I was overjoyed to discover the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learning through some advertising in a publication that I regularly read. I had been looking for opportunities to continue learning and most of the offerings through local universities, colleges and school boards carried a hefty price tag. CALL was different – less costly and based on a volunteer-driven model.
I immediately joined CALL and my first “peer learning” experience was with the Are We Losing Our Democracy group held at the Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership and led by Janet Keeping. Participants were eager to participate and to learn and were very supportive of individual efforts.
In 2012, I was approached to take on the role of Secretary on the Board of CALL to fill an unexpected vacancy. I was appointed by the Board and then elected to the position of Secretary at the 2012 AGM in October. As Secretary, my role is to take accurate minutes of Board and Executive Committee meetings as well as at the Annual General Meeting. I also collect and distribute the documentation for each Board meeting. This includes the agenda, the minutes of the last meeting and committee reports. I normally spend 2-3 hours per month on this activity. Add to this, the 3 hour monthly Board meeting and a 3 hour Executive Committee meeting for a total of 9 hours per month. Serving on the Board has given me in depth knowledge of the workings of the organization together with the opportunity to participate in the many important decisions that need to be made such as our recent decision to participate in the cSPACE project, or the decision to upgrade the website.
I have also been a participant in a number of interest groups, such as the Urban Walking group, the Canada at War group, Canada’s North group, the Hidden Gems group and the wine-tasting group. I have attended many of the CALL Cafes and the Science Lecture series as well as Treks and Travels. CALL has more than met my expectations for lifelong learning opportunities and I have met a lot of wonderful people with interests similar to mine.
I would encourage members to consider taking on a volunteer role with the organization. It is an opportunity to work with dedicated individuals while learning a great deal and making a difference to the success of this important lifelong learning venture.