"Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things."--Jefferson

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sample Start-up plan for new groups

On this page, I will provide a step-by-step suggestion of how to actually set-up your own Vanguard group.   Adapt as necessary, and hope it helps!  Make your own deadlines, but we have found the following to be good ideals to shoot for in order to get the new year started in an orderly fashion.

I cannot stress enough the value of getting parents and fellow mentors on board with the purpose and mission of Vanguard.  It is not a group that seeks to set-up another conveyor belt :).  It is designed to be adapted and applied to your group as you feel the needs of your group grow and change.  However, I feel that it is essential to regularly re-visit the founding principles found on this blog if it is to be a true Vanguard group.  Review the monthly themes, the mentoring, the training, the "foundation" articles on a regular basis, and seek to bring your parents and youth on board.   Because the nature and approach of this group is quite counter-intuitive to minds bred in the public school system, it is important to continually re-align your activities and classes with your original purpose.

For access to all the files I have compiled over the years for Vanguard, please follow the link below:
Public Vanguard Skydrive

The spring before:
·         Contact Mary Biesinger to let her know you are interested in starting a group…woohoo!
·         Send out an interest "head's up" with a brief outline of Vanguard to find out who is interested
·         Find other willing parents to help mentor and run it
·         Get "trained" by a serious study of site info, attending a training class offered by another Vanguard group, or visiting other Vanguard groups to see how they run their groups
·         Hold “training meeting” for new parents to cover basics in May
   --Sample “General Year description for new parents”…tweak it to fit your group—it’s an older version
   --Sample “Karen’s New Parent info outline”
(Sometimes, I hold these one on one with new families that weren’t able to attend the meeting if I am still looking for interested participants.)

*Probably the most important thing to do yearly is to re-visit the "Books/Articles that Capture Vision."  Like any classic, they will not only renew your passion and vision, they will teach you something new or inspire you to "tweak" something else unique to your group.  If the principle mentor does this yearly in the spring, they will feel compelled to share and encourage the others leading their group to focus on some of the concepts that are of particular pertinence to their group that year.  It is a good review to determine what should be emphasized in the yearly summer training for the parents, youth, and/or mentors.
   A.Email to determine interested participants for following year sent by May 1
   B.Mail registration forms (sample) with bylaws (sample) to be gathered by June 1 (ideal)
   C. Put together “membership scroll” for chapter (name, address, phone number, emails, parent’s names) complete with email addresses for youth by Aug 1 for “Tome packet refill.” (see below)
   D. Send out Summer packet info (sent by July 1):
               -Welcome letter to youth (sample)
        Welcome letter for youth
                          -Letter to parents briefing them on pre-year events and information (sample)
      Sample pre-year letter for parents of participants
               -Questionnaire for youth to fill out (sample)
·                       -Summer reading book mark (samples)
      Bookmark for Year of Miss Agnes 
      Chasing Vermeer Inspirements 
·                        -Art contest for Tome sections invitation (sample)
Art contest invitation

II.Summer activities:
    A.Youth presidency training retreat: inspire them to service-oriented leadership, help them understand their roles, remind them of learning style and personality differences-Advisors
    B.Vision Hike: coordinated by Outdoor Youth and Adult Specialist and Main Advisors (sample)
Vision hike sample outline
    C.Parent Retreat: review concepts and mentoring strategies (sample)
parent mentor retreat info (We scheduled all the material in this doc for one day.  Upon reflection, it would have been better if we had started it the night before and then continued the next day, separating it over two days.  The information was very valuable to the parents, but it was hard to discuss it all very well in the limited time we had.)
      --One group chose to hold a series of summer meetings at the park to cover information. 
    D.Mentor Training meeting: may be held with multiple chapters (recommended)

