In March the OMS treasurer, Kermit Yensen, attended a USMS leadership conference in Phoenix, AZ representing OMS. The objectives included
- Opportunity to learn and exchange ideas
- Equip leaders to cultivate, motivate, recruit and recognize volunteers
- Provide info and tools to improve governance and programs
- Educate leaders on how they fit in
Kermit submitted a report to the board summarizing all he had learned and a list of possible goals for our LMSC. What I was particularly happy and proud to hear was how strong and progressive our LMSC is compared to other LMSCs. Many of us who have been involved in the leadership of OMS for any amount of time already felt this was true but to get it validated was encouraging.
I feel what makes OMS such a vibrant LMSC is not only the board and its membership but how we’re always evolving to make us a more interactive and inclusive organization. Sometimes the changes we make may not always be met with agreement or enthusiasm from some of the swimming community but the board’s goals are to reach out to as many adult swimmers (fitness, competitive, tri-athlete, open water) as possible using a variety of technology to get our message out. That is one of the primary reasons we decided to move the newsletter to the website, breaking out the articles into categories so they are easier to locate and read, both now and in the future.
Another change occurred during the recent Association Championship in Corvallis. For the past many years the Annual Awards Banquet included the annual LMSC meeting (this is required by USMS), dinner, award presentations, and frequently a guest speaker. The evening could last up to 4 hours, which is too long for swimmers who are exhausted from a long day of competition and want to get to bed. This year we tried something new. From the positive reviews we received, the change was an overwhelming success. The cost of the event was cut by $10+ from what a banquet meal has cost in the past (and was continually increasing). The appetizers this year were delicious and plentiful. The only awards that were presented were the volunteer awards (Spirit, Service, Ol Barn, and Connie Wilson). Those swimmers (pool, long distance, and open water) who reached major achievements during the year (i.e., Top Ten, All American, All Star, Most Splashes, Outstanding Swimmer, National and World record holders, etc.) were recognized via a slide show as well as in the program and/or handout. What people enjoyed most about this new format was the opportunity to socialize with their fellow teammates and other swimmers. The event began around 3:00 and was over, including the meeting, by 5:30. There were some areas of the event of which we will be making some slight revisions, but it looks like this is an event we will continue to offer during future Association Championship weekends.
Thanks to all of you for your support and patience with the changes we implement to make OMS such a fun, successful and progressive organization. Your smiles, laughter, stories, great swims, etc. tell us that you approve.