Turns out that three days, one cabin, and $200 worth of produce is all you need to create an organizing super-group…or at least that’s how it happened this weekend when six of our movement’s most vibrant organizers convened in Cumberland, VA to inaugurate the 2011-2012 Greenpeace Student Board.
Now I’ve built a lot of power in my day, but even so, I would boldly state that I’ve never felt energy as contagious and bewitching as that which radiated from Cabin 8 of Bear Creek Lake State Park this weekend. Each morning I awoke to Lana, the human alarm, nasally chirping the Reveille bugle call. Likewise, my last sight before drifting off to sleep was partner yoga (downward dog, to be exact). In between Paul Simon dance parties and humiliating, butt-shaking energizers kept me always on my toes.
A common phrase heard round the first night’s campfire was “these are my people.” Go ahead and call it trite, but the reality is that this feeling of belonging, of collective power and shared goofiness is what fuels the millennial generation's grassroots environmental movement, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this year’s Student Board is going to be capitalizing off it... that is, capitalizing in a well-intentioned, not-for-profit, anti-corporate kind of way.
So who is this rock star team I’m been alluding to for several paragraphs? Six dedicated college students devoted to making a just and livable planet for all. Alone, we do just fine as organizers, but when our powers combine... we are an unstoppable team: the 2011-2012 Student Board! Also known as the Seal Pack…Herd? Pod? Rookery? (pick one depending on your Animal Kingdom collective preference). On to introduction!
Brinkley Hutchings of Wilmington, NC will be this year’s Trainings Coordinator. Want to know how to work more effectively with the media or get more out of your one-on-ones? She’s your go-to-girl for organizing education, guaranteed to have the answer and deliver it with a genuine Alabama accent!
Grant Collier of Harrisonburg, VA and Lana Guardo of New York, NY--collectively known as the “GPS Coordinates”--have joined forces to bridge the gap between Greenpeace Semester Alum, current GPS students, and the Student Network at large. This dynamic duo and the relationships they create over the next year will be crucial to strengthening our network from the inside out. The more people, more power, ya dig?
Ren Ostry of Ithaca, NY is our new Days of Action Coordinator, and a powerhouse motivator taboot! Look to her this year with all your direct action questions. She’ll show you how to cause a commotion in fun, innovative, and effective ways!
Abbie Rogers of Fredericksburg, VA (that’s me) will be testing the waters with the newfangled role of Online Social Media Coordinator! In other words, my job is making the magic more accessible to YOU! An interactive blog, online toolkits and seasonal newsletters are just a few things to look forward to… so start making space on your bookmarks bar!
Last but certainly not least, Carson Chavana of Austin, TX will be our fearless leader, acting as both Chair of the Student Board and liaison to the larger organization. With Carson’s help, we’ll have Phil Radford (Greenpeace’s ED) signing up to be a seal next year!
Keep fighting the good fight, and stay tuned for some serious power-shifting…or should I say SEAL-SHIFTING? (Too much? My bad.) Thanks everybody.