III.Summer responsibilities:
    A.Determine location, date and time of next year’s classes
    B.Figure out time period of year (if applicable)
    C.Coordinate and gather topics of individual lenses and activities from mentors for an overview of the year (sample)
Overview of years 
   --History subjects
   --Poems and scriptures
   --Monthly Service projects (who and what months-can be included with family activities and other outside activities—like tying a quilt while watching a movie)
   --Science Projects
   --Game Nights
   --Movie Nights
   --Temple visits
   --Art Projects
   --Parent and student devotionals
   --Outdoor Activities
   --Guest speakers
   D.Create a Schedule of the Year including outside (master and journeyman) classes and activities as much as possible (sample)
Sample schedule for year 
   E.Organize new Tome pages for returning students:
   --new Membership Scroll: list of members and their personal contact info
   --Schedule of the Year
   --Overview of the Year
   --New pages for sections in Tome from Art Contest
   --Bylaws (if updated) (sample)
Bylaws example 
   F. Purchase and put together new Tomes for new students (2 1/2-3" white binders):
   --Cover art (preferred use of original image if possible :)...contact me for this if you're interested)
   --All “new Tome pages for returning students”
   --Tome pages (sample)
 Pages for Vanguard Tome
   --Timeline (sample)—suggestion: have parents coordinate with Tome compiler to find a timeline that is best for the youth
Timeline from American Heritage 
   --Extra note paper included in each section, including blank pages for art
   --Bylaws (if not updated and included in “returning student Tome packet”)
   --Plan Parent Training Retreat (sample) 
parent mentor retreat info 
   G. Hold Mentor Training Retreat if applicable (highly suggested to have yearly to refresh and for new mentors!)…if possible, it would be beneficial to coordinate this with other chapters

IV,Other "Deadlines" within year:
   A. Start planning end of year “Outdoor Adventure” in January or sooner
   B. Hold "Vision Night" for older youth (14+) with a nice dinner and presentation about scholarship and youth mentoring (sample not yet available)
I.Parent Mentor Meetings:
     A. Agenda (sample) 
  B.Vision Moment (reminder of “Whys” of Vanguard) (see blog for some ideas…but don’t limit yourself to those!)
  C.Teaching Tips (see blog), like:
       -- How to write inspirements
       --Activities to help in class
       --Ways to bring in the spirit
       -- Personality considerations
       --Tools for teaching: scriptures, resources, networking, etc.
  D. Specific Mentor Training: this is to address certain qualities of effective mentoring (see blog)      --Marni Hall and Julie Johnson are great resources for this!
  E.Discuss changes to class or bylaws (voting on changes as necessary)
  F.Bring up concerns by parents and mentors
  G.Make sure upcoming “outside activities” are scheduled and coordinated
II.Gather info from different mentors so that it can be printed up/sent out two weeks before the new month: ideal deadline for mentors, the mentor meeting the month before   (sample)
         sample newsletter 
III. Youth Presidency meeting
IV. Devotional, Science Project, and Service coordinator remind the next month’s people about their upcoming responsibilities
V. Guest Speakers reminded (previous one given a “thank you”)
VI. Dues paid to building, where applicable.

I.Set-up at location (good responsibility for youth presidency, mentored by Advisors):
   A.Erasers and markers for white board
   B.Chair and tables
   C. Flag, hymn books, posters, scriptures, 1828 dictionaries :) (dream, dream….)
   D.CD player with peaceful music
   E.Video camera or camera for taking pictures and recording activities
II. Babysitting/Joy school for mentor's children
   A. reminder to parent’s involved
   B.   bin with supplies
   D.set-up in room
III.Youth secretaries coordinate and remind about “opening ceremonies”
IV.Devotional and science project coordinator remind people the week before about their project
V.Clean-up location:
   A.Zones based upon location (recommended: divvy up responsibilities with youth)
VI. Get changes in schedule out to yahoo!group (or other communication medium) at least a week in advance.  Any changes made more suddenly than that should have individual families notified
VII. Reminder to post inspirements on the blog for that group

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I'm not sure who is who. I just learned about your group recently and would be interested in chatting with someone. We have recently started our own group and I bumped into this page today from a friend's link and was so surprised to see somebody doing something so similar and sharing many of the same ideals! :) Could you please point me to an email address or contact info?