KAMO July, 2020 Newsletter
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This is Kids And Mentors Outdoors, President Mark Walters with my monthly update. Our August BOD meeting was pushed to September as we tread water through the Covid epidemic. We had a meeting in June and had high hopes that things would
be settling down by now but that is not the case.
As I suggested in June I think that chapter dues should be cut in half this year and I
think that will happen during our September BOD meeting.
Jim Braker is the lead man with what will be our newest chapter and that is at Beaver Dam. Jim recent;y had heart surgery and after talking to him tonight it sounds like his life is in for some major health improvements.
I am trying to stay afloat in the newspaper business, have enough garden to feed an army, love running my bear baits and am really getting into my food plots.
As always, thank you for all that you do for KAMO!
General – This lull in our activity can be a great time to spread the word about the group. Brochures can be carried around in your vehicle for that moment in your travels you find a great place to leave some. They can be printed off the lower right hand corner of the kamokids.org website homepage or Mike can send you some in the mail from a batch of several hundred we just had made.
Website – Allow your community to support your chapter financially. On two of the website?s pages – the homepage and the donation page, the potential donor is directed to the chapter?s page in their area to find out where to send a donation.
Does your chapter’s page have a corresponding physical address listed for sending donations? Recently a woman wished to give a memorial in the name of a recently deceased relative who was a big outdoorsman, but wasn?t sure which group would be a good fit. She did a Google search, found our website, saw a donation address on a chapter?s page, and sent a check there. The chapter then sent her a thank you/ tax statement letter.
Insurance – Our agent is going to search for another insurance carrier with fewer exclusions before our policy comes up for renewal in mid October. We have discovered through many phone calls and emails that the number of carriers willing to insure a group such as ours at a reasonable rate is quite small.
How to attract kids and volunteers to your chapter –
How to get kids –
A good place to start is to ask among your friends and acquaintances about any kids they are aware of that may have an outdoor interest, but lack a connection, and could also benefit from a solid role model. The single parent who is facing the daily challenge of raising kids is often an excellent KAMO parent. These are the people who especially value what KAMO does and they are often good at singing your praises – great advertising. Other advantages of starting with people you already know is that the liability risk is lower, and your chances of getting a kid with a reliable adult might be greater.
Keep a record of the dates, times, location, and nature of your upcoming events. This information can be titled “upcoming activities” and sent to people who have given you their email address (you could make a group mailing list just for these mailings). This upcoming events information can be copied and pasted as a post on your chapter?s Facebook page if you have one. Include contact information for a person in your group who should be contacted to indicate a family?s interest in the event.
Encourage potential participants to let your group know in advance if they might be coming, who they might bring, and how to contact them. This helps you predict your equipment, mentor, and food needs. If you have to cancel the outing, you know who to reach out to.
Local agencies, schools, parents outside your group, and others interested in your chapter?s upcoming activity information often ask to be included on your group mailing list and can advertise your upcoming stuff for you.
Records of your events can be put in an archive for that year along with attendance figures. If this sounds like a lot of monkeying around, it is actually easy to copy the upcoming activity info and past it onto a separate page along with the attendance figues.l. Not only is this information valuable to your group for future reference, but organizations who give grants and donations often ask for such archived or upcoming information and now you’ll have it readily available.
Kids who come to your activities will often tell their friends and bring them along to a future activity.. These friends often come along to subsequent events. Their parents might be interested in being put on your mailing list.
You may receive referrals from agencies such as county, residential, school counselors, parenting groups, etc. about what they have to do to put a kid in your group. It is important that you are ready for this instance. How are you going to deal with this?
The most important thing when taking a kid on is whether or not there’s a responsible adult in the kid’s life who will communicate with your chapter.
Receiving a referral (having someone in an agency send you a child waiver and profile) and letting your chapter run with it without that responsible adult involved is not likely to work. It can work though if there is an adult on board to represent a given child and will reliably communicate with you as well. Some incredible and inspiring mentor/ mentee relationships have evolved through an agency referral. Foster parents who are in foster care for the right reasons can be excellent people to work with as well.
Your local Boys and Girls Club and Big Brother/ Big Sister may have participants who are eager to join your group?s activities.
There are often community calendars available for organizations in your area to list their upcoming adventures for free. Listing your chapter?s event on a publicly viewed calendar under ?recreation?, ?outdoor activity?, etc. can be very effective in advertising the fact that your chapter exists and attracting members of your community to your stuff. Members of the media hungry for a story often look in these calendars to see if they can tag along, take pictures, and interview someone. It happens, and that in turn, can generate more interest in your chapter and at times, donations.
How to get Mentors/ volunteers
We are all volunteers.
A mentor is someone who has undergone screening, is eligible to be in a one on one situation, and may be more inclined to be involved in the chapter?s ongoing operations such as regular meeting attendance..
A volunteer may or may not be prescreened and is often providing help with an activity or event on a one time or occasional basis. Someone who is in a one on one situation working in isolation with a kid,such as sitting in a blind together, must be screened in advance, even if it?s a one time deal. If it?s a Learn To Hunt, then they need the state of Wisconsin?s background check even if they had one done with KAMO. A typical example of a volunteer who hasn?t gone through a background check is someone who joins an outing to chaperone a group, to be a cook, or help with equipment.
Challenge yourself as a chapter mentor to ask among your friends/ acquaintances if they would consider helping at an upcoming event. Tell them they are welcome to bring a kid along. This is one of the more effective ways to get people to help your group.
During your outing hang up your KAMO banner and a drink and snack station. Kids relate to food and maybe you?ll attract that person who is recreating in the area to come and see what is going on.The person who may be interested in helping your group. These people can often be bribed to stick around and chat for a while enjoying one of those freshly grilled brats you are making. There is no substitute for someone to see your chapter in action.
Look online for websites designed for potential volunteers to connect with non profits in their community who depend on volunteers. You can register your chapter on such a site. Be sure to request that anyone potentially contacting your group for more details provides a phone number. An email is easy to get, but if the person responds to it, you have no nowhere to turn.
Chapter Reports –
Baraboo – The Baraboo chapter met on July 13 at Rivers Edge. We talked about our June camping trip and one on ones that we’ve done in spite of everything going on during these crazy times. We received a memorial from friends of Jon Hillmers and a donation from DEZ Tactical in Baraboo. At this point we still don’t know about the fate of this years Joe hunt, but I will be submitting this years application and see what kind of response we receive. As things stand, we will not be planning any group events but will still try and get kids out. We will continue to hope for the best but plan for the worse. Tradition Forward
Coulee – An employee of BlackHawk Park donated a Browning compound bow. We have a reputation as a group that likes to collect and then distribute used outdoor stuff to families. The stuff is often given to a kid in our group. When donations come in a larger volume, we often set up a gear swap/ give away station at larger events using some of these collected goodies, This is great public relations and the stuff flies off the shelf.
A theme for this month was graduation parties for the long term kamokids – kids who started out at age 9 with our group and are now young adults.It is great to see how they?ve grown, see all the pictures of their fishing and hunting exploits, and hear the praises from their parents about how KAMO was a factor in the person they?ve become. These kids often got their start in hunting with a hunter?s education class we put on and range time with our mentors.
We did not meet or have any activities this month.
Meadow Valley – Checked in, but no activity to report.
Northwoods – Checked in, but no activity to report in July.
Yellow River – Our chapter will have to have elections for board members in our August meeting. I will be meeting with Luke Hilldebrand – CEO of Hunter Nation this month to discuss our group and how they may help us with recruiting mentors within their organization.
Next month: Overview of some of the features on the kamokids.org site.