Author Archives: lnicolaison

Volunteer with Earth Keepers in Watchung Reservation – September 9

Jersey Cares
National Day of Service & Remembrance
Sat., September 9th

Start Time: 9/9/2017 9:15 AM
End Time: 9/9/2017 12:30 PM
Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for a briefing of the work
to be completed.

Union County Department of Parks and Recreation
Watchung Reservation Mountainside is a semi-wilderness oasis in the midst of a suburban development. Volunteers are needed to make a trail more accessible to hikers and to people who wish to enjoy nature. Volunteers work under the guidance of staff and all tools are provided.

This is a rain or shine project!

Wear closed toed shoes/boots
Wear long pants instead of shorts to protect yourself while gardening
Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
Bring a hat
Bring work gloves if possible
Bring water and snacks
Wear insect repellent and sunscreen
This is a labor intensive project

Age Minimum (with Adult):12+,
Minimum Age:17+

RSVPs / Get Directions to Work Location:
Kelly Matthews, Volunteer Chair


Volunteer: Howell Living History Farm August 26

The potatoes that RPCVs and family members helped plant in April will be ready for harvest in August.

Come to Howell Living History Farms in Mercer County on Sat, August 26 to help with this harvest and learn about the sorting process, how potato chips are made etc.

Wide open spaces and fun activities are suitable for family members of all ages. Potatoes are donated to a local food bank.

When:  Saturday, August 26, 10-4pm
Where: 70 Woodens Lane
Hopewell Township, NJ. 08530

Kelly Matthews, Volunteer Chair

RPCV Picnic Recap

RPCVs Pam & Gary Mount (Micronesia) were fantastic hosts for the 7th Year of RPCV-NJ family picnics. Their facilities at Terhune Orchards provided a beatutifull and very comfortable setting for the event which also offered a variety of other farm related activities. The attendance of RPCVs, Peace Corps invitees topped 70 but the count is uncertain as some came and went to enjoy the other activities offered (picking strawberries or asparagus, testing out the playground, visiting the discovery barn, petting/feeding the farm animals, browsing through the farm store etc.

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Peace Corps Recruiters Dan Turkel (NJ, NE Pennsylvania & Staten Island) and Jon Breen (Rutgers campuses) played a huge role in making this event a success by arranging the Send Off component (ice breaker game, storytelling & candle ceremony) for the Peace Corps Volunteer Invitees who attended and getting word out through the Peace Corps about the event in general.
We were honored to have Glenn Blumhorst, President of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) attend and contribute to the event.
Thanks to those RPCVs who coordinated with the RPCV-NJ Outreach Committee to set up displays from their countries of service for the benefit of picnic/send off attendees: Pam & Gary Mount (Micronesia), Larry Rubel (India), Dennis Ng (Philippines), Gerry Gillio (Iran) and John Bing (Afghanistan). Richard Dalrymple (Mali) hung international fabrics that helped decorate the barn.
No one went home hungry. There was an overabundance of varied foods including many dishes from a wide ranges of countries.  We also were lucky with the weather, any rain holding off until Monday, although the building used for the picnic (open but protected) would have been very comfortable anyway.
Remember to mark you calendars for next year (weekend of June 2 & 3).  If possible, we hope to hold this picnic on the same weekend each year although the specific date and location will have to be arranged.

Volunteer Opportunity with Special Olympics New Jersey – June 11

Summer Games is the culminating competition event for nearly 2,500 athletes from throughout New Jersey who compete in the sports of aquatics, bocce, gymnastics, powerlifting, softball, tennis and track & field. Athletes are joined by hundreds of coaches, volunteers, family members, friends and spectators.

Date: Sunday, June 11, 2017
Location: The College of New Jersey, Ewing
Event: Track and Field
Time: 6:30AM to 4:00PM

18 Volunteer positions are open for this event. Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older. RPCVs of NJ would be assisting with the awards ceremony for each of the events. As it was explained to me by the staffer at SONJ, unlike some athletic events where medals are presented at the end of the day, the medals for this event are awarded shortly after each event, from the morning through the afternoon.

The volunteer shift will be from 6:30AM to 4:00PM. Check in for track is 6:30 a.m. with orientation at 7:00 a.m. and competition beginning at 8:00 a.m. There is a break for lunch and volunteers can certainly take breaks and work with the committee member of track awards on scheduling breaks. Unfortunately we are not able to have shifts due to only one mandatory orientation in the morning and to continue the flow of awards once we get started. Track will conclude about 4:00 p.m.

