Strategic Planning Around the Special Days

Holiday season is quite the excitement: rushing to outlets for those Black Friday deals at 2am, cautiously hanging up the Christmas decorations only to trip on the wire moments thereafter, and packing an incredible, busy itinerary within these few rare times of break. After all, shouldn’t we all be trying to maximize the amount of fun over our winter breaks? It’s definitely such an exciting, yet busy time of the year with family gathering after family gathering  and vacations after vacations — but if you’re anything like me, I still want to get work done! Maybe it’s the workaholic in me, but I find the holiday season to be a good opportunity to take a breather and organize.

But while everyone else is on break during this time, how can we as Red Cross leaders and volunteers keep members engaged during this time of the year? Especially when our target audience is typically busy with finals at this time and planning for long trips during break, it can be difficult to plan any volunteering events during the month of December.

As Red Cross youth leaders, we should acknowledge and be aware of time-specific events that affect club participation. On our club in a box tips page, which offers guidance on how to start and maintain a strong club, we recommend creating a calendar and blocking out some key dates that your club should not plan events on; this may include Holidays, major school or district wide events, and academic standardized testing days. Nonetheless, ultimately planning comes down to the best time for your club since scheduling is not a one-size-fits-all model — after all, sometimes events must fit a certain deadline and others may be time-sensitive.

But be sure to have fun with it as well! Since holidays  are so variable in nature, your club has a great opportunity to cater to the month’s theme and design activities to reflect something special, making each club meeting unique. There’s only so much time within the club year,  and we hope you make the most of it both for your members and for yourselves.

Hoyt Gong, National Youth Council member, Youth WG Lead

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