Elk NetworkA Creative Exercise

Volunteer News | August 7, 2012

A Creative Exercise

By Danielle Lellek, Bugle Intern

Instead of talking about budgets and figures at the South Dakota State Leadership Team meeting last December, lead volunteers were busy counting how many cedar posts to hand out.

In Huron, South Dakota, committee members from more than 10 chapters exercised their creative skills by building antler lamps from scratch. Not only was it a fun change for the volunteers, it also provided an item they could bring back to their home chapters. Volunteers started a trend for the future, and used the opportunity to raise funds as well as awareness.

“They’re really a bunch of dedicated people,” says Kellie Ecker, South Dakota state chair and Dakota Plains Chapter member, who along with other State Leadership Team members, helped make the lamp-building project more than just an idea.

Ecker says it all started when volunteers at the state’s Summer Rendezvous expressed an interest in having a hands-on activity at the winter meeting. A local Huron Chapter member offered the use of their shop for the project volunteers provided the supplies themselves. “Everyone brought something,” Ecker says, including barb wire, cedar posts, antler sheds and lamp shades. The State Leadership Team covered the cost of materials that weren’t provided, considering it a donation to the chapters.

Having a project to do was a great way to start the meeting, Ecker says. “It helps everyone get to know each other, so conversation was easier.” After the lamps were built, the meeting continued on with a Christmas party, auction and presentations. “It was a great experience,” Ecker says.

Volunteers took the lamps back to their chapters where they were auctioned for $60 to $90 at big game banquets.