Archive | July, 2013

“Mug them” the latest of 143 ways to say thank you to a volunteer…

30 Jul

How many ways can you/we say thank you to a volunteer? Please # and add to the list, thanks. LinkedIn Discussion in Volunteer Management Best Practices network

1. [Directly to the volunteer say] Thanks for volunteering today
2. Print a set of business cards for the volunteer
3. Greet them by name
4. Send out volunteer eCards…

Hmmm… So it is summer I wonder if there are any unique ways to recognize volunteers during the Summer?

Since Darlene gets credit for at least # 142 – great suggestions by the way…

Might I offer #143…

“Mug them” for years my father then later I received and proudly displayed our annual “Recognition Mug” for volunteering several days or a week at Boy Scout Summer Camp.  All in all a pretty good trade a week’s vacation and perhaps $100 or so to get to sleep in a tent, get plenty of exercise walking up and down hills through the woods, perhaps helping with a merit badge class, or helping younger boys learn Second and First Class skills, then of course someone has to help taste test the “Cobbler” and sit in on a Board of Review or 3 or 4 and attend a couple of Campfires, and did I mention drive a car full of boys about 350 miles each way – and yes I was very happy to walk down into the campfire circle each year and collect my mug and a round of applause from the Scouts.

What are a few other “seasonal” ways to recognize volunteers?

Note: my sincere thanks to colleagues who contributed the first 142 ways to say thank you to a volunteer. You all do amazing work and provide brilliant insights into year round volunteer recognition and retention.

Bruce Summers

Summers “Engagement” Consulting.


Favorite places to visit in Washington, DC – National Museum of the American Indian

26 Jul

The Annual Conference of the Association of Personal Historians will be held in Washington, DC in November.

This is a great opportunity for networking with colleagues, professional interviewers, writers, videographers, etc. who produce personal and family histories.

As part of the host region for the conference we were asked to write about our favorite places to visit during Sunday’s time to “tour Washington”.

My choice: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).

I felt compelled recently to stop by NMAI to update my research but I was also a bit hungry from spending the afternoon in Library of Congress – Local History and Genealogy “Reader’s Room”. So I took a few quick photos. Of the exterior…

20130719_172308 NMAI Exterior

and then talked the security guard into letting me to take a few photos even though it was five minute until closing time.

20130719_172532 NMAI Interior Sunlight

NMAI is a great place to discover the objects and stories of native peoples from throughout the Americas…


20130719_172641 NMAI Encounter

I was doing fine with my quick photo shoot, but then just outside of the cafeteria I saw an exhibit of the many foods we enjoy that have derived from Native American foods…

20130719_172829 NMAI - Native American Foods

So I popped into the amazing NMAI Cafeteria and much to my surprise saw that they were still serving an intriguing and mouthwatering array of perhaps a dozen different Native American entrees and I remembered I was hungry…

But which to choose, which to choose?

20130719_173143 NMAI - 3 Entrees20130719_173006

Upon the advice from two of the café staff I settled on the “Pulled Buffalo” sandwich on Fry Bread…

20130719_173051 NMAI - Fry Bread


It was delicious, a week later I can still taste the unique flavors rolling across my taste buds as I relaxed and peered out the window at the view…


NMAI – a great place to visit, interesting architecture, great exhibits, great food, well worth a visit.

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