As a new XCTF SOC Representative comes in next year to lead, I want him to remember that it is his leadership and courage that will connect our team to the school and community around us. In order for him to help others be their best selves, he has to be present and be involved. I hope that he recognizes unique ways to celebrate and works to create meaningful ways to connect with each other and the community. There are many things I have built this year that he will be able to continue with next year. For example, this year I was able to establish many relationships with community partners and provide service to them. Occasionally, I had team members come out and help with the service projects, but there needs to be more involvement and outreach. We did have several team members contribute to donating items anytime we were providing service through donations but it is more important to serve by giving your time and assistance to others, rather than providing items. From my experiences with community service this year, I have learned that you cannot force people to come and help out but you can make them realize that it is essential to building a community. Several times, when we provided our service and care to others, they gave us praise and even once a donation. That is a true testament to the never ending cycle of giving back to your community. I hope that the next representative continues to push for community service and strongly encourages our team members to reach out. Next year, I hope to see continued growth and involvement and I truly believe that our next representative, Ethan Vance, will be able to create something special through SOC and for our organization.
This year we have had a large growth area through our communication skills. We have always used email as a way for Coach Hoyes to communicate dates, times, lineups, directions, and so much more. However, we were seeing some conflict with solely using that as a means of communication. Sometimes, people would check their emails too late or not all and then they would miss something important. That being said, we decided this year that we would implement a text message system for all team members and parents or family members. This proved to be a huge success as we were able to provide more clarity and direct communication to all members. Anytime I needed something sent out to the team as a whole, I would send Hoyes my message and he would send it out through the text system. I hope they continue this system to provide a stronger and more effective way to communicate and connect. Another way we communicated was through our blog. I was able to take over the blog this year and anytime Coach Hoyes would send out a large and informative email to the team, I would transfer that on the blog for our community to view. I would also include pictures to create a way to directly show the things we were doing. I hope that the presence on the blog continues to next year and is a way for the community to connect with our organization and see our work. One question I should be asking our new representative is, "What are your goals." I know I have stated a lot about what I want Ethan to continue on for next year but it is also important for him to individually create something special and build his own legacy.
Throughout my time in SOC, I have created several initiatives to help connect the school and get students involved. One thing I am most proud of would have to be the projects, events, and traditions that I created or helped to create over the course of the school year. There many new ideas that we were able to bring to life all because we said, "Yes" and worked hard to create something special together. With creating new rituals and traditions comes branding. This year we had a lot of creative, new branding that really helped to establish who we are as a SOC and a school. Things like Ignites, The Angel Tree Project, and Battle of the Generations are all established and known because of the SOC. I am proud of the work and dedication that went into planning, creating, and conducting these events that will hopefully continue on for many years to come.
One thing I would have done differently would be the way in which we do community service. In some way, there needs to be a more concrete system to provide equal service among the SOC and your individual SO. By creating a system of consistency, we would be able to hold people accountable for their service and be able to establish who still needs to step up and who has done a majority of the projects. Overall, service is one of the most important components to an organization and everyone should be contributing to that.