Volunteers Share Knowledge, Experience at Elk Camp
By Corky Logan, Regional Chair, Division III
In March, RMEF volunteers from across the country came together to present the first annual Volunteer Seminars at the 2009 Elk Camp in Fort Worth, Texas.
The seminars answered the call from fellow volunteers who asked for more formal training during the Open Forum held last year in Reno. At that event we identified topics of interest and spent the year developing presentations with the help of volunteers and staff from all across the country. The results were beyond our expectations.
We held two seminars on Friday morning: Mechanics of a BGB and Retention & Recruitment.
The Mechanics of a BGB seminar covered the necessary steps to put on a successful banquet, from two months prior to the event up through the wrap-up meeting after the banquet. Presenters included Division I regional chair Bill Neis, Nebraska state chair Dean Sparks and Oregon State Leadership Team member Stan Kunzman. Best tip: create time lines for meetings and for the night of the banquet.
The Retention & Recruitment seminar drove home the idea that retaining volunteers comes first and foremost, and with good retention recruitment will naturally follow. Presenters included Washington state chair Gary Hansen, New York state chair Dave Bishop and Division I regional chair Carl Walsh. Best tip: meet the motivational needs of your volunteers.
We held two more seminars on Saturday morning: State Leadership Teams and Merchandising & Efficiency.
The State Leadership Team seminar used examples of successful projects from across the country to illustrate what leadership teams are, how to form them and what they can accomplish. Presenters included Idaho state chair Gary Moore, Pennsylvania state chair Sue Meehl and Wyoming state chair Tom Kaness. Best tip: host a statewide volunteer workshop or rendezvous.
The Merchandising and Efficiency seminar proved to be the overwhelming favorite, spurred on by our volunteers’ desire to hold successful events even in tough economic times. The presentation focused on budgeting and merchandising a banquet for the best efficiency possible. Presenters included Utah state chair Ron Camp, Rawlins, Wyoming, Chapter merchandise chair Trinette Smith, and Division II regional chair Curtis Christianson. Best tip: know your net dollar per attendee amount.
We had great attendance at the seminars, and comments on evaluations reflect the need for further in-depth training. As a result, we plan to hold more seminars in Reno in 2010. Thanks to each presenter and all the attendees for taking time at Elk Camp to participate in this important endeavor.