Family Programs held the Utah National Guard Family
Readiness Conference and Youth Symposium in Park City, Utah,
April 28. This year’s theme, "Key to Success" focused on
Family Readiness Group leaders, military leaders, youth
volunteers and families. Family Assistance volunteers from
around the state attended the conference.
The conference is held
once a year and trains Family Programs volunteers. Family
Programs depends on volunteers for outreach because there
are so many families throughout the state. Volunteers advise
staff members on things they see within each unit so Family
Programs can better serve and offer assistance to units.
"The support link between
Soldiers, citizens and families is crucial. Working together
is the ‘Key to Success’ for our Service members serving our
country," said CW2 Annette Barnes, State Family Programs
The conference gives
volunteers an opportunity to network, share ideas and
receive training so they can better help Service member
The keynote speaker for
the conference was, Elaine Dumler. Elaine is the author of
two books, I’m Already Home and I’m Already Home...Again.
Additional workshops were
offered throughout the day giving all in attendance the
tools or keys they can use and take back to help families,
communities and Service members or at Family Assistance
Centers. The workshops addressed topics such as Challenges
of Reintegration, 7 Habits of Highly Successful Military
Families, What if?, Marriage and Family Enhancement,
Financial Assistance Resources and Resources Around You.
"The conference gave me
great ideas and resources that I can take back and share
with the families," said Laura Roberts, Camp Williams Family
Assistance Center representative. "I loved the 7 Habits of
Highly Successful Military Families workshop. I will listen
more than talk. With my job I need to do more listening."
responsiveness of the Utah National Guard relies on a
high-quality support structure that provides both Service
members and family members with the resources to be
self-reliant, especially during times of deployment.
Along with the Family
Readiness Conference, Family Programs held the Youth
Symposium. At the symposium Utah National Guard youth
attended workshops and leadership training. Youth leaders
will serve as junior counselors at summer camp or assist
during the year at various activities. The workshops created
a forum to plan summer camp, network, share ideas and bond.
It’s a great way to kick-start the year and generates
enthusiasm that carries over to the activities and programs
for the youth.
by Ileen Kennedy
Youth take a break and mingle between
instruction at the Family Symposium.