Sierran Masthead

Retreat Features Team Building, Strategic Planning

by Angee White

Although several casualties were incurred while Hoosier Chapter Sierrans worked to rid the area of toxic popcorn, the Hoosier Chapter Volunteer Retreat was deemed a success.

Held at the Indiana Dunes Environmental Learning Center in Chesterton, the retreat included a team-building exercise called “toxic waste dump.” The exercise required each team to decontaminate a small bucket full of “toxic” popcorn by pouring it into a second “clean” bucket, using only rope and a bicycle inner tube.

All materials for the exercise were contained within a 10-foot circle, which the participants could not enter. If any participant crossed the plane of the circle, he or she had to be immediately rushed to the “hospital” and could no longer participate in the exercise.

The first team to decontaminate its popcorn credited its success to Winding Waters Group and chapter executive committee member Shondra Zaborowski.

Hoosier volunteers also participated in conservation breakout sessions during the retreat, learning about combined animal feeding operations from Jolinda Buchanan; energy from John Taylor; water quality from Bill Hayden; wetlands from John Ulmer; and sprawl from me.

National Sierra Club volunteer Greg Cassini led the final and most time-consuming portion of the retreat, strategic planning.

To create our plan, we pooled the expertise of our volunteers throughout the state to answer the following questions: What are our best opportunities to achieve environmental gains in Indiana? What opportunities do we have as club leaders to work together more effectively? How can we create more opportunities for people to participate in Sierra Club activities? What opportunities do we have to get our message out farther into the community?

After brainstorming and prioritizing answers to the questions, volunteers worked in small groups to create goals and action plans for each of the four categories.

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[6/28/02]efp

Summer 2002