National Youth Council Tampa Meeting Recap

The weekend of the twelfth of March the American Red Cross National Youth Council headed out to Tampa, Florida, to have a quarterly meeting.

The meeting began Friday early morning with Youth Module Sessions. Here the council presented months of internal and external research to divisional representatives. This meeting formed a very special connection between guests and the NYC because it foreshadowed a connection between the council’s work at headquarters and connecting programs for youth in the fields. The Friday meeting continued with a question and answer segment on volunteer management with Jim Starr from National Headquarters in Washington D.C. The Council then had a meeting with Divisional Leaders Anna Trefethen and Peter Giamalva. They presented valuable perspective into states in the southeast. To conclude meetings, the Council met with the National Young Professionals Council, led by Sandy Tesch-Wilkins and the Council Chair, Joe Gibson. Survey analysis was reviewed as well as the Young Professionals work with the International Federation to create a revised Global Youth Strategy. A team dinner and bonding activities concluded the night.

Another early morning followed on Saturday. The Council met to review voting procedures. Topics debated were Peer Education, Standard Operating Procedures, Virtual Workshops for the Council and Professionals, Post Disaster Toolkits, and a 2013 Goal Sheet. Eli Russ then lead the Council into Working Group Strategic Planning. The Communications Team and the Field Relations Team split up. The Communications group focused on new social media goals, scheduling, and increasing subscribers on www.redcrossyouth.org (RCYO) and YouthWire. The Field Relations continued to work towards the final steps of Connect Tour. Taylor Waters, of Field Relations, then led the group through a Final Connect Tour Run-Through. Both the National Youth Council and National Young Professionals practiced presenting Connect Tour in groups of two. The practice was a great professional development workshop for public speaking. For anyone unfamiliar with Connect Tour, it’s a Prezi presentation that that National Youth Council and other leaders will be using to describe Red Cross Youth Services flowing down from a National to a Regional level. Connect Tours will soon be available per request. The Councils practicing the presenations was helpful because it allowed us to realize that there are still some last minute changes to be completed, but otherwise the project is mostly finalized. It will be launching out into the field this coming Saturday for Global Youth Services Day in the Los Angeles Region. It will be led by Jeffrey Su and Siena Oberman. The Council then met to have discussions on how we can continue to improve ourselves, the council, and the youth program. After dinner and a fun team building activity of dream boarding by cutting-up magazines, the team went to bed before the final day.

Sunday morning because with a Connect Tour completion by Taylor Waters. She ran through the activities that were to be done with the presentation. Though it was hard to get all the information in and everyone properly trained, Taylor Waters wrapped up the Connect Tour with an amazing job. The National Youth Council and the Young Professionals Council met again to conclude sessions. The meeting then concluded for the council with a final “Bee and Ellen Show.” Bee and Ellen have been the Council’s Advisors for years, but their term has come to an end, along with Council Member Anna Drenning. Bee and Ellen played a video slideshow of pictures and goodbyes. Bee, Ellen, and Anna, the entire Council was in tears to see you leave, but we thank you for your incredible and honorable contributions the the American Red Cross National Youth Council. Your impact and passion for the American Red Cross has and will only grow contagiously.

The council will continue to meet electronically until meeting back at National Headquarters in D.C. in July. We look forward to welcoming some new members! florida

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