What do chapters use for officer training? Activities, trips, or anything along those lines would be helpful. Looking for things to build teamwork, officer responsibilities, personal leadership, and chapter ownership. Thanks.
I would highly recommend getting the Mpower book from National FFA. I have used it for the past couple of years and it has some excellent tips for officer training.
Our chapter takes a 2-3 day trip somewhere away from home. We work on developing our program of activities, officer responsibilities and any goals that we may have for the year. Of course there is plenty of recreation time built in to keep the kids interested and effective. This year we are actually taking the retreat with two other chapters in hopes that ideas will be shared amoung each other.
East Newton FFA
A couple of us get together and do our own chapter officer retreat/training. Here's our skeleton schedule (look for us at Ideas Unlimited this year!) This is our "curriculum." We are very flexible in our schedule and we try to incorporate the same three concepts across all activities - setting/achieving goals, teamwork and meeting challenges. Hope this helps.
Monday - Check-in around 12 at Oak Village. Unpack, settle in, meet each other, etc. Low ropes course (teambuilding and problem-solving) - 2 hours?!? Set foundation for FFA 2011-12 (theme, POA, etc) Dinner at Hickory Park (I'll make reservations tomorrow) Grocery challenge in teams Time to look through officer books and begin formulating ideas for specific officers for 2011-12 Bonfire/games Tuesday - Breakfast by Sioux Central and Westwood (we'll bring the eggs and bread if Dan can bring bacon or sausage and juice) CDEs at ISU (everyone takes part!) Setting goals - how-to, officers, teams, etc POA Development - student division High ropes course (conquering fears and encouraging others to get involved) Supper prep in teams (grocery challenge from Monday evening) POA Development - chapter division Bonfire/games Wednesday - Breakfast by G-R and Iowa Falls Zip line POA Development - Community Outdoor games (wooden skis, Braveheart tag, etc) Finish POA development Pictures & Closing Check-out around 11 or 12?
We LOVE our format and our students are very positive as well. Here's our student feedback from this year:
This week really proved to me that if I believe in myself that I can do it, then I can do it. It showed me how stand up and stand out. I also felt relieved as a leader, by conquering those fears. Showed me that FFA isn’t all about what the advisors want to do but what the members can do. :)” - Westwood “I didn’t think I could do the high ropes course or the zip line, because of my fear of heights. I have overcame it very little. I have become more open with others.” G-R “It helped me to see that everyone can step up and everyone has ideas. It helped show me to stand back some and let them figure it out.” - G-R “Made me take a step back and listen before I take charge.” - G-R “It helped me face my fears and it helped me get some new ideas on what our chapter can do and as well as it helped me meet some new friends.” - Westwood “It showed me how you need to be a good listener and know what would be best for the group. Positive.” - SC “It made me realize I could lead more to have a more successful chapter.” - G-R “This helped me with my leadership skills because it showed me I can conquer my fears to be able to get myself through something and would be able to better lead others.” - SC I learned how to work with others by making me trust other people that I did not know well. They used us to make us overcome our fears and trust others.” - G-R “Speak up, put myself into something. Listen to everyone, come up with a plan, and follow through with that plan.” - SC “Step back and allow others to lead and learn about themselves as leaders.” - SC “It showed me how to trust others when things need to be done. Or how to take responsibility when you don’t have your advisor every time. And always be positive and work as a team, not alone.” - Westwood “This week helped me to me more of a leader by giving me more courage. It I can put myself to do it, I can do it, maybe takes a little work.” - SC “I learned I can rely on my team a little bit so I don’t stress as much and give Mr. W a break.” - Westwood “It brought our officer team closer together.” - SC “I learned you have to be willing to raise your voice to be heard and while sometimes it’s ok to follow, sometimes you need to step up and take action.” -G-R
sounds like a great officer outing/retreat! what is your grocery challenge? is it set a budget and cook a meal and it seems like other chapters are invited? how many attend? I like the group thing....sounds great!
Denise - Yes, we set a budget & divide into teams. They have to feed everyone a set meal (last year we specified two sides, a grilled meat, and a dessert!) Last year the group really flopped. The three advisors, thinking ahead, purchased our own food just in case - and we sat and ate an amazing meal while the kids picked at their food. They ate a lot of s'mores later on, after discussing what had happened and evaluating their team performance. It was a great learning experience.
We had three chapters from different parts of the state and it's a great collaborating experience. The students now lead a lot of the conversations, since there are repeat offenders (serving as officers for two years).
If we ever get bored, we think we might develop the concept and offer it as a program for other chapters to "purchase."
What do you put in your officer books??
Our officers each have a three ring binder - it has their calendar, a list of specific duties, any information or helpful hints/tips that they might need (ex: how to write an inverted pyramid article for the reporter), and a copy of their Official Manual. Most of them find other items to fill - I also add a sheet with chapter/office/personal goals that we fill out during COLT so they can refer back to it on occasion. Sec, Treas keep their minutes, agendas, printed reports in their binders until year-end when it's time to put their "Official" officer books together to take to Districts for judging.
Would you happen to have the paper on "how to write an inverted pyramid article for the reporter"? I was trying to find a good way to show an officer how to write an article.
Kala - I usually just did a google search and found a good .edu or APA source. Here are a couple that I would definitely consider using if I were training a reporter (or ag comm team!) this year:
I agree that the retreat format where you just get them away for a couple days is a must. What I have been surprised by is how much finding a place where the kids actually live, and cook together is valuable. The amount of bonding and understanding that comes from that alone has amazed me. We also put together binders. It is organized to build off the idea of "Me, We, They." I've used a lot of activities from the mPower book and from the LifeKnowledge from national. My problem with LifeKnowledge is there is so much it takes a little while to find the really good stuff.
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