e-Blender #53 – Special Area Conference Edition: July 2018

La Leche League of New York        Conference Edition Summer 2018

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A Breastfeeding* and Parenting Conference.
Friday, October 26, 2018, at 5:00 PM to Sunday, October 28, 2018, at 3:00 PM 

Embassy Suites by Hilton 6646 Old Collamer Rd S, East Syracuse, NY 13057 
Heather Gansky 
La Leche League of New York 

Conference Schedule

Top Ten Reasons to attend the Area Conference
Heather Gansky, ACE

10. Enjoy a family vacation at an affordable price.

9. Recharge your LLL batteries with sessions like
“La Leche League Philosophy: Still Relevant in the 21st Century.”

8. Meet Leaders from different parts of NY at the Friday Night Meet & Greet

7. Keep up with the latest breastfeeding* information.

6. Share Group successes and challenges with other Leaders

5. Refresh your communication skills by attending “LGBTQI+: Tools to Communicate Effectively.”

4. Put faces to the names you see in LLL messages.

3. Explore Central New York.

2. Meet members of the LLL Alliance for Breastfeeding* Education
and LLL USA Staff.

1. Win a fantastic theme basket, silent auction prize, or LLL logo souvenir.

It’s like an LLL meeting for Leaders—come and feel the LLLove!

Connecting at Area Conferences
Haley Scribner, ACL


    Over the course of my term as ACL, my goal has been for NY Leaders to connect with one another. New York is a very large Area with almost 200 Leaders, which can make connecting difficult. An Area Conference is a great way to meet the Area Team, your DA, a Leader you’ve seen posting on Facebook, or to step outside of your local Group to learn how other Groups operate.  
    At my first Area Conference, I met Leaders who were only a handful of towns away from me, but due to the everyday hustle and bustle of life, I never had an opportunity to meet them. It was so nice knowing that there was LLL support in a community so close to my own. I was also able to meet other parents who cherished the role of leadership and La Leche League. 
    Sometimes it’s hard to explain the connection you feel to La Leche League. Not everyone can understand how an organization can guide you through so many stages of parenting or can give you lifelong friends and support, but that’s what LLL has done for me. At every LLL conference, I’ve attended, I have left feeling so much joy and fulfillment. 
    Being a Leader is special. It gives you an incredible outlook on the world and also many tools that you can use in your day-to-day life. Attending Area Conferences expands your toolbox. 
    I hope to see everyone at the 2018 Conference in Syracuse. I would really love to hear every NY Leader share their connection to LLL and what LLL means to them. 

What the Professional Liaison Department
Loves about Conferences
Katie Lewis, APL

With the La Leche League of New York Area Conference right around the corner, Area Professional Liaison Katie Lewis asked the Associate Area Professional Liaisons what they love about conferences. This is what she heard:

Fun ways to contribute to the Area Conference
Helen McCallaugh 
Donations Coordinator

The 2018 LLL NY Area Conference in Syracuse is just four months away! Many Leaders are planning on attending. As a way of fostering the connection with Leaders near and far, we are soliciting items for the Tricky Tray fundraiser. These items can be a way to reflect how you as a Leader connect with other Leaders, your family, community, or LLLI as a whole.

Contributions can be brought to the 2018 Area Conference directly for inclusion, or you may send a donation in advance (or ask a company to donate).  Contact Helen for details at 914.237.1595 mccocchiara@mindspring.com

Possible contribution ideas could include, but are not limited to:
*Tea or coffee you enjoy plus mugs
*A tea set, real or play
*Puzzles of all types and difficulties
*Knitting or crocheting pieces or supplies
*Quilting pieces
*Breastfeeding* clothing
*Baby carriers
*Baby toys
*Meal baskets
*Children’s toys
*Toys that connect such as Lego, Brio, Duplo, Snap Circuits, puzzles, etc.
(Consider the collection your child has outgrown)
*Books of all types and levels
*Pampering or spa-style items
*Note cards or stationery items
*Holiday decorations
*Recipes and cookbooks
*Food baskets
*Gift cards
*Tickets to museums, zoos, parks, sports
*LLLI memorabilia
*LLL Leader supplies
*Craft supplies

Solicit your LLL Group for donations to a theme such as BBQ, Night IN/OUT, Movie Night, Date Night, Gardening, etc. 
Baskets are nice but not necessary. Items can be humorous, thoughtful, amusing, pleasing, practical, functional, lovely, silly, fun, or reflective.

