Skip to main content

WVU Extension to host national volunteer conference in Parkersburg

Connie Wolfinger stands at podium and smiles at two women talking in front of her.

West Virginia University Extension and its Community Educational Outreach Service will host this year’s National Volunteer Outreach Network Conference in Parkersburg at the Blennerhassett Hotel on July 17-21, 2023.

This annual conference offers an opportunity to meet and connect with volunteers from across the country. It is open to volunteers of any kind or anyone interested in lending a helping hand in their community.

“I love this conference because of the people,” Kerri Carte, assistant director and Kanawha County agent, WVU Extension Family and Community Development, said. “You get to connect with so many people from all around the country who all have interesting and unique stories to tell. It really reaffirms the reason why you volunteer.”

The National Volunteer Outreach Network Conference is hosted annually in a different state each year. It has previously been held in West Virginia, but this will be the first time it’s held in Parkersburg.

Part of the reason Parkersburg was chosen is because of its historical significance. The history of both the Blennerhassett Hotel and Blennerhassett Island will be showcased, as the conference is held in the hotel and participants have the opportunity to take a boat ride to the island and do a full tour. Along with the historical aspect, there is much more to learn at this conference.

“I’m excited about hosting the conference and highlighting our agents and all their unique knowledge. From self-defense to understanding wine, we have a lot of talented WVU Extension agents who will be leading the educational workshops.” Carte said. “I think it’s really cool to highlight our agents and the diversity and depths of knowledge that they have.”

That diversity is evident when looking at the agenda. This year’s conference offers seminars on everything from the railroads of West Virginia to tai chi for arthritis and basic genealogy to crazy quilts. There also will be various craft workshops, guest speakers and live entertainment.

Many of the seminars presented at this conference are based on CEOS lessons written by WVU Extension agents across the state. Each year, new lessons on a variety of different topics are published. Topics range from West Virginia history to craft-making to decluttering. Lessons for 2023 and archives of previous lessons are available on the WVU Extension website.

“We feel it’s an honor to bring people into our state and showcase the wonderful things West Virginia does, our vast history and how proud we are of it,” Carte said. “That’s something we really like doing – bringing folks here and showing them our home spirit and hospitality.”

To register for this conference, visit the National Volunteer Outreach Network website. Registration must be postmarked by June 17, or a late fee will be incurred. The last day to register is June 24.

Over the past decade, West Virginia CEOS members performed more than 5.6 million hours of service for communities in need. To learn more about the organization and how to join or find volunteer opportunities in your community, visit the WVCEOS website.

To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit, or contact your local WVU Extension office. Keep up with the latest in WVU Extension news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @WVUExtension. 





CONTACT: Sydney Keener

Communications Specialist

WVU Extension