On August 21 we welcomed our 20th cohort of young adult volunteers to the Triangle for a year of intentional community living and service. The welcome they received upon their arrival was unlike any other in our program’s history. A JSC staff member donned with a mask, thermometer, and plenty of hand sanitizer greeted each corps member and helped them get settled in. And thus began their two weeks of quarantined orientation, or quarantation.
Normally orientation consists of helping each incoming group get familiar with the area and prepared for life in community and service at our partner organizations. All of those things still happened this year, but much differently. Instead of taking the Pauli Murray walking tour of Durham, corps members watched a documentary on the history of the city (we’ll pilot a virtual version of the walking tour later this fall). Trainings on consensus-building, the enneagram, self-care, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and the nonprofit sector all happened via Zoom rather than in person. And a whole lot of time was spent wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces.
Yes, it has been an unusual first few weeks for our corps members.
However, the corps members are getting settled into the rhythms of life in JSC quite nicely. Work is well underway on crafting their community covenants, the living documents that will guide their life together this year. They’ve enjoyed exploring the local parks, walking through the farmer’s market, and having game nites with each other. We also keep hearing a lot of talk about the delicious meals they’ve been cooking together. Christina and I are looking forward to the day when the pandemic will allow us to taste and see for ourselves.
Thank you to our fantastic presenters, community friends, and all of the people who have not only made these first few weeks possible, but also gone above and beyond to warmly welcome these eight young adults to the Triangle. We are excited to see how this year will continue to unfold.