Duties of the Unit President in narrative form and with a timeline

These are a list of the things the Unit President should do while the president. This list was prepared by Carol Montague with input from several ex-presidents. The intent of this is to help the incoming unit president figure out what to do and when to do it.

Duties of Big Bend Florida Unit President
Before taking office:
1) Ask questions! Ask the old timers and Past Presidents; they have been there.
2) As First Vice President you are expected to assist the President in any way that you can or that you are asked. It may be a situation in which you feel that you are not being prepared for your term but a number of things come into play. A) The current President often finds it is easier to do it himself. B) It is difficult for the current President to pass on information if he is not receiving it and is flying by the seat of his/her pants himself/herself. As First Vice President you need to exert an extra effort to be a part of his/her year. If you were to ask many of the Past Presidents, they would tell you they thought they did a better job of preparing the upcoming President than was done for them.
3) Read and become completely familiar with our Unit Constitution, By-Laws and Policies which are found on the unit website – http://bigbendfl.wbcci.net/. Print a copy for your own use. Become familiar with our website.
4) It is your responsibility to know the unit members – who is a regular member; who is an affiliate. Study pictures on the web site (http://bigbendfl.wbcci.net/) so you will recognize each member. You might want to make a copy for your own benefit. Each one should be contacted by you at least once during your tenure. If an individual is personally contacted before a rally he/she will be much more likely to feel a part and make the special effort to come.
5) Attend at least one session of Officer Training at Florida State, Region or International.
6) Go over the Unit Planning Guide & Merit Award Program form that is found on the website http://wbcci.org/index.cfm?pageSRC=General_Info. This will give you ideas and should direct the unit in the correct way. It can be used for planning meetings with your officers.
7) If you have an opportunity, peruse earlier newsletters and scrapbooks. Our unit has a proud history.
8) Nominating Committee – If you are appointed to the nominating committee (which you should be for your year), choose the best officers you can to work with and help guide you through your year. These new officers should be chosen as early as possible, no later than the end of August before their election in October. Trustees (directors) should be a combination of ancient wisdom and potential officer material.
9) Select unit committee chairs. Ask them, do not appoint. It may not be a job they are willing to do and then they will not do as good a job as you would like.
10) Once the new officers are selected, a meeting should be held to set a direction and goals for the upcoming year. Use your officers! Delegation is not a bad thing!
11) Site Selection – This has gone through a number of scenarios through the years. At one time a site selection committee was appointed, usually 3 people including the First VP, who worked together to decide on rally sites for the next year. The first rally that you are responsible for is the one immediately following the November Annual rally. Our unit holds from 7 to 10 rallies a year. We have always held rallies in February, March, April, May, September, October and November. Some years we have also held rallies in January and/or a summer month. Typically there has been an activity in December. It may be a rally or a dinner. December is entirely up to the incoming President but arrangements must be made as early as possible to be certain there is a location. At times questionnaires have been handed/mailed out to see what members of the unit wanted. In more recent times we have moved toward the idea that the incoming President decides on the sites that he/she thinks are best.
12) By November 1 two forms must be sent to WBCCI headquarters. They are 1) the New Officer Reporting Form that lists all officers of the Unit and 2) the Activities Schedule for Directory and Bulletin Board Copy which lists all rally dates, locations and other information. These two forms will be used for the information that will be printed in the WBCCI Directory and later in each Blue Beret magazine. This form will be sent to you or to the current President to be completed. However the two forms may also be found on the web site http://wbcci.org/index.cfm?pageSRC=General_Info. As necessary dates or location may be changed in the monthly Blue Beret by contacting WBCCI if it is done early enough. If a unit activity is listed, the liability insurance that WBCCI carries is available. This is a limited insurance but it could come in handy.
13) The Annual Rally in November is when you are inducted. This should be a special rally planned by the current President. A Region Officer usually installs the new officers. The Region will let the President know who will attend. Your job as First VP is to have a suitable gift for the outgoing President, to make certain the Past President flag is ordered by the Treasurer and to be ready as the Constitution states “assume office at the close of the meeting.” Normally you will make a few remarks about your upcoming year after you are installed.
14) Consider what you would like to do for community service. There will be the food barrels at Florida State, a community project at Region 3 and pull tabs, stuffed toys, hats and blankets at International. We have been trying to do 4 projects a year of some type – canned goods, toys or other as well as a monetary donation to local hospices.
