Green Corps

Dear:

Your suggestions and the window they provide into your experience in Green Corps so far are always welcome. I have referred the letter you sent to the super staff who actually run Green Corps -- Leslie, Heather, Naomi, Antha, Cindy.

Actually, I wish you had taken your concerns individually to those folks rather than signing onto a group letter and sending it out to the Board. There is an inevitable negative vibe created by doing the latter; though the Green Corps leadership seems to be willing to just move on, I myself don't like people going behind my back or over my head in an organized fashion, and especially people I'm busting my butt to train and serve, and doubly especially if I'm paying them for the privilege! Kudos to them for being so gracious about the whole thing.

As for your apparent underlying concern -- the security of your status as a trainee in the Green Corps program -- which seems to motivate your suggestions, I find it hard to fathom. We screen who we accept into Green Corps (from amongst a large pool of applicants) pretty damn well, and hardly anyone has ever had to be dropped from the program over evaluation issues. When we have infrequently had to tell someone they aren't talented enough to really benefit from the training or that their participation will hold back the level for other participants, we take that pretty seriously and as a real failure on our part in terms of admitting the person in the first place.

Obviously, some people this year left Green Corps or were cut from the program for simply not being willing to put in the effort, not respecting the trainers and what they have to offer, or miscomprehending the basic nature of a training program. That's very unusual; in fact it has never happened before.

Bottom line, anyone with talent who is enthused to have the opportunity Green Corps affords, takes direction, and works hard, is going to graduate. Since the letter you signed certainly makes it clear you are dedicated to Green Corps and getting as much benefit out of your year as possible, I think you can set aside "job security" concerns.

On the specific issue of evaluations, they are mostly informal and ongoing, with periodic formal oral and/or written feedback. They have one purpose: to help you grow and improve in your skills and strategic thinking as an organizer. Ask for them as often as possible.

From: Doug Phelps, Chair, Green Corps Board


1/2/03