Some goals from region 1
- First a favor, I'm not on the nekite list, so if you could post? Thanks.
And, sorry for being slow to get back, Sunday was a beautiful 5 degree day
here in MN and I just had to go fly for a while, then a major grocery run to
stave off mutiny by my teenagers.
Thank you for your very thoughtful reply.
This was the first I had heard of any of these. So I don't know if these
were the issues that you discussed with Woody or if there were others. You
may not like my answers, but I will give you as much detail as I know today.
For the sport kite questions, I'm answering the best I can and sending a
copy of this email to Jim Barber, the committee chair and asking that he get
back to you.
Gary: So what would my top 5 AKA wish list be?
1. Better oversite for preparing regional judges for sportkite and
kitemaking and greater assistance for Regional festivals and
Barbara: No fair, you snuck in 3 requests on one item (just kidding). First
the kitemaking judges. Right now we have a program in place called shadow
judging. At convention, anyone may contact the head judge, Steve Ferrel, and
ask to be a shadow judge. The shadow judges are assigned to one of the 2
teams of judges. They do the scoring, hear the questions, and listen to the
judges discussions. This is the best way we have found, pretty much a hands
on training. I believe Steve also runs the kitemaking competition at MIKE
and Smithsonian. If there was someone interested in shadowing that could not
make it to convention, they should ask Steve. At the Ocean City convention,
the workshop coordinator, Deb Lenzen, is planning to have workshops on each
of the 4 criteria of judging. This is designed to help the competitors
better understand and will also help judges and potential judges. The
presenters will be announced this summer. If you cannot attend convention,
contact Deb and/or the presenters and ask for a copy of their notes to be
Sport kite judges? I don't have a clue. But, I will ask Jim Barber to get
back to you. What does you local conference commissioner say?
Greater assistance for festivals. You've stumped me on this one. This is a
huge issue. Is there something specific you're looking for, a problem you've
had in the past?
2. A variety of membership options such as no magazine, family flyer,
and competitor plans
Barbara: I've asked Russ Falk, our membership chair to think about this one
and respond to you. Short answer, there is a family member rate now. I don't
know how much the magazine alone adds to the cost of membership since it is
partly covered by ad revenue. Competitors? Would it be a higher rate, or a
lower rate since they have to absorb fees in almost every competition? Would
it be just the years you compete, or every year? If you think you're going
to compete then don't or dq, do you get a rebate?
3. A lower cost to attend convention for spouses and family, and
Barbara: I've asked Mike Shaw and his committee to look into this. There is
a discounted rate for non-competitors under 16. Basically to get the
convention fee, all costs are added up, all donations subtracted, an
estimate is made of attendance, then total cost is divided by the number to
get the per person cost. How do you separate the cost out per field, per
workshop room? If you volunteer all day every day, do you get a lower rate?
And, we do have many that do that! Should you pay for each workshop you go
to? If there would be a separate rate for spouses with lower interest, my
guess would be that the "normal" rate would have to be higher, bringing the
average right back to what you pay now. Another option, if your spouse does
not want to attend any workshops, the Monday reception, or ever fly; just
buy the Friday night and Saturday night banquet tickets. That would save you
4. A better method of introducing new sport kite competition categories.
Barbara: Again I defer to Jim. Way out of my area of knowledge.
5. A way to access the knowledgebase of other members or
organizations within the group. To assist in developing competitions,
festivals and workshops or other activities that would support local
Barbara: this is another huge one. How would you see that knowledgebase
working? Would it be self reported lists? I've asked Todd Little our club
liaison to think about this. Maybe you could get in touch with him directly
and help narrow the focus?
That's a tall order, and I know it can't happen overnight, especially
from a volunteer organization. But I know discouraging volunteerism
is not helping things.
Barbara: You're right that everything takes longer in a volunteer
organization. No one likes everything, our goal needs to be working towards
a consensus. I'm sorry you think volunteerism has been discouraged. Another
suggestion, if you have specific concerns, don't hesitate to contact the
committee chair directly, or any other member of that committee. Every name
is listed on the AKA website. . Imagine you are the RD at a festival.
Everyone comes up to talk, many have concerns. Who takes the time to write
down exact questions and names? It's like that old children's game where
the first one whispers and on down the line, by the end it is totally
garbled. Your question probably gets passed on, but it has been transformed
and then the answer gets transformed some more.
Again, thanks for a thoughtful reply