The CSSC leadership retreats are a space for leaders working on sustainability initiatives on their campuses to come together with other leaders working on similar projects throughout the state
During breakout sessions and workshops retreat attendees have the ability to shape the CSSC by setting goals for the organization and policies to help achieve those goals. Those who attend are also able to and encouraged to become part of the leadership of the CSSC whether that’s in the Operating Team or council.
Our Winter Leadership retreat took from the 17th of January to the 21st at Dancing Deer Farm in Templeton. True to the name of our host’s farm every morning while cooking breakfast in the amazing kitchen provided for us we had an amazing view through the windows that allowed us to see deer frolicking at the bottom of the valley.
Starting Friday morning those who arrived early help build a vermiculture or worm composting bin for our hosts. After a day of hard work a wonderful dinner was prepared that lead into a wonderful square dance, line dance lesson hosted by our own Steve Varhoven and Meredith Jacobsen. Saturday morning began with a great breakfast created by fabulous cooks that moved into a visioning of the next steps for the CSSC and what we as students and members of the world wide community would like to see the world look like, and how the CSSC can help get us there. This discussion lead us into another amazing meal or two before we began on creating goals that help get us and the CSSC moving towards these new visions. The major voice that came out of these discussions was the fact that the CSSC needs to work harder to include two E’s of sustainability that haven’t made much of an appearance within the organization. These two are Economy and Equity because the CSSC is mostly made up of environmental organizations these two E’s have been over shadowed by the third E which stands for Environmental. Saturdays’ work ended with Operating team elections with many new faces joining the Operating team that it looks like it will be a very productive cycle. One of the most important election is that of our Convergence Coordinator, and to this role we elected Zen Trenholm for the upcoming Berkeley Convergence the date is already set for April 26th-28th(So stay tuned!). Sunday lead us into discussions of how to better integrate the aspects of Equity and Economy into the CSSC.
Every retreat has a touching moment for me and this retreat had many but what stood out to me the most was the moment that I realized all the work that I have done on my campus has finally turned into something. Since I joined the CSSC it has been a grueling process to get people from my school involved, so on Saturday night when I stepped out of the kitchen to take a break from cooking dinner to listen in to the elections and heard both of the people I had brought from school become new members of the Operating Team I had to take a second to catch myself as I was flooded with joy.
All in all this was one of the most productive retreats I’ve been to with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. As always it’s a reenergizing, revitalizing, reconnecting, love filled food filled learning, teaching and growing experience!
Love and Pizza