Where are They Now? – Dustin Renaud

By Debra Thomas

3-18-12DustinsmDustin Renaud, a Biloxi, MS native served as an AmeriCorps Community Relations Coordinator with HFHMGC during the 2009-2010 term. Dustin’s time at our affiliate was short – just 10 months – but he had a huge impact on the staff and volunteers he interacted with. For Collegiate Challenge, which is when we are blessed with many college students on alternative spring break, he made up an icebreaker game that was played on the beach with some students. Catfish, Crawfish, & Cranes which is similar to Rock, Paper, Scissors only more silly and way more fun. The directions are attached as a .pdf below. I hope you play it at the next opportunity. Like Dustin, it’s one of a kind and makes you smile just a little bit more.

Dustin, what do you remember as the best thing about work?
The people – everyone from the other Americorps members to the staff and volunteers. Everyone had passion for their job and a zest for life. Everyone wanted to do the most good they could with the gifts that God bestowed upon them.

About the Coast?
The beautiful sunsets.

In what way did the experience change you?
It gave me the experience, the passion, and the skill set needed to successfully forge a career in nonprofit management.

Would you recommend serving with AC/Vista?
Absolutely! Do it! You’re broke now, looking for a job. You might as well be broke gaining work experience and life experiences!

What about HFHMGC?
HFHMGC is really an all-star affiliate. They’ve really honed the human and capital resources they have to do the most good for the community they serve.

Where are you now? What are you doing?
I live in New Orleans, Louisiana. Who dat?! I am a regional volunteer program manager for the National Audubon Society. I train, facilitate, and lead conservation volunteer work to improve our coastal habitats across the Gulf Coast.

Did HFHMGC &/or AC Vista help prepare you for your new job?
Without the knowledge and experience I gained from HFHMGC, I would not be doing the work I’m doing today. My experience at HFHMGC directly correlates to the work I am doing today.

Do you see yourself volunteering in the future? In any particular field?
I currently volunteer for a couple of non-profits in New Orleans, including ones that focus on the arts and housing, and am looking to be a mentor soon.

Thanks Dustin! You will make a great mentor!!
P.S. Happy Belated Birthday from all of us at HFHMGC!

Crawfish, Catfish, and Cranes
Crawfish, Catfish, and Cranes is a fun, silly icebreaker game that is a good way to break the ice with large groups.  It’s a simple game based on the classic game of rock, paper, scissors.

Setup: Teach everyone how to become three characters: the Crawfish, the Crane, and the Catfish.  Each character features hand motions and a noise.

• For the Crane, each person stands on their tippy toes, lifts up one arm behind their head, makes a beak with their hand, and makes a bird noise: “CaCaw CaCaw!”

• For the Crawfish, each person crouches a little bit, makes their hands into claws, and they make a high pitched noise: “Eeeeee!”

• For the Catfish, each person places the backside of their hand to their chin, wiggles their fingers (like whiskers), and makes a cat sound: “Meow!”

Each person will pair up with a random individual and stand back-to-back with that person.  The game coordinator will shout “GO!”  Everyone will jump about-face and display their “animal.”  The winners of the round will pair up with another winner and repeat the process.  Losers will stand off to the side and root for the person that beat them.  This goes on until there is only one winner left standing.