A key component of your training program is providing the information and skills that members need to perform their service effectively. Training should also focus on ensuring members' physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The Northwest Service Academy/Mt. Adams Center–a small, rural and remote program in Washington that does environmental projects–suggests these tips for wellness trainings:
- Familiarize members with your risk management plan, which details your organization's response to potential risks. These plans vary from one program to another, but all programs should have one. Read an example (DOC) (PDF) of the Northwest Service Academy/Mt. Adams Center plan here.
- Give members training in conflict resolution so they are prepared to deal with challenging situations. See the Conflict Resolution page for existing training and tips. Look for additional training resources at the Conflict Resolution Information Source and Association for Conflict Resolution. Your state commission, state CNCS office, or national direct headquarters might have a list of trainers in your area that they can share with you.
- Offer training in cultural issues that goes beyond general diversity awareness and focuses on specific topics that affect your clients. Members need to understand these fundamental issues before they can take action.
- Prepare members for the stress that can result from service. For example, some members will be challenged by living on a limited stipend and will need tips for simple living.
- Consider providing a basic first aid course and CPR training. The American Red Cross can help provide a local trainer.
Some of these resources can also be used with clients, or at the project site.