After taking office:
1) Rallies are the mainstay of the Unit. They must be interesting or the members will not come. It is easy to get out of the habit of coming. A theme for the rally tends to add interest. Our unit is known throughout the Region for our food but a rally should be more than that. Without good attendance at rallies the unit will decline. Locations should be picked that most can attend and will want to attend to build cohesiveness. Rally sites must not be picked for the pleasure of a few and need to incite ability for most to attend. By the October meeting you should have found hosts for each rally. It is highly recommended that 2 families share this duty each month. If one family is in charge of a rally they may become overburdened and be less likely to volunteer again. Also members get to know each other better by sharing this position. You are responsible to make sure all rallies run smoothly, that the hosts have their rally planned. You may add a special touch to the rally as you wish. Some Presidents have added craft sessions, indoor or outdoor games, maintenance sessions, caravan sessions, movies, entertainment, tours or visiting local historical sites, events or festivals. You direct the rallies behind the scenes. You select the number, check 2 weeks before to be certain everything is okay with the campground, check with the hosts to be sure they have the info for the newsletter and to find out any equipment they may need for the rally. Don’t forget to bring it to the rally.
2) Meetings at rallies – There are different ways that unit business can be conducted. At one time every rally included a board meeting, followed by a general membership meeting. These could go on and on and were usually fairly formal. We have gradually moved to less formal and less meetings. We do need to keep our members informed. By the Constitution of the unit there must be at least one general membership meeting per year and this is to be held in October for the purpose of electing officers. Two particularly appropriate times for general membership meetings are February and May. Some Presidents have made good use of their boards; some have not. Some have held board meetings at every rally; some have had no general meetings only board meetings; others have had no board meetings. Some have preferred to hold general membership meetings to keep the unit better informed of what was happening. Some have had “announcements” instead of meetings. Somewhere there is a happy medium. Before a general membership meeting can be held, 15 days prior notice must be given to the membership, usually through the newsletter. Remember your board is there to help you.
3) Every 5 years our Constitution and By-Laws are to be reviewed by a committee from the unit and submitted to the CBL International Committee for approval. This was last done on 3/31/2007.
4) Be aware of the equipment that the Unit owns and who has it. There is a list on our unit website http://bigbendfl.wbcci.net/. This list may need updating after you become President.
5) The Unit should have at least one written copy of the Blue Book (the Constitution and By-Laws of WBCCI). It is even recommended that there be 4 copies for different Officers. The Blue Book is updated and amended each year at the International Rally. The unit was being sent a CD each year with all changes, it is now found on the website http://wbcci.org/index.cfm?pageSRC=General_Info. You may need to have the updates or a current copy printed.
6) The treasurer will need your assistance forming a budget. There will also be an audit performed on the books at the annual rally. The treasurer should be the one who has the most current list of names, addresses, phones and e-mails as they send out notices and collect dues each year.
7) The secretary will have minutes of meetings and will send any correspondence that is needed.
8) The membership chairman
9) Web-Master
10) Newsletters – At times the Unit has had someone other than the President or their spouse compose the newsletter but it has seemed to run smoother when they have been responsible themselves. They then know it has been done as they wish and the information is correct. Written copies of the newsletter are to be sent to all members – unit and affiliate – who do not have computer access. Copies are mailed to Region Officers (President, 1st VP and 2nd VP and historian) and International Officers (to International headquarters in Jackson Center – 2 copies or 9, if you want all International Officers to receive a copy).
11) The Unit Planning Guide & Merit Award Program form must be filled out with 2 completed copies to be sent within 60 days of the end of your 12 month term of office. The postmark deadline is March 1. Each Unit in WBCCI is eligible for an award if this form is completed and the correct number of points has been earned during your year. Since we have a large number of rallies each year we should receive the Superior Merit award.
12) Florida State Rally – all 9 of the units that are in Florida participate including Pensacola unit that is in Region 6. Each unit takes their turn at being sponsor, stage decoration (building a backdrop for the stage in conjunction with the theme of the rally) or sanitation. One of these duties may come our way in your year. The duties are announced for the following year at the Florida Board of Governors meeting. The President will carry the Unit flag for the opening and closing ceremonies. Spouses will walk with the President. There will be a flag practice in which the usherettes and the flag ceremony director will show you the procedure. Bring only the bottom part of the flag pole to practice. The dress for the opening ceremony is dark blue slacks/skirt, white shirt, red tie/scarf and blue beret – for spouse as well. All Unit Presidents and their spouses are invited to a nice dinner (one of the perks of being President). It is a dress-up affair – Church type clothes or the rally theme. The President needs to make certain our Unit representative is there to attend the Board of Governor’s meeting (the Board runs the details of the rally). Normally the President plans at least one Unit get together at a local restaurant. Arrangements are made for the best time and place for a luncheon, normally early in the week. All Affiliates must be personally invited as well as any Region/International Officers that you wish. The President is responsible for having a prayer and having each individual tell who they are. Often cook-outs or happy hours are held. Any get together should be listed on the rally board to let everyone know time and place. Make sure there is a sign up sheet on the board for everyone to sign to indicate they are at the rally and where they are located. Typically food barrels for the local food bank are to be filled and the barrel decorated by the unit. We have for the past few years not participated in this. In December you may receive a request for workers to assist, particularly the tables and chairs committee,
13) Region 3 Rally – the locale and dates change each year for this rally. Again the President is responsible for having the Unit flag and flagpoles to walk in the opening and closing ceremonies. Practice is held with the bottom portion of the flag pole. The dress is the same as at Florida State and spouses march in with the President. In the past few years it has become customary that each unit bring a door prize representative of their area. Often members volunteer items they have created for this. A basket and additional items may be purchased. This is your responsibility to organize. You will be asked to tell something about our unit as you present the gift. There is a Region board meeting. At the meeting you will be directed to sit behind a sign with our Unit name (sorry to say but it is in alphabetical order and you will be called on first). The blue slacks/skirt, white shirt are to be worn. The meeting consists of two parts. The first is the seminar and anyone may speak; the 2nd is the ***** and this is the official meeting that immediately follows the seminar after a short break or perhaps a lunch break. You will be required to vote on items – usually items that will be brought up at International. There is usually a community service project that our members are asked to support. Again you are responsible for getting the unit together to socialize – as you see fit.
