Q & A – Erika Clemmer
This week we asked National Program Manager, Erika Clemmer, questions that relate to her position here at Casting for Recovery. Learn more about Erika, how she discovered CfR and what she loves most about her job.
How did you come to work at CfR and how long have you been on staff?
My first introduction to CfR was when I picked up a brochure in my breast surgeon’s office and decided to apply. I was selected to attend the 2013 CfR Western PA retreat. So moved by my CfR experience, I knew right away I had to get involved and pay it forward. The following year, I began volunteering for the Western PA program. In 2016, an opportunity on the national team was posted and I jumped at the chance to take my love & passion for this amazing organization to the next level. June 1, 2020, will be my 4th year anniversary working for CfR!
What is your current role at CfR and describe your main responsibilities?
I am one of CfR’s Regional Program Managers. Like the other RPMs, I oversee a number of programs across the country as their main contact with CfR. I help teams with things such as retreat planning & preparation, fundraising, budgets, training, problem-solving and team-building. With a background in the field of Psychology, I also help with the on-boarding of new Psychosocial Facilitators for our retreats.
What’s a typical day like at CfR for you?
For me, each day brings something new! I spend the majority of my time on the phone and computer, providing support to our volunteers however I can. If it is scouting out new venues, recruiting new team members, or working through a challenge within a program, I am always just a phone call or email away! I also assist with national initiatives & projects, along with my awesome CfR colleagues.
What do you love about your job? Why is that a good fit for you?
What I love most about my job is to know that I am helping to make a difference in people’s lives – of our retreat participants, our volunteers, our staff, our board, our supporting partners and communities. Helping Casting for Recovery to deliver such a powerful & meaningful program to the world brings me such a rewarding sense of joy. Helping women reconnect with the healing power of being outdoors in nature & connecting with one another really feeds my soul!
Have you ever attended a retreat and if so, in what capacity?
Yes! My first retreat as a participant at the Western PA retreat in 2013. Since 2014, I’ve volunteered as a Co-Program Coordinator & Retreat Leader for the program, including two retreats held specifically for military women. After joining the CfR staff, I’ve helped out at retreats along with the CfR Long Island, Northern New Jersey, and Carolinas teams.
One thing you’d like the world to know about CfR that they may not already know?
Our retreats would not be possible without the help & dedication from all of the CfR cheerleaders out there! So much goes on behind the scenes all year long to make retreats happen – from fundraising events to cover costs, to outreach efforts to help spread the word so potential participants & volunteers know how to apply, to all of the planning & logistics that happen both at the local and national level to make retreats run smoothly – it is truly a labor of love by so many. Such wonderful help from all of our volunteer retreat staff and River Helpers, our beautiful retreat venues & their staff, and all of the loving support from our local and national donors – it really does take a village to make these magical 2 ½ day retreats become a reality!
Encouraging words for a breast cancer survivor?
If you see a CfR brochure or the website and think to yourself, “Hmmm, I’m not really that outdoorsy or that into fishing. I don’t think this program is for me…” Apply! Give it a shot! It is fly fishing and SO much more! Trust me – you’ll love it!