We volunteer sign-ups by the morning of Friday, May 26th. If we don’t fill positions then they will be passed along to another group.

If interested, please send an email to with the following information:

1. Full name
2. Email address
3. Mailing address
4. Date of Birth
5. Shirt size
6. Telephone

RPCV-NJ Attends Trenton Thunder Baseball Game

Sunday, May 21 was a beautiful day for a baseball game, and 15 RPCV’s and family members enjoyed a picnic and Trenton Thunder  baseball game at the Arm and Hammer Stadium in Trenton.  We cheered for Trenton, but in the end, the Portland Seadogs won with a score of 1 – 0.


Jersey Cares Day Beach Clean up Project – May 6


Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Where: Island Beach State Park
Time: 9AM to 12PM

Volunteers will clean up the beachfront of Island Beach State Park.

If you want to join the RPCV-NJ group for this service project, please RSVP to Kelly Matthews


After signing up for the RPCV-NJ Team, you will be provided with details on when & where to meet, how to dress, what you need to bring with you etc.

Celebrating Peace Corps Week 2017

RPCV-NJ collaborated with two NJ Universities and Peace Corps recruiters on two major outreach events to celebrate Peace Corps week. RPCV-NJ extends thanks to Monmouth University and Rutgers University for their efforts to encourage cross cultural education and to support the Peace Corps.


IMG_3017 Carl Muhlhausen

IMG_3030 Dan Turkel & table

IMG_3032 Frances Duckett & table

IMG_3025 Audience

Monmouth University has implemented the first Peace Corps Prep program in New Jersey. The students from that program along with the program director Frank Cipriani arranged for a Film Festival on Tuesday, February 28th. Other partners in this outreach effort were NJ Recruiter, Dan Turkel and RPCV-NJ. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) spoke about Hospitality in their Country of Service,  accompanying the showing of videos from the Peace Corps contest held this year celebrating the hospitality theme. RPCVs also set up tables with artifacts and photographs from their countries of service, fielding questons from the students and other members of the public about their Peace Corps experience and respective country(s) of service.


IMG_4308-group pic

IMG_3043-Ron & Glenys NelsonIMG_3046-PatIMG_3090-panel from audienceIMG_3053-table square from front

The Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA) at Rutgers University hosted its second annual Peace Corps week event. The celebration included a panel of RPCVs discussing hospitality and answering questions and other RPCVs providing display tables from their country(s) of service. Jon Breen, Peace Corps recruiter based at Rutgers and Kim Pernice,Senior Programmer at GAIA and Rick Lee, Director for Global Programs and Relations arranged for an excellent venue on the College Avenue campus to accommodate the table displays, panel discussion and interaction with the students and public. RPCV-NJ worked on this event in cooperation with Rutgers staff.

2017 Peace Corps Fund Third Goal Writing Contest

The Peace Corps Fund announces its 2017 writing contest. Prizes range from First Prize of $1000, Second Prize $500 and numerous Honorable Mentions of $250. Top prizes will be published on the Peace Corps Worldwide website and promoted throughout the Peace Corps community.


  • Must be a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer or Former Peace Corps Staff
  • Submissions should generally advance the Third Goal of the Peace Corps Act: To increase the understanding of the peoples served on the part of Americans.

The Third Goal Writing Contest Overview and Rules

  • The Peace Corps Fund will appoint a panel to review submissions whose decisions are final.
  • Submissions must be received by April 30th.
  • Winners will be announced at the National Peace Corps Association Conference, August 1st.
  • Submissions may include, poetry, essays or short stories. No submission may be more than 5,000 words.
  • Submission may not have been previously published or have been awarded prizes from other contests.
  • Submissions must be original works and include author’s name, address, telephone and email address.
  • Submissions must include a 1 paragraph biography of the author including Peace Corps service dates, country and/or staff positions held with dates.
  • Submissions must be double spaced, Times Roman, 12 point type and sent electronically via email.

Founded in 2003, the Peace Corps Fund is an independent, 501-c-3 nonprofit organization founded by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to support and advance the Third Goal of the Peace Corps: to increase the understanding of the peoples served on the part of Americans. Donations to the Peace Corps Fund are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.


For more information visit the contest website.