RPCVs of Colorado, “Most Excellent Affiliate Group” for Co-hosting Peace Corps Connect

RPCVs of Colorado, “Most Excellent Affiliate Group”

for Co-hosting Peace Corps Connect


With talk of awards in the air (NPCA and partners give them out at Peace Corps Connect each year), I’d like to add one more to the list. The RPCVs of Colorado (RPCVCO) deserve the “Most Excellent Affiliate Group” award for their creativity and diligence in getting Peace Corps Connect off the ground.

As the local co-hosts for the annual gathering in Denver August 4-6, they truly exemplify the conference theme: “Partnering for Progress: Taking Collaborations to New Heights.” Over the past year, the planning team in Colorado has worked collaboratively with NPCA staff on all the literal and figurative legwork. RPCVCO members Arianne Burger, Elizabeth Clark, Suzanne Smith, and Tom Sunchuck helped with managing the logistics and contributed substantially to the program for for pre-conference meetings, plenaries, breakout sessions, partner exhibitions, the awards reception, reunion events, and more. And they’ve enlisted a whole cadre of volunteers to keep everything running smoothly when the big event arrives.

As if all this were not enough, RPCVCO has organized additional events to compliment the main conference activities. This is where their creativity comes into play and what makes Peace Corps Connect 2017 a truly unique experience.


Kick-off Party

If you are getting to Denver early, you should definitely join RPCVCO and the Posner Center for International Development (Posner Center) as they welcome fellow conference attendees for the a welcome event at the Posner Center on Friday, August 4. Enjoy local food trucks, beer and the coolest shared working spaces in the US.  www.posnercenter.org. The Posner Center is easy to get to via the lightrail from the University of Denver, where many are staying in the dorms for the conference. Tickets are only $10 and registration is open.


Partnering for Prosperity

RPCVCO has launched a pilot social entrepreneurship competition, called “Partnering for Prosperity,” which will be held during Peace Corps Connect. The Partnering for Prosperity competition builds on the conference theme and challenges applicants to submit their best ideas, projects or programs that exemplify partnership and collaboration, and impact the world around us. This event seeks to provide funding for a project or program for nonprofits with ties to the Peace Corps Community, and two awards will be given, both of at least $2,500 in value. This competition will showcase the work of Peace Corps community entrepreneurs at a national level and provide opportunity to amplify the impact of the competitor’s initiatives. Hopefully it will be the first of many. Check out the amazing finalists and sponsors here.


Sunday Morning Service Project

RPCVCO has organized a local service project with their partner, Grow Local Colorado. Start your Sunday morning at 7:15 a.m. by getting your hands dirty and learning about a long-term partnership that benefits the local community.  Participants will meet in front of the dorms and walk approximately half a mile to two local gardens. There will be a brief talk about the partnership between RPCVCO, Grow Local Colorado, and the Gathering Place, that ensures the Gathering Place has access to fresh produce during the summer. Afterwards, participants will work together in the garden, and then be back in time for day two of Peace Corps Connect. Space is limited for this opportunity so email president@rpcvcolorado.org to get your name added to the RSVP list.


Annual Picnic and Partner Exhibition

RPCVCO is excited to host their annual summer picnic in conjunction with Peace Corps Connect. Members of the local Peace Corps community - from RPCVs to family to friends to potential Peace Corps applicants - are welcome to join conference attendees to eat good food, catch up with old Peace Corps friends, and make new ones. The picnic will feature food inspired by the Peace Course Cookbook, which was assembled by RPCVCO members to celebrate food from across the world.

The picnic will also feature the conference’s annual Partner Exhibition. Local and national organizations with programs and opportunities for RPCVs will be present to share information for those looking to take the next step in your career, find volunteer opportunities, or connect with like-minded people.

If you’ve got other plans that are keeping you from the conference but you want to stop by the picnic for some food and to connect with the Peace Corps community, consider purchasing a ticket to just the picnic and exhibition. Picnic-only tickets are $30 and can be purchased here.


Without RPCVCO, there would be no Peace Corps Connect in Denver.

So the next time you see one of their members or volunteers, please let them know how “most excellent” they are.

In fact, it's not too late to register for the conference and find out for yourself!



About Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado

The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado (RPCVCO) connects returned volunteers to one another, to our local community, and to the world for continued service, outreach, and support. This is done through social events, service projects, meetings featuring speakers on topics of interest to the Peace Corps community, and special events that are scheduled throughout the year. Though based out of Denver, RPCVCO works to connect with RPCVs throughout the state. Find out more about these activities on the RPCVCO website or on Facebook.