WINTER RETREAT 2015! (March 18th – 20th)

This past week, Fellows headed to Jiminy Peak Ski Resort in Hancock, MA for a jam-packed three day retreat!

Wednesday, March 18th:

Fellows arrived at Jiminy Peak late morning on Wednesday, checked in to the resort and then came together for a welcome, agenda overview, and review of resort logistics. Next up was lunch! Fellows were treated to delicious meals for the entire three days, courtesy of John Harvard’s Brewery located in the Inn.

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Next, Fellows kicked-off retreat with a heart-warming activity, organized by Senior Fellow Katie Purcell: Kudos! Senior Fellows wrote “Kudos” notes, recognizing their advisees, other Senior Fellows, and MPF Staff for their hard work and sparkling personalities. One-by-one, each Kudos was read and given to said Fellow. Following, was Senior Fellow Carro with a Social Justice Workshop focused on learning about how to be an ally. Fellows learned about the meanings behind several protests, and what kinds of privilege come with being able to protest. Fellows brainstormed together what it means to be an ally to different groups of peoples.

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Next up was Skill Shares! What are Skill Shares? MPF firmly believes in the indivdual talents of each member of the Fellowship and understands the power of showcasing and sharing these skills with each other. Different individuals in the Fellowship sign up to share their skills with the group, both at monthly meetings and retreats! This skill share hour included: Tarot Cards 101 with First Year Fellow Jessica, The Art of Falling Down with First Year Fellow Dalton, and Trashion Fashion with First Year Fellow Jenny F.

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Following Skill Shares, Fellows were briefed on Recruitment Updates and reminded of the Recruitment Challenge. Fellows are a pivotal part of recruiting for each years cohort, as the greatest way MPF recruits is through word of mouth! Finally, fellows had a break, then last but not least: Fellow Prom (including a formal dinner followed by dancing)! During retreats, Fellows are broken up into “Olympic Teams” to compete in different games and competitions. For Fellow Prom, Olympic teams plan themed costumes to wear together and present to the group. This year, Fellows pulled off some amazing costumes! Night one came to an end and fellows began winding down for day two.

Thursday, March 19th:

Fellows gathered together for breakfast at John Harvard’s Brewery, and then where treated to an energetic Skill Share with First Year Fellow Carleen on Stepping. Next, fellows were prepped by MPF staff on Resume tips and tricks, including how to show service work on a resume.

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Next, fellows broke off into advising groups for general questions and catching up. Following advising time was lunch and free time! MPF believes in the value of taking time during retreats to allow Fellows to truly get time away from their host sites and take moments for self-care. Whether that be napping, going for a walk, skiing, or relaxing together – Fellows are encouraged to take this dedicated time to focus on themselves.

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During free time, Senior Fellow Carro showed an incredible social justice film called A Village Called Versailles about a Vietnamese neighborhood in New Orleans that overcame destruction from Hurricane Katrina. Following free time, Fellows gathered for updates, announcements, and Olympic Games. Next up, was another session for Skill Shares including: Get Crafty with First Year Fellow Nancy T, What’s Poppin with First Year Fellow Stephanie, and Bootcamp Workout with Senior Fellow Don.

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After this, Fellows had dinner while sitting in groups dedicated to structured conversation around several service year related topics. Following this was Talent Show 2.0 organized by Senior Fellows Amanda & Jenny and hosted by First Year Fellows Ethan & Carleen. Fellows showed handfuls of creative, hilarious, and inspiring talents like no other (and MPF Staff even joined in the fun!). The show ended night two of retreat.

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Friday, March 20th

The last day of retreat kicked off with breakfast and checking out of the resort. Next, a workshop titled: Sharing MPF and YOUth Appreciation with Second Year Fellow Lisa, and Senior Fellows Katie P & Jenny. Fellows were briefed on how to explain MPF and AmeriCorps to youth – including taking part in an activity that can be shared with youth. Fellows also talked about appreciating youth and even created some fun cards. Next up, Fellows were trained for the second time on Legacy Projects. Legacy Projects are binders, websites, or other physical guides that Fellows leave behind at their host site in order to help the next Fellow or person who comes behind them to be successful at the host site/project. Fellows can also use their Legacy Projects as part of their own professional portfolios to showcase all the work they did during their service year.

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Following this, Fellows created colorful posters to be given to the next cohort of Fellows during their orientation! Finally, Fellows participated in a round of Pass The Wagon and the Olympic Ceremony where winners were awarded! Fellows were treated to bagged lunched to take with them for their long rides back to respective towns. Another successful retreat full of trainings, laughter, self care, and bonding!

Love in Service,

MPF

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