Questions? Contact Helen 914.237.1595 mccocchiara@mindspring.com  or Heather ACE lllnyace@gmail.com

Ticket prices: Six tickets/$5 or 25 tickets/$20
Unable to attend? Want to purchase tickets and have someone select for you? Contact Helen for details at 914.237.1595 mccocchiara@mindspring.com


Click for Conference Exhibitor Information

What’s So Special About LLL Conferences?
Scarlett S. Miles, APC

     There’s a sense of belonging the moment you step into the room, even in an unfamiliar location. Every time you attend an LLL Group meeting, an Area Conference, a Leader retreat or educational symposium you walk into a room not sure what to expect. However, as a Leader,  you will experience the same welcoming, coming-home feelings every time. You can be confident that the parents around you have nursed their babies and met their needs at the breast. You will recognize the similarities in parenting styles; while not all identical, they meet their children’s needs where they are.  
     Parents from all walks of life nurse their babies and choose to attend Area Conferences as Leaders, Leader Applicants, and persons interested in learning more and sharing the joys and challenges of breastfeeding*.  From the Leader who greets you at the registration desk, while nursing a toddler on her lap, to the teen (now weaned!) who eagerly helps you with your bags or gives you directions, you will feel welcomed. As you travel through the sessions, meeting parents of all ages, you will be greeted with smiles and loving looks whether you’re nursing an infant or a three-year-old. It’s a beautiful feeling to see nurslings of all ages and no frowns or “tsk-tsks” because someone is nursing too long or too much. Parents, grandparents, and other loving caregivers waltzing around comfortably with children attached to them using a myriad of baby or child carrying devices, quietly send your brain reassuring signals: yes, I do that too, it’s okay, it’s normal. Normalizing breastfeeding* and increasing parenting confidence are huge benefits reaped from attending conferences.
     The benefits cascade throughout the conference. You are learning and teaching every moment you are there. Your children see you meeting their needs and your own in a loving environment. Think you are a newish Leader and don’t have much to offer the other parents there? Think again! That parent who has been behind you observing you through the last session just might be a Leader Applicant who will shyly approach you asking you to demonstrate how to wear the rebozo you’re using. As the day progresses, there’s a warm feeling which permeates the rooms. At lunch maybe your LLL friends are at a table that’s already full, but a quick glance around the room shows parents at other tables will gladly welcome you to join them. You will find yourself immersed in conversations about where everyone is from, how many children, joys, and challenges of breastfeeding*, pregnancy, leading an LLL Group, sessions you liked or didn’t like, questions raised, and the conversations go on and on. Before you know it lunch is over, and the next session will be starting and you just made a table full of new friends as you all quickly exchange contact information. I still keep in touch with several of the mothers I met at LLL Conferences when our babies were infants. Spending the day attending sessions together and discussing everything under the sun until the wee hours as we nursed our babies deeply connected us on our parenting journey.
     We are all different, but we share in “mothering through breastfeeding*” and knowing that our “children’s need for us is as strong as their need for food” doesn’t end even when breastfeeding* ends. You’ll leave the conference with new ideas to try with your children, your partner, and your LLL Group; not to mention the memories you created, the new friends made.  The joie de vivre you feel leaving the conference will illuminate your world for days or even weeks after the conference.


Sharpen Your Communication Skills at the LLLNY Area Conference!
Mary Fay, CSIC

    Our upcoming conference offers all kind of ways to enrich your LLLeadership. Just attending an LLL Conference is stimulating, even before you get to your first session. Connecting to other Leaders, hearing each other’s experiences, sharing and learning from each other. Surrounding yourself with others who understand the passion for helping breastfeeding* families be successful, makes the trip worth traveling. It is a chance to be able to connect in person to the wonderful co-workers from across the state, familiar faces and names from LLL social media, or those you work with virtually.

Many of the sessions at this year’s conference  focus on strengthening our communication skills:

On Saturday we will explore How To Build Positive Relationships in Digital Communication. Share your digital success stories or gain support for situations you wish had gone better. We will look at effective communication when we wear our Leader hat in public forums as well as how we work within LLL circles.

On Sunday at LGBTQI+: Tools to Communicate Effectively, Wilma Matos,  Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Administrator (EDIA  La Leche League Alliance for Breastfeeding* Education) will help us update our practices to be inclusive and welcoming to all human milk feeding families.

Also on Sunday, we will experience the Collaborating with Co-Leaders Workshop. Consider how much stronger your LLL time will impact your community if you work more effectively with your co-Leaders.  Fine-tuned communication skills are the key! We will stretch the skills we already have to new lengths, so we all go home from the conference inspired to connect with and help each other be the best  LLLeaders we can be.

