NATIONAL COMMANDER’S MESSAGE
H – Have a Bivouac
E – Encampment and Encourage
Now that EVERY Camp has held a Bivouac it’s time to go to the next level. EVERY Area needs to hold an Encampment. Some Areas have had Encampments in the past year or two, but Areas have not had one in years if ever. An Encampment is a larger Bivouac or smaller annual convention, depending on your point of view.
Who is responsible for getting the Encampment set up? Normally the Area Representative should be the driving force of an Encampment. Many areas have no Area Representative, others are not motivated to do the work needed. If your Area has either then YOU need to be the leader and take charge. It only takes 1or 2 firecrackers in a chapter, region or area to revitalize the whole program. Why not YOU?
How should an Encampment look? The norm that I have seen is arriving on Friday. Saturday is a Conference and Encampment, followed by a Banquet and Camp Followers Degree in the evening. Then on Sunday, everyone heads for home.
This works well because to maximize attendance, you must have a minimum impact on the work week. The Conference portion is extremely important because this is where you get updates on National Sojourners and Heroes of 76. It is also where you learn best practices on how to run your chapter and camp. It also is a chance to ask questions on why we do things the way we do.
Contact myself, the lines or your area representative and get an Encampment set up. It is very important is to get it on the website as quickly as possible so everyone knows your holding an Encampment.
HOLD AN ENCAMPMENT, SHOW SOME LEADERSHIP.
I want to encourage everyone out there about the importance of doing things right. We are an organization of leaders, people who have either served in the military or lead in Masonry. Sitting on our laurels and hoping that someone else will step up is not going to work. If you have been around the organization for many years and have done it all, you need to find several young guns and MENTOR them as the future. If you are new to the group you need to ask hard questions. Why do we NOT do Flag programs, hold Bivouacs, send teens to Freedoms Foundation, present ROTC medals, Support the Essay contest. I hear complaints about how the “old guard “is out of touch and doesn’t listen. My answer is come to a Convention and see how things work. Less than 1/10th of 1 % of our membership comes to the Conventions. So this old guard has almost single handedly kept National Sojourners ALIVE. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET INVOLVED?
So I ENCOURAGE you to either get involved and change the order for the better, or sit down and stop complaining. Middle of the road only gets you run over from both directions.