and board members, work effectively with schools and community partners, expand their fundraising abilities and much much more. The conversations have been continuing over email and on Facebook.
Jump-Start Coordinators gained skills in the four core areas of the program: Anti-Oppression, LGBT 101, Organizing and Facilitation. They then had the chance to create a detailed action plan for their year ahead in recruiting, selecting and training their Jump-Start teams. Each of the pairs Jump-Start Coordinators from participating Chapters will be working to build a local Jump-Start student leadership team, and we look forward to hearing about the great work they’re doing.
Camp participants also had the chance to connect with one another informally over breaks, round tables, a Friday evening BBQ and the seminal Camp GLSEN talent show on Saturday night. Participants and staff left Camp GLSEN 2011 with a renewed sense of purpose, a whole host of new ideas, and a new network of GLSEN colleagues and friends. One participant captured that inspiration for many perfectly: “There have been many times over the past few years when I’ve felt like nothing anyone does can truly make a difference, and now I really have something to think back to. Coming together with everyone, particularly youth, who are so passionate about making a difference and in many cases put themselves on the line to do so is more motivation than anything I can fathom.”
Noah is a second year Master’s of Public Administration student at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Originally from Los Angeles, Noah has worked for various nonprofit and educational organizations for the better part of a decade. Since May, Noah has been working at GLSEN as the Community Initiatives Intern, focusing on areas of Chapter Administration, Policy Review and Organizational Management.