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Youth Program Successes


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The Youth Committee is preparing a compilation of the activities that regions/chapters/clubs or individuals across the country and out of country are doing to involve and encourage young people to participate in our antique car hobby. We consider youth to be from children to the early 40's.We know that there are a lot of great things happening from the routine; such as having a young adult on the nominating committee to scholarships, website and newsletter contributions,(either by the newsletter editor or by a youth), sponsorship by regions/chapters of 4-H and scout clubs,Vo-Tec school coordination with members of the AACA clubs any other school or library involvements or just memtoring a group or an individual.Provide the activity and the name of the region. Please contact me either through the Junior site address, or here on this site.I was reminded last year that the word "YOUTH" begins with "YOU".

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Thank you so much for the much-needed boost to my ego resulting from your categorizing "youth" as up to the early '40's.

Furthermore having just turned 40 myself with it's attendant physical and psychological adjustments, which are generally not greeted with equanimity it is indeed comforting and a much needed salve to my psyche to know that I may still be considered a youth by my peers and seniors, thank you.

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In a chapter with two official "Junior" members and several other kids that show up sporadically, it's sometimes hard to judge how much is too much and when it's just enough.

My philosophy is that we should have structure in place so the kids see something for them when they look in. Others think we should get the kids in the fold first before wasting a lot of time and effort on them. Since I'm the one editing the website and newsletter for our region, we now have a Kid's Page on both. (When and if someone else takes these over, they can make their own call.)

We try to make sure there is a clearly stated children's price for all events at which children are welcome. We've found that people will often forego an event if they think their children can't come along. When children are present, we try to involve them in some way. For example, our social chair's daughter takes photos (good ones) at events, and we give her full credit when we use them in the newsletter or on the website. If prizes are being awarded, we invite the kids to pull the winners and/or hand out the prizes. And we ALWAYS try to get pictures of the kids for the Kid's Pages. They love seeing themselves in the newsletter and on the website, especially if the picture is good enough to make the cover/home page.

If the kids feel welcome, then their parents (those "up to early 40's" people) may also feel more welcome. At the very least they have found a place where their kids are more than just tolerated, especially if they are well-behaved. Our members are great with the kids, and from my personal experience, they do NOT subscribe to the "seen and not heard" philosophy.

Out of deference to families with tight budgets, we try to make at least half of our annual events low cost to no cost. We also try to move our events around, so they may fall on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays (and on occasion, during the week). Hopefully, some of the events fall between appointments on those over-crowded calendars, and they can fit us in.

There are possibilities galore out there, and these are but a few we've tried. We're not alone in this problem; many other organizations are experiencing the same dearth of younger members, and no one seems to have the magic answer yet.

Jan K.

Wis Region

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This is Dynaflash8, I didn't take time to log in.

I've been calling everybody from 22-50 young adults, as that's what we liked to be called when we were that age in AACA. Regardless, we really, really need these folks in AACA to whatever extent they can be involved. I know there are children, house payments, jobs, and if you are like I was, even college before you're 50, but we need you to participate to whatever extent that you can, expecially at the Region and Chapter level. The Regions and Chapters are the heartbeat of the AACA, they are the roots, and their strength extends to the strength of AACA. And a strong AACA is, in my opinion, necessary for a strong hobby long into the future. As the oldest and largest of all the Clubs in the antique automobile hobby, AACA must be the leader, and you, young adults, are the ones to make it happen. Please step up to the plate and take an active part in the leadership of an AACA Region or Chapter. You'll be glad you did. Thanx.

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To Jan K and to Dynaflash,thank you for your response. I need to hear a lot more and from everywhere. This is encouraging and opens the discussion as we want it to do.Keep those replies rolling in.

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