Wednesday, May 25, 2011

When Do I Get Time Off?

by Jean Clarke, National Executive Council Adviser, South Dakota

Many of us are eagerly anticipating the summer break that has arrived or will be here soon. We often make mental lists about what we’ll do when we get that “time off”. Some of us have even made actual to-do lists; others have our lists leftover from last summer!

During the school year, we feel that we are always on call, so that “time off” rejuvenates us and energizes us. But, every adviser has to encourage the heart year-round. We need to take time off throughout the year in creative ways to keep our energy high and our motivation strong. For example, we need to take time off at the end of the day (perhaps have our favorite form of caffeine) and reflect on what went well during that day, focusing on the positive results of our daily work. We need to e-mail or call a fellow FCCLA adviser and give encouragement during the stressful times in our busy years. Even a short message or conversation can renew our determination. We need to plan time off for 15 minutes in our day to walk, read, or take time for ourselves. Most important, we need to encourage ourselves to try something new. We all need to take time off to challenge ourselves to try something different, attempt something new, or tackle opportunites we might even fear.

Time off can be measured in days or months, but time off to encourage our hearts might only be measured in minutes. Both can be the spark that keeps us active and vital in our personal and professional lives.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Summer Activities for FCCLA Members

Contributed by Alana Bergeleen, National Executive Council Adviser, South Dakota

School's out for summer! But it is important as an FCCLA Adviser to keep in mind that school is not out forever and therefore it is a great idea to keep your chapter members involved throughout the summer months. Not only will this further develop their leadership skills, but summer activities will provide an opportunity for more "fun in the sun" than they get during the school year. The opportunities for summer activities are endless. Many of the so called activities can also turn into great fundraising activities as well (I'm not sure about other advisers but my mind is constantly churning on how to turn any activity into a money maker!)

A few ideas for some FCCLA fun in the sun!

  • Town Clean Up - When the snow melts all the winter litter emerges. Arrange for your chapter to do a clean up in your community. Take pictures and turn into the paper for great publicity.
  • Turtle Races - Once a week for a month in summer schedule community turtle races. We received permission from our town to hold the races on main street and then charged a $1.00 entry fee per turtle. Bottles of pop were the prizes. FCCLA members were the judges and also sold concessions. Much fun!
  • -Wild Water Family Fun Night - sell hotdogs in the park or at your local swimming pool and then work with the pool to arrange a family night.
  • FCCLA Movie Night - We are fortunate to have an outdoor movie theater within a 20 mile radius. Plan a night where families and FCCLA Members in your community can caravan to a movie.
  • Bonfire Party - I like to do this right before school starts to get the members excited about FCCLA. Everyone brings their own hot dog and Marshmallows for smores. 
  • Softball Game - It would be fun to have a "FFA vs. FCCLA" Softball Game.
  • Bike Riding Clinic - Bike Safety is often overlooked. Have your FCCLA Chapter host a Bike Clinic. After you could have a bike rodeo and give prizes, etc.
These are just a few ideas and all can be adapted to fit your and your chapters needs. I live in a rural South Dakota Community so things that work here may not work every where but with a little FCCLA Adviser creativity you will think of many things to keep your chapter fired up through the summer months. In the meantime enjoy the fact that SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Team Building and Leadership Retreats

Contributed by Collyn Wright, National Executive Council Adviser, Texas

When working with your local officer team, it seems to work best to give them clear expectations of the role they will play in planning and implementing FCCLA in action for the school year. We like to begin with a meeting of out going officers to review the last year’s action plan and things that went well and things we can improve upon. Then we meet with prospective officer candidates and go over duties for each office so that they can decide what office they would like to run for. After officer candidate interviews, the fun and work begins!

We plan a joint “retreat” with FFA officers for fun, year planning, and teambuilding. We provide a place to stay, either a lock-in at the school, a hotel, or other lodging and meals for 2 days. Our officers compete with the FFA officers on a ropes course we build, team building games, obstacle courses, minute to win it games, and leadership activities. After all of the fun and silly bonding time, we get down to business and go over expectations and goals for the year. Once we have a clear picture of what we want to accomplish as a chapter, we plan each month including programs and projects, meeting dates, and deadlines for project completions. It is a lot of fun and a lot of work, but our officers meld together during that two days of bonding and competing with FFA and our year is completely planned in the process. What ever avenue you choose to develop a leadership team at your school, just remember to set clear expectations, work hard, and play harder!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Creating a 2011-2012 Program of Work

Contributed by Nicole Ruge, National Consultant Team, Georgia

As this time of each school year, we hold our end of the year banquets and elect officers for next school term- this is also the time we need to start thinking about our Program of Work. The Program of Work is not something that should be a burden for you as the adviser; one way of ensuring this is to sit down with your newly elected officers and come up with an outline or plan for the direction the students would like to see the chapter go next year. If they are having a hard time doing this, you may consider taking a poll of all members to learn about their needs and passions.

Your students, especially those leaders in high school, are very capable of setting up their own outline for what they want to accomplish in the next year. You may want to break it down with a few guidelines to help make the process easier for them. Here is a list of how we work out our Program of Work:

1. I give my students an outline of the year with State and National Meetings and Deadlines. This way we don’t overscheduled the deadline times.

2. Add in any items you already know you will be required to do or activities you always do (examples: Valentine Dance or hosting dinners).

3. Come up with the school’s top concerns for the year. What National Programs help address these concerns? What time of year would it be best to address the concerns?

4. Add in any membership drive and membership retention activities.

This will be a great start to your program of work. Enjoy planning for next year.