Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mid-Winter Recap

I just returned from Anchorage where I attended my first Mid-Winter Conference.  If I was to sum it up in one word, it would be "family."  It was like a huge family reunion.  People welcoming friends with hugs, stories, and laughter.  Little cliques forming in every nook and cranny.  Smiles everywhere.  Laughter and chatter.  Lions happy to meet up with old Lion friends.  Family.

The past two days were filled to capacity--with information, training, and gatherings. If you needed stimulation, you came to the right place!  If you needed to feel the love, you came to the right place. If you needed training, yep, you came to the right place. 

But, was it worthwhile?  Did I learn anything?  Would I recommend it to other Lions?  Absolutely! 

And this is why:  Any time you bring mass people together with different backgrounds and experience--you will always find value.  Plain and simple.  True, there will always be that instructor that shouldn't be instructing, or the class that puts you to sleep... ho hum...., but if you're engaged, if you're there to learn and get something out of the event, you'll find value.  You'll sift through the good and the bad to find it. 

Here's some of what I brought home:
  • I learned there's 1,523 Lion members in District 49A.  That's a lot of Lion experience to pull from!
  • I learned that I don't know what the Quest program is, was intrigued with the Twinning program, and need to become more comfortable with the LCIF Foundation and the Melvin Jones Fellowship, which means they will be a future post in The Flying Lion!
  • I didn't realize that we have such an incredible community of Leos in Alaska who are really making a difference.  I'm in awe of them. 
  • Some new projects we could consider are collecting ink jets and collecting books to send to Tonga. 
  • Classes: I heard many people question what the different classes were about.  Maybe adding a brief description would help the new Lions pick the right class for them.  
  • I really enjoyed listening to ID Stephen Glass.  He had so much to share but that's another post. 
  • I learned several things in the Fundraising class.  Mostly, be sure you always have a clear goal in mind--is your fundraiser to make LOTS of money or is the intent to make money, but mostly to find new members? People tend to give for the following reasons: when they have empathy with the cause; they have a connection (through a co-worker, friend, or personal experience with the cause); ability to give (time and money); it makes them feel good. 
  • I attended the Generations class and we learned about the GI Generation, the Silent Generation, the Baby Boomers and Generation XY and Z.  But I'm left wondering.... what comes next?  Generation A????  We were encouraged to recruit more Baby Boomers because we love to volunteer! 
I may have felt a little lost at times during the conference.... Being a new Lion, I don't have a lot of connections and it didn't help that my husband was required to sit at a different table and for classes we split up and went different ways so we could bring more value home.  But it was great putting faces to names I've seen over the last five years helping Lion Mike, as well as bonding with members from our local clubs.  And I may be glad to be back home to the peace and quiet.... But airline reservations are already made for MD Convention in April!

What did YOU bring home with you?  Will you share it with your members?  Please send me an email or leave a comment at the bottom of this post as I'd love to know! 

P.S.  We were thrilled that Immediate Past District Governor Esther West received not one but TWO prestigious awards!  Justly deserved! 

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