Going rural in Belgium, NOM2NOM weekend 2011

Going rural in Belgium, NOM2NOM weekend 2011

Posted By admin |28 Mar 2011
Going rural in Belgium, NOM2NOM weekend 2011

Blog » NOM2NOM natboard.jpgNational President Allison Cowell with members of JCI UK National Board Gemma Fletcher (community director), Dan Lally (personal development director) and Solveig Malvik (marketing director)

Members of JCI UK National Board have just returned from a weekend in Ferriere, Belgium where they got to share and connectwith JCI UK's twins, experience the Belgian country side and taste local specialities.

What is NOM2NOM?

Similar to how local chambers can be twinned with other local chambers, JCI UK is twinned with three countries; the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, who again are twinned with each other creating a multi-twin network of countries. Once a year the four countries come together at what we call a "NOM2NOM" weekend, NOM being JCI jargon for national organisation.
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The National Presidents of Belgium, Switzerland, UK and the Netherlands exchanging gifts. 

The NOM2NOM weekends are relaxed and informal events, the point isto get to know each other, exchange experiences and get closer as national organisations.

The event rotates between the countries. Last year it was organised by JCI UK, this year Belgium, next year the Netherlands, then Switzerland and so on. Its fun, its relaxing, and one of the perks of being on national board.

So what happened?
Ferriere is a small village just outside Liege, south of Belgium. There were 22 members from the four countries' national boards staying at a "gîte", a countryside unmanned guesthouse in the style of a Belgian farmhouse. Around us we had farmlands, forests, donkeys and more farmhouses.

Blog » NOM2NOM Ferrieres.jpgBlog » NOM2NOM in the sun.jpgThe JCI UK delegation arrived in Brussels on Friday and were picked up by JCI Belgium National President Steven Vandenabele. Steven was at the JCI UK 2010 National Convention in London to promote the 2011 World Congress in Brussels so some of you might remember him from this.

We started Friday night with a fabulous dinner cooked by 2010 JCI Belgium National President Olivier Henrotte and played the World Trade Game. The World Trade Game is a game where the players represent various countries, trading in raw material and resources to achieve end product targets. Succeeding in the game takes a lot of negotiation and general resourcefulness, it's a lot of fun, very challenging, and quite complicated! National President Alli showed her resourcefulness by winning the game representing the oil rich nation of Saudi Arabia.

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Setting up the World Trade game

Saturday morning, after a solid breakfast again cooked by IPP Olivier, we went for a walk in the forest to clear our mind and get ready for the working sessions later in the day.

Blog » NOM2NOM walking.jpgAfter the walk, the participants were split into four groups and we discussed and came up with suggestions for how we can support Japan after the earthquake, how to better profile JCI and much more. We also had presentations on the JCI 2011 World Congress in Brussels (looking really good!), the JCI Regatta "Sailing for nets", and learned about upcoming projects in the countries represented.

Saturday night we ate more local food, talked, and played some pool. The 4 National Presidents played an intense game of pool together, and everyone was very surprised when National President Alli, ‘cleared' the table, (there was a lot of coaching taking place during the game though, so it was a joint effort!). We then participated in a quiz testing our knowledge about Belgium, JCI Belgium and the World Congress. JCI UK was again fiercely competitive and JCI UK's Solveig won with JCI the Netherlands Dennis Ament. 

Sunday was a very relaxed day. The JCI UK delegation spent parts of the morning discussing training and training policies with JCI Netherlands, a country that excels in developing trainers nationally and providing training opportunities for its members.

After again a very good lunch featuring local dishes, the JCI UK delegation headed to Brussels to start the way home. Solveig had an easy time jumping on the Eurostar, while Alli, Gemma and Dan arrived at the airport finding that their flight to Birmingham had been cancelled. They finally arrived home late Sunday Night after suffering through some unexpected Belgian beers.

So in short, it was a brilliant weekend, with a lovely venue, amazing food, beautiful weather, and best of all fantastic friends.

-Alli, Gemma, Solveig and Dan