By Susanne Kappler, Fort Jackson LeaderSeptember 21, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson spouses will be treated to a full day of sharing ideas, learning about new topics and gaining insight into how to strengthen their families. The SELF Symposium -- SELF stands for "Spouses Embracing Life Fully" -- is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 30 at the Solomon Center. The event is free and open to all DoD ID card holders.
"The vision behind the SELF Symposium is an opportunity for all to acquire skills to embrace a happier, healthier you," said Marilynn Bailey, a master resiliency trainer with Army Community Services. "It's always good when you can get several people assembled in the same place to acquire the same type of information. With the resiliency skills you will be able to obtain, the interactive presentations, the focus on a healthier, happier you -- we felt if we could do this in one place to get everybody together at one time that this would be successful versus spreading it out throughout the year to get the same thing."
Throughout the day, experts from ACS; Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and Fort Jackson spouses will offer presentations about physical fitness, nutrition, social fitness, family fitness, emotional fitness and spiritual fitness. Each presentation will be given in the morning and in the afternoon.
"This was designed (so that) everybody would have the same opportunity to take the same classes and receive the same information," Bailey said.
Participants of each session will also be entered into a drawing for a gift basket with content related to the topic of the presentation.
"We really chose what to speak about or what to share based on what our passions are, based on our different areas of interest," said Maria Currey, who will offer a class on enhancing the quality of family time at the dinner table.
Currey said that she is also looking forward to attending the other presentations.
"I hope to glean new ideas about how to do normal-day living, how to do it more creatively, how to think about the way I might be doing things and how I could make it even better to enhance the life of not only my own family, but other people's lives," she said. "I'm hoping that the same will be true for the people who attend (my presentation) -- that the spouses who come will be excited about their tables, in this instance."
Leslie Love, who will present a session about socially connecting through hobbies, said that she is excited about the presenters who will be there and cannot wait to hear their ideas.
"As an Army spouse, I am one for knowledge and empowerment," Love said. "Even though I've been doing this for almost two decades now, there is something new to learn every day on how to make yourself better, how to make your family stronger and how to be a better person overall."
The event will also feature a guest lecturer, Dallas-based motivational speaker Mamie McCullough, who will lead an afternoon class on inspirational moments.
Bailey said that ACS will offer family resiliency classes for participants who want to continue acquiring resiliency skills after the symposium.
"Out of this whole symposium, if you go away with just one thing that can enhance your coping skills, that can enhance your family situation, then we have been successful."
Bailey said she encourages participants to pre-register, but registration will also be available on the day of the symposium. Participants are not obligated to stay for the whole day. For a complete list of the classes and to register, visit www.fortjacksonmwr.com/self.