Canyon HS YAF Officer TrainingSemper Paratus is Latin for always prepared. Thankfully, summer is a great time to get your Young Americans for Freedom chapter ready for the upcoming school year. Now is your opportunity to strengthen the leadership of your chapter, recruit new members, fundraise, and plan your activism projects. This summer, Canyon High School YAF was busy doing just that. 

First, we tabled at registration. It was four days long, and over seven hours a day. By organizing shifts of officers we were able to always have someone at the table ready to recruit students! We had a great number of people show their interest by signing up for our “Remind” service. Remind is a free app that lets me send out large group text messages safely and privately. I made a trifold poster with photos from the past year and we handed out all sorts of YAF literature. Having a physical presence on campus helped to show what a strong organization we are. It was also a great way for the newly elected officers to invest their time in the club! Find out if your school does an activities fair or something similar, and make sure to attend.

Second, fundraising is a big goal for us this year. To begin chipping away at that boulder, the officer team and I attended and spoke at various conservative community events throughout the summer, picking up generous donations as we went. Our school requires extensive paperwork for fundraising, so getting a head start on that will save us time in the future. Planning a budget and designing fundraisers now is a great way to ensure that your chapter will be fiscally responsible.

Third, I wanted to make sure that the chapter had a fantastic officer team that was dedicated to the club. Having strong leadership is essential to success. I put an application process in place that members completed before running for office. Once elected, they committed to the club by signing an agreement. One of the things they agreed to was to attend an officer training! It was my first time running an event like this, but I feel so much more confident about the upcoming year after it was completed. Even planning a short officer meeting to briefly review the year will help. 

During the officer training we: 

  • Discussed the principles of conservatism by watching The Conservatives, going over the Sharon Statement, and compiling our conclusions on a white board
  • Did a couple of team building exercises that facilitated discussion over the importance of communication and teamwork. I found them on www.teampedia.net
  • Outlined each officer’s individual responsibilities. This was something that was included in the officer application, but it was good to discuss it as a group so everyone was clear on their duties
  • Brainstormed ideas to solve problems that we had last year. It is amazing what happens when you get a group of people together who are passionate about the same thing! We came up with so many new and different ways to prevent and fix issues
  • Redesigned how our meetings will be run next year. We are aiming to have more engaging meetings by discussing current events
  • Went through the calendar and set tentative dates for almost all of our activism projects, meetings, and officer meetings. By outlining the year ahead of time, we can prevent scheduling conflicts and have plenty of time to prepare for our events. It was also fun to brainstorm new ideas for enhancing our projects and design new ones
  • Made sure to have food! It is easier for everyone to focus when their stomachs are full!  

Thorough planning and preparation helped to lay the foundation for an exceptional year as a chapter for Canyon HS YAF, and I challenge you to do the same! 

Kaitlyn Anderson is the chair of Canyon High School Young Americans for Freedom. 

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