Hey All! It’s Jennie, your Chapter President! I am so glad to have this opportunity to write on the blog! want to take this opportunity to talk about the International Babywearing Conference, many of you know it’s coming up in just a short 7 weeks! This year IBC will be in Des Moines, Iowa! I am super excited and planning on going, as I had an amazing experience at IBC 2016.
IBC 2016, was a major eye-opener for me! I got to meet a ton of fellow Educators, who work at local and the national level. I When I attended IBC 2016, we were just a year-old chapter, and I was still a fairly new VBE. I got to attend around a dozen different workshops on varying topics including: Interest in Higher Accreditation (becoming certified as an educator at a higher level), Teaching Back Wrapping, Plus-size Babywearing Tips/Tricks, Tandem Wearing, Advanced Back Wrapping, Chapter Leadership, Training and recruiting new Educators, and more!
In addition to the amazing knowledge I was able to receive, I was also able to get to know some of the vendors we work with on a regular basis. Getting to know these folks, helps our chapter out so they know who we are when we send an e-mail requesting a donation or discount on behalf of our lending library or major events!
I was SO encouraged to do more for our chapter, and came home with a ton of knowledge and information after IBC 2016. I immediately started working a bit harder towards my goal of becoming an ABE (Advanced Babywearing Educator) and completed that certification process just three months after IBC. While becoming an ABE, I setup our chapter’s online lending library management process as part of my project. I learned a ton about fundraising and chapter management, and we formally started our Board of Directors and were able to bring even more funds in to our chapter.
Soon after becoming an ABE, I started volunteering for the national social media committee, yes, all those BWI Instagram posts you see are me In addition, I started processing CSV applications as an accreditation coordinator with National.
In 2017, I decided it was time for me to go back to Graduate school, for Early Childhood Education no less; and I also started and completed the process towards becoming an MBE (Master Babywearing Educator) which is the highest level of accreditation with BWI. During this year I was able to help our paper go nearly paperless at meetings, as we introduced the electronic sign-in process as well. During 2017, I also pursued my passion by attending training and graduating from the Center for Babywearing Studies. During this time, I met Lauren from AEB, and we made a plan and worked to bring BWI to the Jacksonville, NC area!
This year, I moved up to VBE accreditation coordinator with the AC committee. In addition, I’ve been working hard with our volunteer to get the Jacksonville site up and running, with a strong library, and hopefully some more local volunteers soon! I am also hoping to graduate in August with my Masters in Early Childhood; and while it may seem unrelated, all of us know the amazing bond and strength between our little ones and caregivers is so important to their development and education!
I say all this to say IBC is an AMAZING opportunity for Educators, especially those who are committed to their chapters and want to make a difference! In just shy of two years, I’ve come a long way as an educator. I cannot speak to the volumes that IBC pushed me to pursue my passion for more knowledge, and to continue pressing hard to give Eastern, NC the best and most accessible Babywearing Education. This year, I am planning to go again, and Denise Meredith is also hoping to go.
If you don’t know Denise, she’s a VBE and our amazing Secretary/go to lady for everything! She is super-efficient, organized, hardworking, and our New Bern area lead! She is our in-house tandem wearing expert, and also our cake and desert maker extraordinaire at all of our major events! Denise, like myself has realized her passion to continue learning more about Babywearing, and how she can continue to help our community. Despite it sounding like such an easy decision, IBC is a plane ticket, a hotel fare, food and expenditures, and also a registration fee at the bare bones of cost; it’s a pricey trip especially since it’s not driving distance like IBC 2016 was (Atlanta.)
This all being said, we’ve fundraised a lot this year, but with growing a new library, replacing older carriers, and putting more into our marketing budget this year, we don’t quite have what we would like to have to help send Denise to IBC, especially considering the bigger trip that it is this year. We’d like to take this time to share our paypal link below, if anyone is interested in donating directly towards our IBC 2018 Scholarship fund, please don’t hesitate to click that link. If you’d like a receipt for tax purposes, we are glad to provide one. If you see us in person, any volunteer can also receive a cash or check donation to the scholarship fund.
TRUST ME, when I say your donation will go a LONG way! I just know Denise deserves this opportunity, but that she will also take full advantage of it, and use all of what she learns to help embitter our chapter’s future successes.