From the Archives: January 21

In a previous From the Archives, I shared information on the National Conference on Student Activities (NCSA) sponsored by the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD.) Over the three day weekend of December 4th-6th, I was able to join 316 student activity advocates from across the country and take part in this inspirational event. 

I serve on the NAWD Board of Directors, representing the thirteen states of the Central Region. The planning of the conference fell on Board as we would not have a host state this year.  The Board chose “Breaking News…Leadership is NOT Cancelled” as the theme for the conference.  Looking back on the weekend of the NCSA, it was a very appropriate theme.  The conference had an outstanding program.  It offered 88 small group workshops/focus group sessions, three idea sharing sessions and three outstanding keynote speakers.  A unique feature of the program was the recording of all these sessions.  These recordings will be available to attendees through June 15th.  Instead of only being able to attend two focus groups and three small group workshops, I will be able to see all 88 sessions, plus hear again the keynote presentations from Mark Scharenboich, Erin Jones and Alvin Law.  Our organizations leader, Matt Alley, was recognized as the Region 4 Earl Reum Award Recipient on Friday night. During the over the ten hours of conference contact time, the conference theme was demonstrated.  During the past nine month advisors, student leaders, building staff and our association have been challenged by the impact of the COVID virus.  Even in this challenging time, the need for student activities, involved student leaders and dedicated advisors have not been cancelled.  It is important that we all  adapt and keep moving forward.  Are times different? – yes.  Does it change the need for what we do? – yes, (if fact, it increases it!).  Does it give us the chance to try something new? – yes.  Many of the workshops gives suggestions on how to promote the benefit of activity involvement, how to adapt programs to the current situations in school and how to use innovative techniques to address traditional issues.  A spirit of positivity ran through out the conference.  As good as the virtual conference was, we are all looking forward to December 3 -5, 2021 we can hopefully meet in person again in Boston.  More information on the NCSA and other NAWD programs are available on the NWD website at .

MASC/MAHS also has had to adapt its program.  The cancellation of the Summer Leadership Camp and the Fall Leadership Institutes have left a gap in leadership training opportunities fro developing leaders.  The Student Legislative Day went virtual and will the Regional Connect Conferences.  The MASC/MAHS Award programs are also being adapted.  The rubrics for the Award of Excellence have been adapted to fit the challenges of the 2020-2021 school year.  Copies of the revised Award of Excellence rubrics,  and application information are accessible via links in this month’s Leadlines.  

Stay positive and test negative.  Let’s all hope the news regarding the vaccine continues to be positive and folks follow the recommendation from health officials so we can meet together again before too long.  I hope you and your family have safe and meaningful Holiday Season.

As always feel free to contact me if you any questions or if you have a suggestion for a future “From the Archives” topic.  

Tom Heethuis,