Guest blog: CLI trip was about learning and sharing ideas
By ROC-NH staff
A guest blog post by Brenda Norton of Fisherville Cooperative 107 in Concord, N.H. about her trip to the Community Leadership Institute.
Robin Cutter and Brenda Norton, the president and treasurer of Fisherville Estates (also known as Fisherville Cooperative 107) in Concord, N.H. were lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the recent Community Leadership Institute in Louisville, Kentucky.
Brenda offered to share her travel journal with her fellow ROC members in New Hampshire:
Our hotel, Galt House, was beautiful and right on the riverfront. We were on the 23rd floor, in the tower, with a view of the Belle of Louisville from our rooms.
We had a couple hours to get checked in and unpacked before we had to go to the Convention Center for registration. After registration, we went back to the hotel to meet with all the ROC members for dinner and to discuss the agenda for the following days. At the end of Thursday we went back to our rooms to rest and be ready for Friday.
We had to be at the Convention Center for breakfast Friday at 8 a.m. The plenary meeting lasted until 11:30. This was very interesting. We visited to different tables and met people from other ROCs and from NeighborWorks. There were over 900 people from all over the United States, including Puerto Rico
After the plenary meeting we joined other ROC members for lunch, then workshops of our choice. I went to a training on facilitating planning meetings. It was a very interesting class. The instructors took time to explain everything to us and answer all our questions. To have a planning discussion you need a facilitator, time keeper, scribe and recorder. Facilitator sounded to me like the easiest position to fill, but was I wrong. I learned that I need more training in this.
After that we changed and went to the Dorothy Richardson Celebration Dinner at the Convention Center. Dorothy Richardson was a lady who used her drive and persistence to organize her neighbors to save their neighborhood from demolition. She also helped start what later turned into the NeighborWorks network.
With free time after the dinner, we got some pictures of around the hotel. My favorite was markers right outside the hotel for the winners of the Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs was only 15 minutes from the hotel.
We took a carriage ride through the historical section of Louisville, which I would recommend to everyone. The best part for me was meeting Margaret, the horse.
After breakfast at the Convention Center and a workshop, we again met the other ROC members for lunch. We gathered ideas about how to bring what we learned back to our communities, what other communities were working on and what they wanted to work on.
After lunch, a few ROC members chose to go on a bus tour of a housing project in Indiana, where NeighborWorks restored a neighborhood of rundown homes that had been abandoned or unlivable. We got to see some of the homes called shotgun houses (named because you could shoot through the front door and out the back door without hitting any walls).
That night, ROC USA brought us on a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Jefferson. Fun was had by all.
The closing breakfast meeting on Sunday morning was the ending to a wonderful, interesting and exhausting few days. I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it. We thank everyone from ROC USA for including us on this adventure.
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