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Most Friendship Force Journeys have a few leaders involved as Journey Coordinators, but for these Featured Journeys of the Quarter, all participants were either experienced or aspiring leaders! In October 2018, successful Leadership Training Conferences and Seminars were held in Cottbus, Germany and Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
European Leadership Seminar
In Germany, 11 participants from 9 different clubs in 5 different countries (Germany, Belgium, U.K., Russia, and France) gathered to develop their leadership skills and understand different forms of club organization and Journeys. They also sought to establish a network of both future and experienced leaders throughout Europe.
Over the two-and-a-half-days of this Global Journey, participants learned from seasoned European club leaders in workshops and presentations covering membership and club development, structure and leadership, and general FFI practices. The small group size allowed for many learning opportunities, including helpful discussions and exchanges on different Friendship Force club experiences. As one participant said, “I am glad to get a new network for exchanging questions and experiences.”
Thank you to the presenters of a most interesting and helpful seminar and to the people from Cottbus for great hospitality – European Leadership Seminar Participant
FF Cottbus generously provided home-hosting over the long weekend, including an excursion to local attraction, Spreewald, a forested area and wetland reserve. Many thanks to members of the organizing committee for their work in organizing this successful seminar, including Kurt Häfeli (Switzerland), Loes Epping, (Netherlands), Dany Vanderbroeck, (Belgium), Eberhard Wauer, (Germany), and Kerstin Hogan, (Regional Support Manager, FFI). The European Action Group is planning another seminar in upcoming years with the same format, and a special effort will be made to include participants from developing or new clubs.
As one participant commented, “I think this meeting was a great success… We are all in close contact because we have had such a relatively small group, but that is the [strength]: we will remind each other and are friends… that is the essence of Friendship Force!”
Lincoln Leadership Training Conference
Around the same time as the seminar in Cottbus was taking place, members of FF Lincoln and FF Omaha also hosted their own Leadership Training Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. The 8 participants of the training hailed from Tanzania, Russia, the Philippines, Canada, and Texas and Wisconsin in the U.S.. Members from FF Omaha kindly provided home-hosting before the conference, while the training took place in Lincoln. Lincoln club members led most of the training in a conversational style, with assistance from long-time member of FF Greater Milwaukee and Board Alumnus Dave Kalan. Participants and leaders engaged in training each morning through lunchtime, and then enjoyed activities, time for socializing, and shared meals in the evenings.
According to Dale Moore, U.S. Field Representative of the Midwest Region, “The participants were wonderful people who truly appreciated the opportunity to attend the training sessions.” He commended FF Lincoln for involving so many people in the training, while also making it both fun and interesting. He also commented on one leader specifically, saying, “Dave Kalan is amazing, as he seems tireless and always willing to share ideas and give of his time.”
Thank you to Friendship Force of Lincoln and Friendship Force of Omaha, especially the presenters, and all of the leadership training participants for helping to grow and lead the future of Friendship Force!