By Lane Brown, Chair, National Alumni Board
The Adventure Unlimited National Alumni Board (NAB) met for its annual retreat October 10-11. Like so many other gatherings this year, the group held an abbreviated virtual retreat, with members logging in from coast to coast, bringing the spirit of serving alumni directly into their homes.
The NAB has worked together in recent months to identify and metaphysically address challenges strongly pressing humanity that directly impact Adventure Unlimited alumni. These alumni include anyone 18 or older who has been a participant, worked for or volunteered for Adventure Unlimited.
That prayerful work carried into the retreat, where a large focus of conversation among the group addressed inclusivity and how we ensure that alumni feel the “welcome home” spirit so many expect from their time participating in Adventure Unlimited activities.
Members of the group identified the importance of making sure all alumni — no matter the depth of their program experience or current involvement with the Christian Science church — feel the all-loving divine Spirit in their interactions with the organization.
The NAB is composed of 20 members divided into four committees: Program Outreach, Mini Camp / Reunions, Communications and Regional Alumni Events. Here are a few highlights of the NAB’s work this past year:
- We contacted more than 200 alumni in preparation for the Mountaineering Reunion (now scheduled for August 22-28, 2021 during adult Mini Camp), in addition to booking speakers and delivering a virtual care package for mountaineering alumni. Within the care package we included an invitation to a virtual “Track Your Trek” challenge over the summer. We were thrilled to see alumni racking up the miles on foot and bike through the challenge, which included those who joined our new alumni group on the Strava fitness app (search “AU Alumni” on the app to find us and connect with other active alumni).
- We engaged alumni through regional gatherings in multiple cities, working closely with the DiscoveryBound HQ team when coordinating alumni events where there was already a DB presence.
- We reconnected with DiscoveryBound alumni from the National Leadership Council and hosted virtual gatherings that brought together alumni from the last 15 years of NLC classes.
- We launched an Instagram account (@audb_alumni) and are populating it with stories and posts relating to A/U Ranches and DB alumni.
This year, the NAB welcomed new members with experiences that span five decades of Adventure Unlimited programs. New members include Vangie Swan (Chesterfield, MO), Buff Colarossi (Dove Canyon, CA), Virginia Pendleton (Tulsa, OK), Brooks Anderson (Santa Rosa, CA), Skyler Grossman (San Francisco, CA) and Heather Shotwell (Kirkwood, MO). You can read about them in Where are They Now?
We also celebrated a few cherished members leaving the NAB. Tim Potter has served Adventure Unlimited in a professional and volunteer capacity for more than 50 years and connected with hundreds of alumni during his time on NAB. Grateful thanks also go to Ed Gondolf, who served as the NAB chair for the past three years, and Steve Chitwood, who completed a second stint on the NAB. Other departing members included Wynne Pecheck, Karen Ostler and Leslie Welles, who graciously offered their thoughtful presence and work to NAB activities in recent years.
The NAB is thoroughly excited to begin its next year of work embracing alumni across the miles, and we encourage alumni to reach out with feedback, ideas or requests at [email protected]