A very diverse group of 23 people came together to work and share their ideas during the first Naramata Centre Work and Engagement Weekend. We had two people from outside Naramata who had never been to the Centre for a program before, who came because they wanted to help. We had a person from Naramata village who had no previous connection and was new to the village donate his time and vehicle for two days to help with the work. We had long time participants and former staff come to work, share and celebrate the past. One person came all the way from Grand Prairie!
Our weekend started early on Thursday evening when we hosted a meeting for Naramata Village residents to keep them informed about what we as a board are doing, answer their questions,and hear their ideas about the future. For those who could arrive early, the work weekend started Friday afternoon. We gathered in the chapel Friday night to express our gratitude for what the Centre has been in the past, and start the conversation about a possible future.
Everyone went to work Saturday morning on the many tasks necessary to get Naramata Centre ready for winter. It was comforting to know that there are two more weekends to follow and that we did not have to get everything done ourselves. For those coming next, don’t worry, there is lots to do! The number of tasks can be a bit overwhelming but once we got down to work and focussed on the present, and the task at hand, whether that was gardening, cleaning or moving furniture, it felt great to be contributing.
It was quite amazing how much work was completed. Together we created community and had great discussions about possibilities for the future with lots of insightful ideas and outside the box thinking. The bookstore was open and well used by participants (and will be open at our next two work weekends, and also open to Village residents). Thanks to everyone who came to work and share their ideas!!
We learned a lot from this first weekend and will be taking the feedback we received and using it to improve the experience for the two remaining weekends. We plan to use what we learned about how to have the discernment conversation when we provide similar opportunities in communities across BC and Alberta, called Local Engagement Sessions, about a possible future for Naramata Centre. One of the things we learned is that people are keen to talk about a possible future.
Look for information the upcoming Local Engagement Sessions in your community, coming soon. If you would like to help organize a Local Engagement Session in the last week of October or first week in November, to engage your community in discussions about the possible future of Naramata Centre, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Local Engagement Session.