Sunday was the first day of Preservation Leadership Training 2008 and this year we are in beautiful Portland, Maine where the weather is nice, the air smells great, and the fog rolls in whenever it pleases creating an eerie view from Top of the East, the restaurant at the top of our hotel. On Sunday morning thirty-four travel-worn participants made their way into the Longfellow Room to start an intensive one-week program that will make them laugh, and maybe, just maybe, tear their hair out. In the end though, all of them will walk way with a strong network of fellow preservationists and knowledge that will help them lead the preservation movement in their local communities and reach across state lines to work on those issues that require us to work together.
Preservation Leadership Training (PLT) is an intensive one-week experience tailored to respond to the needs of state and local preservation organizations and agencies. It emphasizes providing a participatory experience in leadership and organizational development techniques and the most up-to-date and effective information and training in current preservation practices, issues and action strategies. In addition to the classroom work these participants will work on a team project that has relevance and connection to the host community.
First a few stats—this year's group comes from 18 states and serves as executive directors, board members, volunteers and in one case a newbie to preservation having only been introduced to the field six months ago. After a rigorous application process they finally arrive ready to share and ready to jump right in and become official participants in what we call “Preservation Boot Camp.”
Rachael, a native of Portland, exclaimed that she “is so psyched about being here. It is so great to be with a group of people and it is nice to work on a project that is outside the norm and you are able to concentrate on developing your own skills while simultaneously hearing about other people's passions as well as about different resources across the country.”
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