Sunday, September 23, 2012

Looking forward, looking back...

It's been a few months since our first Knights in Training conference project for 552 boys at the G.H. Dawe Community Center in Red Deer, AB, Canada. Some reflections from me are in order...
  • 712 conference shirts were worn in 24 different colors for our fifth grade delegates, teachers and volunteers... awesome!
  • We (as in the committee of wonderfully dedicated people who contributed their time and passion to planning this project) were anxious and excited at the same time as we made final preparations to ensure the day was fun, informative and memorable for all. I'd be remiss if I didn't give a nod here to those who stepped up to help us make sure the day was all of these things... our presenters. Not one of them asked for a dime in exchange for sharing their wisdom and experience beyond travel expenses. As the complete roster was finalized we realized their contribution to the project was nothing short of remarkable and most honorable.
  • To round out our conference agenda, we had tremendous support from Randy Pentlichuk and PENT Continental, our food service vendor providing a great deal on lunch and snacks. We also offered a multimedia presentation via Much Music's Motivational Media, an exciting culturally significant opening ceremony via the Red Deer Aboriginal Youth Dance Troupe and an inspirational closing message by our friend, Justin Flunder.
  •  The day came and went so fast. I heard so many comments form participants, presenters and volunteers making statements like, "I had no idea how big this thing was going to be," and "this is something that should be happening within every community."
  • Our major and minor sponsors came through huge for us. Many, many thanks to the Red Deer Kinsmen, the Alberta Government, Family Services of Central Alberta and both Red Deer Public and Catholic School Districts.
  • Every single one of the presenters indicated they would like to return for our KIT Conference 2013... wow.
  • The G.H. Dawe Community Center proved to be a perfect venue for such an event. The staff at the Center were awesome all day long... the conference went off without a hitch largely as a result of their superior organization and efficiency.
  • Planning and showcasing such an event is very hard work, but the reward is worth the effort. Many leaders stepped up in our open system planning context to ensure that the effort was successful.