National Volunteer Development Weekend….It’s Coming!

National Volunteer Development Weekend
The group from National Volunteer Development Weekend 2015

If you’re a Sigma Kappa lifer, like myself, you live for the ‘violet bubble.’ Convention, Regional Leadership Conference and National Volunteer Development Weekend (NVDW) are just a few of the big conferences that we look forward to writing on our calendars. You might be wondering, “What is NVDW?” It’s a weekend of educational experiences for national officers, advisory board supervisors and recruitment supervisors. The workshops focus on skills that aid in both our professional and volunteer lives.

Not sold on the workshop aspect of the weekend? Don’t worry, it’s not all business as usual. There’s time for sisterhood, too! Reconnecting with friends I have made during all aspects of my time in Sigma Kappa is my favorite part of the weekend. It still amazes me that our organization is run by women who are so passionate about the sorority. The dedication we have to improve the lives of women everywhere is surpassed by none.

Sigma Kappa Risk Management Team
Sigma Kappa risk management team at Louisiana State University

As I start to plan for NVDW, I wanted to share a few of my must-have items to bring, along with my favorite experiences from the last time we were all together.


  • Water bottle: Hydration is key for me when I’m trying to stay focused. If your body isn’t hydrated, it isn’t performing its best! My favorite is the bkr water bottle that comes with various color choices of sleeves. If you’re looking for another option, check out the Sigma Kappa S’well bottle!
  • Scarf or shawl: I’m well aware we will be in Dallas, Texas at the end of June…but it gets cold in the conference rooms, y’all! I am a firm believer in carrying a neutral scarf with me when I travel and attend a conference. My go-to that I have been using for years is this black scarf from Nordstrom.
  • Notebook/Planner: You are going to hear tons of great ideas and key points over the weekend. Make sure you have a nice place to jot down all of your thoughts to come back to once you leave the violet bubble. There are tons of cute options everywhere you go. This sassy notebook from Kate Spade is giving me life right now!
  • Snacks: I am always hungry and always in need of a pick me up in between meal times. Whether you prefer Goldfish or Kind Bars, bring something that can pack easy to hold you over when that 3 p.m. hunger strikes!

Favorite Memories from NVDW 2015

  • Sisterhood: I said it before and I’ll say it again, seeing my sister friends is the highlight of my weekend! I enjoy catching up and laughing about all of the different things happening in our lives. The last time everyone saw me, I was very pregnant, so it should be a big shock to see me without a baby belly!
  • Team meetings: I love volunteering. Our team meetings are the time when we can come together and bounce ideas around and tackle hard issues. Sure, we do this continually all year long, but there’s something about being face-to-face that reinforces our bond as sisters. Teamwork makes the dream work, people!
  • Sigma Kappa updates: Being a volunteer gives me the opportunity to stay in tune with the goals and accomplishments our Sorority is striving for and achieving year after year. I like knowing how we are impacting the women in college and what we are doing to contribute to bettering society. Leaving NVDW with a plan and goal for my own position helps me remember how the work I do fits into the bigger picture and overall success of Sigma Kappa.
  • Time away: Dare I say it?! This will be the first time leaving my daughter since delivering her. I am going to miss her and my hubby so much, but I am really looking forward to a weekend away where mommy can hang with her girls! With so much going on at home in my day-to-day life, I know NVDW will benefit me so much. I will be able to focus solely on Sigma Kappa which will help me be a better volunteer, sorority sister, friend, wife and mother.
Ashton Kelly
Ashton Kelly, left, and Theta Omicron members with Advisory Board Supervisor Marissa Law, right

National Volunteer Development Weekend is rapidly approaching. I may or may not be counting down the days until I arrive and I hope you are just as excited to join me! The weekend will be busy and you might join team ‘no sleep’ but I promise you will leave feeling refreshed in your position with a desire to dive right back into Sigma Kappa when the semester starts this fall. Our Sorority is fueled by amazing women from all over the world, and NVDW brings us all into one room!

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