I’m always astonished when I talk to advisors and members of other organizations like USY and FTY – how they talk about the end of the programming year and the summer break. For them vacation seems to include vacation from youth group activities as well.
Remarkably, it happens in many BBYO chapters as well.
If you’ve studied basic physics you probably heard about conservation of momentum – that once things are moving they tend to keep moving. Or put another way, it’s a lot easier to keep something rolling along than to stop it and restart it.
So it goes with chapters as well.
How can you achieve growth and momentum if you stop activities during the summer? Each fall then begins a whole new process of rebuilding and restarting. It’s often weeks or months before you’re back to where you were the previous spring. How crazy is that?
The best chapters look at summer as an opportunity. Event turnouts may get smaller as people travel and go on vacation, but that allows for different kinds of events, perhaps a bit more spontaneity. An event may consist of just an advisor and a few Alephs, but that can turn out great because with a small group it’s often easier to come to a decision and take advantage of cool opportunities that come along. Summer is a great time for campouts, swim parties, and chapter trips near or far. Summer allows you to do things that aren’t possible during weekends, like do factory tours that are only open weekdays.
Summer is a great time to start recruiting for fall, to invite prospectives to join in on some fun and laid-back programs. It’s a great time to work on planning some bigger programs for later in the year – the kind of programs that take time and advance planning.
Best of all, when fall comes around instead of having to struggle to “restart” the chapter, track down members and get them to start showing up again, your chapter will already be operating smoothly – momentum will be your friend instead of your enemy.
So have a great summer, and have a great BBYO summer – not just with summer programs, but with your chapter as well.