Archive for October, 2007

Building a Great Chapter, the BBYO Way

Friday, October 26th, 2007

I have to share with you the amazing success story of Thomas Carlyle AZA. I don’t know that any chapter has ever started out so strong. Consider their first event: “Chapter Launch Overnight” that took place last week.

The process began a few weeks earlier when they recruited their advisor (parent of one of the Alephs). He filled out Advisor Appointment Request (form ADV-1) and submitted it along with the Consent to Background Checks (form ADV-2), getting that process rolling.

Getting the charter members signed up with the next job. An informal get-together was held during which the soon-to-be members all joined b-linked. They took home and also printed out extra copies of the Annual Participation Authorization (PRO-3), Universal Parent Program Release (PRO-4), Universal Teen Program Release (PRO-5), Membership Release (PRO-1) and Participant Medical Information and Consent to Treat form.

After a bit of calling around, they were able to find a parent willing to host the overnight, and got her a Consent to Host a Chapter Overnight Program (PRO-2).

As you can tell, these guys really had their act together. They were making new shirts for the event, and since they wanted to sell the extras regionally they also filled out a Merchandise/Apparel Approval Form (0PS-2). Since they were planning to play Broomball they also filled out an Insurance – Certificate Request Form (0PS-3).

They did have some obstacles to overcome. Some of them lived a bit distant from the overnight house, so they had to fill out Mileage Waiver Form PRO-6. Regional staff discovered that one of the prospectives had slipped and broken a fingernail during their informal meeting, so they had to fill out an Accident/Incident Notification Report (0PS-1). The staff didn’t have time to check all the prospective advisor’s references so he wasn’t able to start by the time of the event. As a result the single parent hosting the event didn’t have a second adult to host as required by policy, so the overnight part couldn’t happen.

They finally met the day of the event, the 15 charter members along with a remarkable 12 prospectives! Unfortunately, by the time they went through the list of who had filled out which necessary forms they discovered that not a single charter member (and of course none of the prospectives) had filled out all of the necessary forms correctly. They also discovered that they had been so busy getting forms filled out, they hadn’t actually planned any programming. So the event had to be canceled.

But don’t worry, even though the chapter no longer exists (all the members and prospectives just headed over to the USY event happening nearby), all 15 of the charter members and 6 of the prospectives are now showing up as engaged on B-Linked! So all’s well that ends well. BBYO is happy. The teens are happy. Even USY is happy! Nicely done, Thomas Carlyle AZA (RIP).

Sidenote

Thomas Carlyle was an 18th century Scottish essayist who protested excessive regulation and rigid conformity to bureaucratic rules and red tape. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_tape

One BBYO

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Recently Anna posted a comment about changing regional traditions. One of her statements struck me as particularly interesting. She said “I also see our regional staff trying to make our very unique region act like all the other regions”.

She’s not the first person that I’ve heard this particular comment from. I suspect she won’t be the last.

BBYO has historically always had a balance: on one hand, BBYO has been a single organization. On the other hand, regions were quite autonomous, often having their own traditions, policies and local administration. These regional differences offered advantages and disadvantages. On the negative side, the standards and quality of BBYO’s program varied considerably. The standards and quality of staff varied as well (I’ve worked with regional directors who were amazing, and others who were… not). On the positive side, regions were allowed to develop traditions that worked well with the local community and develop policies that were influenced by community standards.

Today, the message coming out of the international organization is that of “One BBYO”. Sounds good in principle, but as you’re finding out, it has problems in practice. (more…)