Above : The group of interns and shift leaders that attended the 2017 Campus Kitchen Project Boot Camp in Washington D.C. Aug 7th-9th . From left to right, top row: David Thomas, Devine Ogbuefi, Sitong Shu, Ali Elyaman, James Haverly, and Brad Turner. Bottom row: Allison Vita, Rachel Hall, Alaina Buschman, and Stacy Deng.
From August 7th-9th members of our Campus Kitchen team including interns and shift leaders, were given the opportunity to attend the 2017 Campus Kitchen Boot Camp training event in Washington D.C. Over the course of three days we learned about all of the new and innovative ways other Campus Kitchens, and DC central Kitchen are combating food waste and hunger. It was an exciting experience seeing our new leaders in CKUGA come together and bond as they learned about how to be more effective leaders and workers toward our common cause of fighting food waste and hunger.
The three day event began with the CEO of D.C. Central Kitchen, Mike Curtain, speaking on social enterprise and told the story's of the founding of the Campus kitchen program and the D.C. Central Kitchen. Mr. Curtian focused in on how the idea behind D.C. Central kitchen and the Campus Kitchens program isn't just to feed people, but to break the cycle of poverty. He also touched on how "service should be about the liberation of the receiver, not the redemption of the giver". The idea behind that is that we should give because we care about improving others live, not simply because we want to feel good about ourselves.
Once Mr. Curtian finished we entered sessions starting with Asset Based Community Development, which is about focusing on the strengths of the community rather than the problem. Then through using the resources present and and building upon these strengths we can bring the community together to help solve the issues we face. Next came the Volunteer and Leadership Teams which was extremely helpful to our incoming executive board as it touched on how training should be an ongoing process to learn to be better volunteers and workers.
As the first day wrapped up we had a final seminars over Traditional Media and Social Media as tools for conveying our message and how to improve our follower bases. This included everything from Instagram to writing Op-eds in school newspapers.
As Day two began our CKUGA crew took part in a workshop about meal planning and how to make due when there are shortages of certain types of food such as meats or starches. After this general session we all broke up into different workshops, one most notably was ran by our very own Coordinator, Brad Turner. He covered the new AARP Grant that Campus Kitchens is using to keep track of the effect we're having on communities across the country through surveys and other quantitative data.
Then as the day wrapped up we learned about the new Campus Kitchen Center social media website which is being used to connect all Campus Kitchens in a space that allows us to communicate new ideas and advice in tackling food waste and hunger. After this final session we got the chance to head out to the K Street Farm and volunteer, while also learning about urban farming and the difference it can make in the community!
Above: David Thoms helps to clear out weeds at the K Street farm with other Campus Kitchen members from across the country.
After we we're done at the workshop for the day we all headed out for an evening in the City! We first walked to the National Gallary of Art and toured it right before it closed. We then metro-ed to East Market to have dinner, and finally made our way to the National mall were we all bonded over the majesty of our Nations Monuments.
Above: James Haverly and David Thoms observing the Lincoln second inaugural speech inscribed on the walls of the Lincoln memorial
On our last day of Boot Camp we once again broke up into many different workshops that ranged from the AARP Grantee session led by Brad Turner, to leadership team transitions. Our team seemed to gravitate toward the donor appreciation session which taught us about how we can help to foster our relationship with our donors and continue to improve and expand the impact were having on our community.
We were then all taken to a main meeting hall for our last two events of the day. We first met the Alumni Corps, a group of former campus kitchen advisers set up to assist us in our mission. We then transitioned into a lecture on Collective impact from Campus Kitchens Chief development officer Alex Moore which was one of the best moments from the weekend. He helped to expend our knowledge of the mission of Campus Kitchen in breaking the cycle of poverty and ending hunger and food waste!
We were then taken to an ice cream social with the Alumni Corps and said goodbye to all of our new friends as we set off for a 12 hour van ride home to Athens!