Ikes from across the country gathered in Pierre, South Dakota, last week for the League's 93rd annual national convention. Convention is the largest gathering of Ikes every year and we cover a lot of ground in three days. In case you could not attend this year, here is a brief recap:
New National Web Site: The League unveiled a new national Web site, which is now live. One of our strategic objectives is to modernize technology and improve our Web presence. The new Web site is highly visual, designed to make it easier for users to find the information they need, and includes a more robust chapter search function.
Speakers: Convention attendees heard from speakers addressing a range of topics, including the future of conservation and outdoor recreation in America. Visit our YouTube channel to watch videos of speakers Lynn Scarlett and Destry Jarvis.
Policy Resolutions: League policies on conservation, outdoor recreation, and other issues are adopted by delegates at convention. This year, delegates approved policies supporting:
- National Water Trails established by the National Park Service
- Full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
- A land exchange between the state of Minnesota and federal government in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
- Use of Duck Stamp revenue to conserve wetland habitat, including through fee title acquisition and easements
- Research into a new generation of nuclear reactors
New policies will be incorporated into the League's "Conservation Policies Handbook," which will available in updated form early this fall.
New Tools to Engage Families: One of the League's most important goals is to connect more children and families to conservation and outdoor recreation. Successfully engaging families can be as simple as organizing a few outdoor activities and inviting members, friends, and neighbors to participate. The League provided a step-by-step guidebook to engaging families through Family Adventures in Nature (FAN) Clubs. FAN Clubs revolve around simple activities, leverage local partnerships, and harness social media to engage people locally. Download your guidebook and other tools on the FAN Club Web page.
Join Us at the 2016 Convention: It's not too early to start planning for next year's convention in Steven's Point, Wisconsin, July 19-22, 2016. You do not have to be a League leader or official delegate to attend convention – it's open to every League member! Convention is your opportunity to elect national officers, shape League policy, and learn from and network with Ikes from across the country. I hope to see you in Wisconsin next year.