In July, RMEF hosted 60 volunteers and 39 field staff for the inaugural Volunteer Summit at RMEF headquarters in Missoula, Montana. Over the course of two days, this group met with the purpose of sharing, learning, troubleshooting and strengthening RMEF field programs and operations. Participants were broken into groups of 15 and were tasked with navigating a slew of different topics to offer ideas, solutions and feedback on some of RMEF’s most common chapter and volunteer challenges. The ideas and information shared within these groups was impactful for those in attendance and will also benefit those not present. The discussions that took place within these groups were documented and will be shared with chapter leadership later this year.
This was the first time in several years that we’ve brought our volunteers together on a national scale. During this Summit, it was also announced that there will be a celebration of RMEF’s 40th anniversary, accompanied by a Volunteer Rally on May 3-4 in Missoula next spring. Those events will be open for all volunteers to attend.
Getting RMEF volunteers back together, to network and learn from one another was inspiring. There were volunteers who were emotional when telling their own stories and talking about what RMEF means to them. Even volunteers who have served for over 30 years left the summit having learned something new, taking those new ideas back to their own chapters to implement within their committees.
The Volunteer Summit will be an annual gathering for RMEF and the 2024 summit will feature a new group of participants and will take place in the days prior to the 2024 National Volunteer Rally & 40th Anniversary Celebration.