14) International Rally – As President it is expected that you will attend the International Rally to represent our unit. Consequently it was voted a number of years ago that the President will receive $200 to help offset expenses. Normally Presidents have an earlier parking date so they can attend more activities. Region 3 holds a brunch or lunch that you should try to attend. Our Unit should have a bulletin board made that will be displayed with the boards from all other units. It is used as a means of signing in to let others know you are there and where you are located. It is also a place to indicate any unit get together. The board will be in competition with the other unit boards in your choice of 3 categories – geographical, rally theme or humorous. You should have a committee to prepare the board and have it ready for the May meeting so Unit members can see it. In the past we have often won, even taking the Best of Show Award. Other activities that may be entered by the Unit include newsletters, directory and history book. We have done quite well with our directory, never won anything with the history scrapbook. The newsletter category is worth entering since the judges make comments that can help make the publication better. Again social gatherings should be planned. The flag ceremony is similar (but longer), with practice being the same. Spouses do not march in this ceremony. The official meeting is also similar – but you must have the proper paperwork completed to be a delegate and must sign in at registration to receive your ribbons so they know our unit has a representative. If you can not attend the International Rally, you must complete the proper paperwork for an alternate to represent the Unit.

Time Line for President:
Before election:
Entire year before election – study Constitution, By-Laws & Policies of Unit
Year before election – try to attend Officer training sessions at State, Region and/or International rallies
Year before election – get to know all members (regular and affiliate), study pictures of those you do not know
Year before election – if possible look at earlier newsletters & scrapbooks
May to September – as member of Nomination committee select new officers
May to September – as member of Site Selection Committee select rally sites for your year, select buddy sites
September – study Unit Planning Guide for ideas
September and October – find two hosts for each rally
October – after sites approved have secretary send letter to each campground re-stating dates and prices
October 25 – send two forms to International & region officers (rally information & officer list)

After election:
November – have a meeting of your officers to plan & set goals & budget for your year
Prior to November rally – purchase gift for outgoing President, be certain Past President flag has been ordered by treasurer
November & December – assist Directory chairman with the directory; ask all desired committee members if they will serve
Two weeks prior to each rally – gather information about rally from hosts; prepare & send out or e-mail newsletter, call campground to re-confirm; if there is to be a general membership meeting it must be announced 15 days prior to the meeting (can be done in newsletter)
Prior to each monthly rally – check with rally hosts to assist; check if any equipment is needed; contact some members to remind them of rally
Monthly Rallies – bring any requested equipment; preside over rally and any meetings – board or general
October Rally – a general membership meeting must be held to elect officers – membership must be informed 15 days prior to meeting via newsletter
Florida State Rally – comply with request for workers at rally sent in December (usually tables and chairs); make sure unit representative is at Board of Governor’s meeting; participate in flag practice, opening and closing ceremonies; attend President’s dinner; if unit has special duties be sure they are carried out; plan social activities and invite Region/International officers,
Region 3 Rally – similar to Florida State, in addition have a door prize representative of our area to present; say a few words about the unit at an evening program when door prize is presented; Community Service Project items to be taken to rally
International Rally – similar to Florida State and Region, in addition be sure to check in and receive ribbons as a delegate to represent unit at Meeting; attend meeting as delegate; attend Region 3 brunch/lunch; have rally board in place at proper time; if you desire, place newsletters, directory and/or scrapbook in competition
Your Annual Installation Rally – make it special; find out who is coming to install new officers from Region
Within 60 days after end of term – complete and send to Region President copies of Unit Planning Guide & Merit Award Program