Click here for conference sessions

LAD Excitement
Cynthia Massey, Interim CLA


    The more I think about attending the Area Conference in October, the more excited I get! As a Leader, I love the chance to get together with so many others who share my passion for breastfeeding*. But this year, as Interim Coordinator of Leader Accreditation (CLA) for LLL NY and Regional Administrator of Leader Accreditation (RALA) for the Northeast, I have even more reasons to anticipate this wonderful weekend. Whether you are currently working with a Leader Applicant, have your eye on that person who’s been coming to meetings for a while and you think would make a great Leader, or just hope to be working with an Applicant sometime in the future, there will be opportunities for our paths to cross.
    During Sunday’s Leader workshop I will lead a session on keeping the motivation strong to work with Leader Applicants. Whether you struggle with how and when to get started or seem to find yourself losing steam as the application proceeds, I’ll have some tips and ideas for you. 
    I’ll also be available, informally, Friday evening and during meals, to work with you and the Leader Applicants you support, together or separately, on any parts of the application still to be completed. Wouldn’t it be exciting to have a new Leader or two (or three or more….) sign the Statement of Commitment during the new Leader Ceremony Saturday after lunch? Maybe we can make that happen! Text me any time that weekend or before at 607. 857.0235 to set up a time to meet.
    Remember, Leader Applicants and supporting Leaders who register together each 
receive a discount; so don’t miss this opportunity to have a great weekend full of fun, friendship, education, and maybe some progress toward gaining a co-Leader. I’m looking forward to seeing you in October!

See you there! 
Aimée Readhead, AFC

I’m excited that I have registered to attend the Area Conference this Fall! So much work is being done to make this a great conference. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar co-Leader faces as well as the opportunity to put more faces to names. One of the biggest pleasures of being in the AFC position is being able to connect with every Leader in the Area when it comes time to organize our Leader and Group dues.I love receiving texts, calls, photographs, little notes, and email updates from Leaders when they send in their payments. The conference is a wonderful time for us to come together, catch up, learn, and feel invigorated about La Leche League and all the good hard work we’re doing. I really hope to see you at the conference!



Leader and Group Dues

Please check your email for your e-invoice for 2018 Leader and Group Dues. The email was sent from FinanceNYLLL@gmail.com.   If you think you may need assistance paying your Leader or Group dues, please start by asking your Group Treasurer. Leader and Group dues may be paid from a Group Treasury.  To chat further,  please contact 
Aimée, AFC FinanceNYLLL@gmail.com 347.735.3009
Haley ACL hmscribner@gmail.com  518.755.8713

Please welcome  Amber VandeKerkhoff, the new Area Online Coordinator (AOC) for LLLNY.  Amber is a stay-at-home mother to her toddler, Nina, and partner to her husband, Scott. They reside on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Before giving birth, she was a client-facing web developer and account manager for a few start-up tech companies in NYC. When she isn’t volunteering as the Area Online Coordinator for LLL of NY, she is most likely playing with Nina at the park, cooking, doing yoga, reading books about parenting or social justice, or traveling. She believes La Leche League to be an incredibly important organization, and could not be more excited to help parents and babies find their own individual paths together.

Friendly reminder: It’s July 1 so it’s time to report your numbers from January 1 – June 30. Your DAs are waiting with bated breath! Click on your MGE reporting link next to your District below or visit the Leader Department section of LLLNY.org for more info about your particular District in case you have any questions. (password breastfeeding)
NGA Leaders there is no form. Please email Barbara at completebaby@aol.com.

District 1: Albany, Mid Hudson & North
District 2: Western & CNY NY & Southern Tier​
District 3: Lower Hudson
District 4: Brooklyn/Staten Island
District 5: Manhattan/Queens
District 6: Long Island

Share your breastfeeding* photos- individual or group photos are wecome! Have an idea for an article? Or is there something you would like to see in the newsletter? We are in need of articles for future issues. Please send your ideas or article to Scarlett Miles, APC
1872 State Rt 21, Palmyra, NY 14522  or email to LLLNYPublications@gmail.com   
Articles selected for publication may be edited for length, clarity, and adherence to LLL publishing guidelines.

La Leche League 
of New York

Area Team

Area Coordinator
Haley Scribner 

CLA (interim)
Coordinator of Leader Accreditation 
Cynthia Massey 

Area Publications Coordinator 
Scarlett S. Miles 

Area Finance Coordinator 

Aimée Readhead

Area Professional Liaison 
Katie Lewis 

Area Coordinator of Events
Heather Gansky

Communication Skills Instructor Coordinator 
Mary Fay 

La Leche League is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization. LLLI vision: To realize, deepen and share the love and wisdom found in the breastfeeding* relationship. BLENDER and e-BLENDER are publications of La Leche League of New York, 125 Curtis Hill Rd E., Nassau, NY 12062 and are devoted to the enrichment and inspiration of Leaders and Leader Applicants.
* Breastfeeding = breastfeeding, human milk feeding, chest feeding

Copyright © 2018 La Leche League of New York, All rights reserved.

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