Across the United States our Regional and State organizations are the backbone of NAAP. These state organizations have been struggling with participation numbers which had slowed even before the COVID moved in. As we work so hard to rebuild in our states I have noticed the following trends. It seems many of our younger members and new to the field folks are not as comfortable with being a part of “standard board member positions”. We asked our regional members what they would like to see happen in our organization if no one was interested in holding an office? The answer was “can’t we work as a team, work as a unit” and not depend on our membership to hold specific offices. The answer was yes and we have built our regional district back from just a few attending members to 16 at our last meeting. The only office we are currently required to vote on is our Treasurer and that is because of the banking requirements. All of our members now share the responsibility of finding our speakers and rotating meeting space and it takes the responsibility off of a few people and is giving more of membership a voice.
In many ways this was very much how the NAAP Board transformed itself this past year. NAAP has our 3 Ex-Officios guiding our Leadership Team with 4 regional directors and an International Development Director. All of these Team members and our committee members are committed to working together for our Membership and the good of the activity profession.
As one of the Regional directors I am hearing about some of the States that had their activity organizations fold for a lack of interest . I have even witnessed my own state struggle with lack of participation but I feel like that too is beginning to change. We have had two very successful one day workshops and are getting ready to have a two day conference in a couple of weeks. Our last conference had 22 people and we are looking at 45 people this year. I am encouraged to see these numbers increase . We are often asked to dig a little deeper when giving to our churches, schools, communities and even public radio. I am asking each of you to dig a little deeper and support your region and state activity programs with your participation and your ability to mentor those in our field. We can each make a difference if we give just a little bit more of our time. We have people holding offices that have been retired and are ready to start a new chapter in their lives. Because of their devotion to their professional organizations they do not want to walk away and let their peers down. We need your help in every region and every State.
Julie Cooley NAAP Regional Director