Yomechas Federation Indian Guides and Princesses

The Yomechas Federation services the Downers Grove and surrounding area.


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Your Nation

Chief training and Orientation

Leadership is an essential ingredient throughout the Yomechas program. Adult members lead their children. Tribe Chiefs lead the members. Nation Chiefs lead the Tribes and steer the Federation. There are many things that a Nation or Tribe Chief must know to effectively fill the role. Our web-site (www.yomechas.org) is specifically designed to help supply that knowledge.

The outline that follows is intended to help new Nation Chiefs assume their role quickly and effectively, but Tribe Chiefs should also read this document.

  1. First Things First
    1. Review the Federation Master Plan.
    2. Arrange a hand-off from your outgoing Nation Chief. Ask questions. Get their prior-year planning notes.
    3. Make sure you have a complete list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all your incoming Tribe Chiefs. Make contact early.
    4. Review the Federation Calendar. Copy your meetings dates to your personal calendar. Tell your Tribe Chiefs to do the same.
    5. Arrange a substitute for yourself should you be unavailable for a Federation or Nation meeting.
  2. Understand our Program. Plan Your Nation.
    1. Obtain and read your Chiefs Packet, Member Packet and your Friends Always book.
    2. Get familiar with the resources on our web site (www.yomechas.org).
    3. Talk to your incoming Tribe Chiefs early.
      1. Listen to suggestions, compliments, or complaints about the prior year.
      2. Learn which Tribes need new members (or have too many).
      3. Encourage summer-time recruiting by all members. The Federation always has room for new members. (If a Tribe is full, newcomers can be placed elsewhere.)
    4. Review your Nation Offices. Have at least one job for each Tribe. Be sure your plans cover all the duties you will need to delegate. Official positions are listed in our Constitution (Article VI). But you might want to split some duties out separately, such as:
      1. Hockey/Soccer coordinator.
      2. Adopt-A-Family coordinator.
      3. Graduation Ceremony coordinator.
    5. Establish an Honor Point system to encourage participation and volunteerism. Set a minimum number of points required for a Tribe to earn the Honor Tribe patch. Plan to reward one Tribe with a Top Honor Tribe patch. (Your Tallykeeper should track honor-points and report monthly standings to your Tribes.)
  3. Conduct Monthly Chief Meetings
    1. Remind your Chiefs of each meeting a few days in advance by email or telephone. Stress that if a Chief cannot attend, they should send someone else.
    2. Prepare an agenda for each meeting. (Use materials from the Federation Board Meeting. Add items that pertain to your Nation only.)
    3. Start on time, end on time.
    4. Don’t mail materials to a navigator who misses - have them come to you.
    5. At Your First Meeting of the Year...
      1. Set a positive tone of cooperation and volunteerism in your first words. Make your job look easy. Your tribe chiefs are a new group of volunteers; they will take their cues from you. If you are an enthusiastic cheerleader most will jump in.
      2. Explain the duties and responsibilities of each Nation post that needs to be filled. Explain that a Tribe fills each post (not just the Tribe Chief.)
      3. Line up volunteers for all of your Nation offices and for any special needs of the upcoming year. (Campouts and sports may entail special needs - see below). Use your Honor Point system to encourage volunteerism. If all else fails, just wait silently until someone steps forward.
      4. Keep a list of the volunteers. Distribute the list back to your Chiefs at your next meeting. Refer to it throughout the year whenever help is needed.
  4. Campouts and Sports
    1. Campouts will be your best-attended activity. Make good campout plans. Don't wait until the last minute. Learn the ropes before you conduct your first Chiefs Meeting in the fall. Delegate properly.
    2. Most nations run indoor floor-hockey or soccer during the winter months. Although indoor sports are a winter activity, advance preparation must begin in the summer - before our fall program gets underway.
      1. Identify your new sports coordinator as early as possible. Arrange a hand-off of planning materials from the outgoing coordinator. Arrange a hand-off of equipment.
      2. Reserve a facility early. If you expect to use a school gym, the school should ideally be contacted before the end of the school year - at least during the summer. (You will discover that all facilities begin to fill up by late summer.)
      3. Discuss Tribe participation and team organization at your first Chiefs meeting. Distribute rules and play schedules as early as possible. Give your members ample opportunity to fit the schedule into their personal calendars.