Report on 2014 Western Region Meeting

This past week, I was invited to Phoenix, Arizona in order to represent the Western Region Sea Scouts at the Teenaged Program Symposium. The meeting mainly focused on maintaining youth participation in venturing programs, and to battle the decline in membership numbers.

The program covered reasons why Scouts are leaving and how we could fix the problems. This resulted in a major breakdown and re-construction of the Venturing values and rank systems. Another large portion of the discussion was about starting up new Crews, Ships, and Explorer groups throughout the region. Many great ideas were shared and everyone walked out with a better idea of program start-ups.

As for my part, I was asked to work together with the Western Region Venturing President, The Regional OA Chief, and an Explorer in preparing a presentation about Modern Technology in Scouting. A large amount of the adult leaders there felt that they were out of touch with current forms of communications and asked us to essentially give them a refresher course.

Panel Discussion on Technology in Scouting
Panel Discussion on Technology in Scouting

We presented various mediums of communication and publicity, ranging from social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and online storage sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive. We told them the advantages and precautions on using each, and offered to help with the setup of said accounts.

After our presentation, they had us sit down and we took turns answering questions about our programs, and how the adults could connect better with their crews. There was a large push into making these programs appeal to more teenagers, and offering a program that will benefit them for the rest of their lives to a further extent.

WR President Stark leading a discussion on older youth programs with representatives from each teen program.
WR President Stark leading a discussion on older youth programs with representatives from each teen program.

Afterwards, Commodore Gilliland and I went over to the Membership Committee Discussion. For that discussion, I was asked to prepare a list of recruiting efforts and retaining efforts that worked, those that didn’t, why they didn’t work, and how we could fix them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the whole meeting, as I had to catch my flight.

Overall, I was amazed at the amount of productiveness and effort put into maintaining these programs, and it was good to see that the programs were in good hands. I learned quite a bit more about recruiting efforts and I hope to implement many of them in my ship. I met many new faces of great people who work tirelessly to keep these programs running, and I hope to further work with them to provide the best programs we can offer.

-Nicolas
Junior Officer
SSS Makai 700

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