Mission Training 2016
The trip was 2-fold. First I was a chaperon for our Junior Auxiliary Officers. The girls were excited about the trip. We got to the airport & then boarded the plane. Two of the girls had never flown before. Everyone had fun on the flight. Before we knew it, we were at the hotel. We got the girls settled and then we went to the Mall of America. We had dinner and then walked around the mall. We ended the day with the girls using the pool. We will repeat the trip to the Mall on Saturday night and again end in the pool.
Saturday, we got ready to attend the Mission Training. The Juniors from Colorado numbered a total of 10. We found out later that we had the second largest contingency at the training behind MN Juniors. We got the Juniors settled in their room for the day.
At the Senior Auxiliary meeting, we started by talking about the mission deliverance, how we work our programs. We are the go to organization for our Veterans and Youth. In being this organization, we do not toot or own horn. The way we do this is by completing our reports, mid-year and end of year. So, we need to do a better job on these reports. We need to encourage our units to let us know what they are doing for our Veterans and our Youth.
As mentioned at Convention the ALA Academy is coming. They are still working on the final product. There will be 4 sections, from basics to national leadership. The National ALA will let us know when it is available. The next thing that they let us know again that the ALA website is available on mobile phones.
We need to know our history, review our program action plans and our strategic plans. Knowing these items will help us in the future. With our Centennial Anniversary fast approaching we need to meet the needs of our veterans and ensure the surivival of our organization.
We ensure our survival by working the mission, by working the programs. We need to stay focused on what we are doing. If you have friends that are unable to become a member but they want to help, then let them. They may have friends/relatives that can be members, so then your memebership will grow by being visiable, but you need to remember to have fun.
We were reminded of some of the ways to work the mission:
Veteran gift bags Visit schools to teach our youth Essay questions to schools Green lights for veterans Quilts of valor Patriotic holidays Socks of love
Remember that whatever you do, you need to own the project.
Some of our programs are one that the community sees us working:
VA&R Poppies Fundraising
Jr Activiities Americanism Legislative
Children & Youth Public Relations National Security
Community Service Education
Some of our programs are more for organizational use:
Membership Audit Finance
History Leadership AEF
PPP C &B
With all our programs, we were reminded that we don’t need to work all of them but we need to report on the ones we did and note that the others were not worked. For our Juniors include them in our meetings, hold a district meeting, explain to them what the ALA is to them. Remember to think outside the box.
Our Brand is what the community needs to see. Our Brand is what we use to prmote the ALA and to show our pride. Wear it everywhere. When the community sees, it they may ask what group you belong to, ask how they can become a member or just willing to help with the project. So, wear your shirts, pins, name badges, service badges. Let your pride show.
Make completing the Mid-Year and Year-end reporting fun. For smaller areas put ads in newspapers to remind your members to turn in their hours. Our numbers are down from previous years. We need to find ways to make it easier for our members to report. A couple suggestions was to have a night to report as a group, give each member a pocket calendar. At National they are given .54 for mileage. They referred us to GSA.gov.
Information is not getting from National to Individual members and then the reverse. When information comes from National Chairman then to Division Chairman to Department Chairman to Districts, to Unit Presidents to Individual Members. It is the reverse to get back to the National Chairman. Make sure the information is being shared. Be generous with the information. Remember the only dumb question is the one that is not asked.
Program Action Plans
The plans can be found at www.alaforwterans.org. When someone lets, you know what they have done, give them a shout out. Put articles in the newspaper. All articles sent to National are archived.
The next items that were discussed were terms that we hear and what is acceptable and what is not.
Stand Down- moving troops from the field to a safe place. Cutting stars from the American Flag- Not acceptable by The American Legion and ALA. It goes against our code. Service hours for making quilts. You can put your hours under service to Veterans. Making cards for Veterans- hours can be counted under Service to Veterans. Engage our Youth. There are 2 awards that we can give out. Youth Hero Awards (saving…) & Good Deeds Awards V.E.T.S.= Volunteers Embracing True Soldiers Use Junior members as peer leaders in welcoming military kids. Our Juniors can help us identify the military kids in our schools. There are privacy issues that the schools cannot give us the information. Girls State citizens- need to stay connected to the ALA. Let them know who sponsored them and who we are. We need to meet the girls and have an orientation. Kids of Deployed are Heroes 2 (KDH2). There are stickers and pins available to hand out. GI Josh & Story Book. The SAL go this dog built. Junior Activities
To have a good program we need to find the right leaders. Mentors are needed and these mentors need to like kids. When the juniors are old enough to become, seniors have a graduation and initiation ceremony. While educating them on our organization make sure that they have fun. Explain to them how they are eligible to be members. Let them bring their friends. If the friends, see what they do and the fun that they have you could attract more members. The hours that their friends help can also be contacted. Don’t let juniors feel like they are less than a full member. Let them earn their patches through the patch program. There are several scholarships available. Last year there were 98 juniors that attended mission trainings. Of the 98 55% had not been to a junior meeting. The numbers this year have already surpassed last year.
Girls Nation/Girls State
With this program remember this is an opportunity to promote our brand. What are the ways that the girls help us in our mission? We need to talk to them about the ALA. Explain the Poppy Program to them. Let them know about scholarships that are available to them. Invite them to participate in service projects and get involved with the community. How do our State alumni stay connected?
We played several games of jeopardy.
The last couple topics that was discussed was Education and Ideas. There are scholarships available. Less than 6% win a scholarship, 400 applications received, $5,000 grant. We are working on increasing the number of scholarships. Applications need to be completed in full. No partial applications considered. March 1st is the deadline at the Unit level.
For ideas, they wanted to hear what we have done.
Veterans in community schools Video conference with kids Give 10 to Kids Military Kids table in Libriary Education Week Nov 14-18 Pocket Flags Veterans Day Programs in Schools Flag Etiquette Video for Which It Stands Patriotic books in Schools
They throw a lot at you at this training session. Sometimes it could be too much information. But if you walk away with not learning something then you have closed your mind to new information & new ways of working the programs. I encourage everyone to attend these Mission Training sessions.
Report by Ann Ritacco
Dept. of CO President- Elect
National Convention Updates
September 2016: President Elect Ann attended national convention in Cincinnati. Please see the attached for complete in-depth information.