Written by Colleen Robinson
Guild Gatherings – online and in person!
We are in an exciting time. It’s not just membership season at the Guild, but we are approaching weeks when we can get back to what we love, safely. The first in-person Guild Gathering in more than a year happened last week in the Northeast and was a big success. Great work and comradery, all on the ground, surrounded by beloved forests (more about this event coming in June’s ATL). We will get to celebrate our first 25 years at our long-awaited anniversary celebration this August in North Carolina too! Amazing online tools have allowed us to connect virtually and opened new doors and possibilities in their own ways, which we will continue to nurture. Nothing quite compares to a Guild Gathering campfire council practice though, where we all reflect on our common values and unique roles face-to-face.
New efforts in the Pacific Northwest are building momentum for members. We are piloting a new and dedicated online community to offer members in that region opportunities to share and learn from each other without as many schedule, distance, and safety constraints. It’s one way to build connections in a region that spans so many forest types and stewardship challenges and opportunities. The online community builds off a very successful Northwest Innovative Forestry Summit we co-hosted early this year.
The Spring 2021 Forest Steward magazine is fresh off the presses and is focused on students – another member area where 2021 is showing great leaps forward. Professional and affiliate members stepped up to share their experiences and thoughts with students facing a transition from studies to careers. Guild members also made it possible for us to offer new mentorship programs this year, which will help us serve the next generation of forest stewards better, as well as further innovate in more general ways.
A membership survey is coming soon, and we want to hear from you! If you are a current member, you’ll receive an email next week with a 20-queston survey. We expect this will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Your answers will provide the Guild with important information about what’s working, what’s needed, and the roles you’d like to see in place as forest stewards and everyone else begin to construct a “new normal.” We will continue to take on unprecedented climate and social justice challenges and we’ll need our full, organizational team on the effort – including members.
Renewing your commitment to ecological, economic, and socially responsible forestry. You can save the Guild time, money, and energy usage by renewing your membership today. Membership seasons run July 1 – June 30, so unless you’ve set up auto-renewal, or already paid through the coming year, your membership will expire next month! Get a jump on our reminders by sending in dues now for July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022. If you are unsure of your membership status you can check via our website’s member portal, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help you clarify and renew if needed.
The Forest Stewards Guild’s heart beats only as a collective. A community of members, partners, and supporters, all aligned toward a common vision for the greater good. Wow – this feels nice and I’m grateful every day that you, and I, are in this community of stewards. Thank you for all you do for the forests and those who depend on them. Let’s keep it up – together!