Family Leadership Center Quarterly Newsletter | Fall 2020
Dear Friends and Supporters,
As I write to you from our family’s cozy home in Yarmouth, Maine, the birdbath has frozen over and our reflective vests have been in use for over a month — it is hunting season here and if we want to take a walk in the nearby woods, we need to stay visible and bright.
A 17-year-old has happily become the family chef – creatively experimenting with new flavors, spices, and ingredients. Two 14-year-old boys have taken up bushcraft, the art of survival in the woods by making simple, livable structures using fallen trees and plain tools. With hatchets, a hand saw, and twine, they’ve created a lean-to and they have grand plans for more when they aren’t attending school via Zoom. The two of them slept out in their structure last weekend. In the morning, we hiked out to join them in cooking breakfast sausages and sipping hot cocoa together around their fire.
The past year has taken away so much of what we thought was normal. Yet, the deep desire to be connected, to feel capable, to have a voice, and to have the courage to face the next day is as strong as ever. How do we meet our own core needs and, on top of that, help our children, our community, and somehow manage to get anything done for our work? That’s a question that parents, grandparents, and other caregivers have been deeply considering and creatively solving in Family Leadership Center (FLC) classes and workshops over the past nine months.
When the lockdown began in mid-March, our FLC classes were mid-session. The groups were comprised of warm, fun, in-person circles of parents and other caregivers. Together, we were growing and we were challenging ourselves to help our families and the children in our lives to be more capable and to thrive. By early April, we had transitioned our programs online and we started offering more! We held free workshops and continued to make scholarships available to interested families with demonstrated financial need so that anyone who desired could participate. As spring transitioned to summer, instead of taking a summer break, we offered more classes and held more interactive sessions. And we’ve continued right through this autumn.
Meanwhile, FLC’s work has been buoyed by talented, dedicated thought partners from throughout the United States. Our Leadership Team has become a vibrant, engaged community of 10 parents from diverse backgrounds who are invested in growing their skills and sharing this work. Our Board of Trustees has also grown — we welcomed two new members this summer. Together, we are united in our goal to broaden FLC’s reach to include new regions and even more diverse communities.
As you read this newsletter, I hope you get a taste of who we are, a glimpse at where we’re headed, and ideas about how you can join us in this work! This memorable year has highlighted innovative ways that FLC can continue fulfilling our mission and purpose in 2021 and in perpetuity. I’m here for you, and I would love to connect!
Wishing you a gentle, warm, and fun holiday season – whatever form it takes.
Marjie Longshore, Ed.M.