The first week of classes may still be a ways off. Most students are still in the thick of summer jobs an internships and vacations. But here at Real Food Challenge, we're already getting cooking.
This past week marked our third annual national training for a new class of Regional Field Organizing Fellows. It was a week long retreat, readying these young food movement superstars for a year of learning, growing and organizing together.
This was just the first of nine amazing trainings happening all around the country! Check 'em out and sign up for one near you. It's a chance for student leaders to learn all sorts of useful leadership skills and connect with other baddass students who care about food justice, health and sustainability throughout their region.
The training took place in Stoughton, MA at a site that's played host to many past social movements -- from civil rights and peace movements of the past to more recent anti-nuclear and interfaith movements. The setting provided an ideal opportunity for the group to reflect on where we stand as a youth food movement broadly, and what each of us as individuals contribute to this larger change.
The long weekend was filled with all sorts of diverse workshops--covering topics such as "Campaign Planning," "Storytelling for Organizing," "The Corporate Food Service Industry," "Food Justice" and "Power, Privilege and Oppression." All were facilitated by expert RFC trainers and some of the participants themselves.
Of course, there were all sorts of games and activities too. Here participants are looking on as a final pair duels to the end of the game "Ninja." You'll have to attend a training to see what this game--an RFC favorite--looks like!
All of the produce for the event came from just 5 miles away at Langwater Farm. Co-owner Rory O'Dwyer joined us for a lunch-time roundtable discussion all about farm-to-institution issues, and then led our crew on an afternoon of weeding and learning about her farm.
All in all, the best part of this training was the people. From Texas and Idaho, Michigan and Iowa, Florida and Louisiana -- this crew cam from all corners of the US (and beyond!). Each brought with them incredible stories and passion for real food. A fire that they'll be helping spread throughout the RFC network this year.
Join them! Sign up for an RFC Regional Training today. Space is limited--but the rewards are huge. Recruit a team of 2-3 from your school for the best impact.
OH! And of course, we laid down a plan for the year to come! From Food Day in October to our National Summit in February, there's plenty to look forward to this year.