Volunteer recruitment and retention was the theme for the day at the third annual District Five Byway Workshop held at the Florida Department of Transportation/District Five offices in Deland on March 28th. This day-long workshop served as an opportunity for byway organizations and others involved with the Florida Scenic Highways Program to engage, learn and have fun. Claudia Calzaretta, the District Scenic Highways Coordinator welcomed the 30+ participants with a review of the many accomplishments that the District’s byways have completed over the last 18 months. She then reviewed her DSHC work plan for the upcoming year and finished her general session with a review of the exciting findings of the Scenic Sumter Economic Impact study. Much of the remainder of the morning was spent listening to guest speakers that touched on the day’s theme of “volunteerism”, including Nancy Heller with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) who discussed a partnering opportunity that can place retired people with not-for-profit organizations to train and provide paid volunteer support to the byway organizations. After lunch and group photos, participants broke into teams to discuss and offer suggestions on recruiting and retaining volunteers. While one group of participants worked on developing 30-second elevator speeches for their byways, others discussed the passion that volunteers have for a cause, and how to express passion to potential program recruits.
One of the many highlights of the day was the premiering of two FDOT-funded 60-second video clips that focus on the recruitment of youth and retired persons to a byway organization as part of Karen Ford’s morning presentation. Like past workshops, all participants were invited to participate in Byway BINGO, an icebreaker tool that encourages interaction between attendees. The theme of the BINGO game was “Hidden gems to be found along a byway”. Answers provided as part of the game will be incorporated into a brochure highlighting these resources that encourages visitors to get off the beaten path and experience the collection of byways located in central Florida. A donated gift bag of byway memorabilia was awarded during an end of day drawing of all that participated in the BINGO game.
In keeping with workshop tradition, all participants enjoyed a slice of specially decorated byway cake at the end of the day. In Claudia’s close at the end of the workshop, she thanked all those that attended, but more importantly she thanked all byway participants for their willingness to volunteer for a cause that is so dear to those involved with the FSHP.
For further information on this Workshop, to get a copy of these presentation materials, or anything else associated with District Five Byways, please contact Claudia Calzaretta at [email protected].