By Fort Campbell CourierAugust 27, 2010
Fort Campbell Family Readiness Groups joined together Friday at the Family Resource Center for a day of leadership training.
The Rockin' Round Robin Spouse Seminar, hosted by Army Community Services, provided information to spouses, FRG leaders and others in attendance about ways to get involved with Fort Campbell's FRG program.
The free training seminar provided breakfast and lunch to participants, followed by breakout sessions spotlighting different aspects of FRGs.
Throughout the seminar, participants discussed Family Readiness Support Assistant responsibilities, chain of command, FRG scenarios, personalities, customs and courtesies, meeting and agenda management and the use of social media tools.
Danielle DeBourbon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, FRG leader, decided to attend the seminar to better prepare herself to aid other spouses as the brigade's Soldiers continue to deploy.
"Preparation is more than half the battle," she said. "It's better to see what's coming and see how people handle things differently, and be prepared to deal with different reactions to deployment than to go in blind."
DeBourbon decided to attend the personalities class during the first morning session, which discussed the different ways that people function.
"You really have to interact with people and react to people differently based on their personalities, and the better you can recognize someone's personality type, the better you can respond to them," DeBourbon said.
Tom Johnson, the spouse of a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Soldier, was one of the few men to attend the Rockin' Robin. As a co-FRG leader, he enjoys learning and representing the male spouse perspective at such events.
"I look at things differently," said Johnson, who is an Army veteran. "It's just a way for me to try to connect.
"I know all aspects of the Army. I just feel as a male, I can share a lot of what we see as problems in the Army."
Scenarios, one of the sessions Johnson planned to attend, addressed different problems people might face as FRG leaders. During the session, groups brainstormed solutions to potential problems. For example, what to do when taking a phone call from an upset Family member.
"From a male perspective I can bring a different vision sometimes, because I look at things differently," Johnson said. "A lot of things that are a big problem for females aren't a big problem for me ... I just wanted to see what kind of scenarios they gave [and] get some insight on that."
The idea to host the seminar came from the results of a survey completed by FRG leaders at Fort Campbell, FRC Community Service Manager Kim Hooks said. The topics addressed at the Rockin' Robin came directly from feedback provided on the survey.
With about 120 people in attendance, Hooks was impressed by the results of the first-time event.
"I'm really pleased by the turnout," she said.
Certain aspects of the Rockin' Robin will be incorporated into future FRG leader events, including the first two-day training starting Sept. 14.
"If you go to FRG leader training now, it's a good class," Hooks said. "But it is almost like death by PowerPoint. We are actually changing that too. We're going to make that two days, and throw in some ice breakers to break up the monotony of sitting there and doing just PowerPoint slides."
Soldiers, Family members and civilian volunteers can participate in FRGs, which serve as a communication and support network at Fort Campbell. With much of the 101st Airborne Division deployed, FRGs provide information to both Soldiers and their Family members.