2016-2017 National Youth Activities Ambassador
This Year, Be Sure to Involve, Include and Educate
Fall is less than a month away and youth are returning to school; what a great time to start connecting with youth groups in your community!
Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, church youth groups, athletic teams and school volunteer clubs are gearing back up after the summer break. Start contracting troop leaders, youth ministers, coaches and club sponsors (educators) so your Auxiliary and these groups can work together to develop and/or accomplish a veteran and/or community-related project. This will offer you an opportunity to identify groups that could be eligible for the Youth Groups Supporting Our Veterans citations.
Some things to remember this year:
- Involve your fellow Auxiliary and Post chairmen in the planning.
- Check with youth groups to see if they have a U.S. Flag or need a new one. Share this information with your Americanism chairman and offer to help with the Flag presentation and/or a Flag education event.
- Visit with your Hospital chairmen to brainstorm volunteer opportunities for youth. Youth may make cards, deliver gifts, sing carols, read to and/or play card or board games with hospitalized veterans, show them how to surf the web and more!
- Talk with your Legislative chairmen about hosting a youth voter registration drive. Make sure you check voter registration deadlines in your state at https://www.usa.gov/voter-registration-deadlines as many states require registration to be 30 days before an election.
- Offer to help your Scholarship chairman visit schools and talk with school administrators and educators about the Young American Creative Patriotic Art, Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy contests.
- Ask your Veterans & Family Support chairmen if there is a “Buddy”® Poppy drive youth could help out with.
- Include youth groups in your Auxiliary and Post events on the following days:
- Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance (September 11)
- POW/MIA Recognition Day (September 16)
If your area has a Veterans Day parade, Fall Festival or another event, enlist youth to help pass out Flags or “Buddy”® Poppies to the attendees.
Be sure to have a large supply of “Random Act of Patriotism” (RAP) coins and cards to give to youth along the parade route who salute the Flag or show other patriotic acts. Remember to make the cards two-sided, so that you can list your Auxiliary and Post contact information on the back.
- Educate youth in your community what the September patriotic days and ceremonies they represent.
- A majority of freshmen (ninth graders) starting high school this year were born after 9/11 occurred and those currently in high school (9-12 grades) were all under the age of five. Share with them stories about that day, how it impacted you and your fellow Auxiliary and Post members.
- Check with troop leaders, youth ministers, coaches and club sponsors (educators) to see if they would like your Missing Man Table team to attend a meeting and perform the ceremony.
It’s the end of August, but it’s not too early to think about upcoming events and holidays.
- Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15, 2016. Contact your fire department to see about co-sponsoring a safety event.
- Halloween/Harvest Festivals are fun and exciting for young people. Find out if your Auxiliary can sponsor or co-sponsor with a church/youth group, a safe Halloween/Harvest event, such as a community party, a “Trunk or Treat“ or “Trick or Treat” event.
- Host a winter coat/hats/gloves drive to benefit disadvantaged youth in your area.
Thank you for all you do to involve, include and educate the future leaders of our country.