To be honest, I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I headed to the 4th annual Ruth S. Shur Leadership Institute last Thursday. The Leadership Institute is a three day training program for 28 exceptional League leaders selected to act as national coaches for the Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) Program. The coaches are given new and updated information on how to coach, cheerlead and support the state coaching teams nationwide. State coaching teams, in turn, support local Leagues in increasing their membership, community impact, and visibility.
I’m still in my first month as part of the Membership team at the LWVUS, and while I was clear on the schedule for the weekend’s training, I admit I was a little daunted by what seemed like tons of new information and many new faces and names to remember. By Sunday those new faces already felt like old friends, and nothing could have prepared me for the outpouring of positive energy, ideas and enthusiasm the weekend brought.
The 2013 Ruth S. Shur Leadership Institute was an opportunity for the national Membership and Leadership Development (MLD) coaches to come together, receive new coaching materials and ideas that they will bring back to the states to energize every level of the League. All of the coaches, both new and continuing shared their aspirations for a stronger, more invigorated League and the ways in which they each could be a part of that goal. Each and every Shur Fellow was eager to learn from the LWVUS staff and from one another.
The Fellows finished the weekend by sharing their goals for 2020: the League’s 100th birthday. Some of these goals were quite lofty, but if there is any group that can make their League dreams a reality it is the Shur Fellows. By the time we all headed home on Sunday, we were certainly tired from a weekend packed with learning and growing, but there was a renewed energy and excitement about what the League can accomplish for our communities and our democracy.