Making the most of your membership

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Sometimes members wonder how to get the most out of their membership in OWAA.
The opportunity to get involved has always been there. Those actively engaged find their time well spent. For those who want to get involved, there is an answer. A list of detailed opportunities is now available on OWAA’s website at
One of the subjects addressed is about volunteering to sit on committees. There is more to the page, of course, but committees are very important to the success of OWAA. Here are some of the opportunities that are highlighted on the page.
Leadership opportunities: Serve on the Board of Directors or Executive Committee. Members are elected to serve three-year terms. The Executive Committee is made up of treasurer, secretary, legal counsel, first and second vice president and board president.
Join a committee: Committees are formed annually to assist headquarters with critical tasks and make decisions for the association’s functioning. Most committee work, if not all, is carried out by email or phone, so no travel is required. Tasks can range from choosing scholarship and fellowship recipients, to assisting with acquiring content for Outdoors Unlimited, to helping plan the annual conference. Committee terms are for one year, with specific charges given by the president. The Board president also names new committee chairs annually.
To serve on a specific committee, send your name and desired committees and role to headquarters.
Volunteers within a section: In contrast to the committees, the definition of sections’ duties is broader. OWAA has five sections: Magazine, Newspaper, Photography, Radio and TV/Video. Anyone can join as many sections as they want. Core charges include providing content for OU and session suggestions for conference. Sections are free to take on additional tasks as they set fit, such as surveying members to discuss section-specific issues, etc.
Host a local event: Host an informal gathering of outdoor communicators in your area. Outdoor communicators in Missoula, Mont., for example, meet monthly to relax, talk shop and do a little recruiting. Students are excellent prospects. So far, OWAA has student chapters in Missouri and Montana.
Contribute to Outdoors Unlimited: Write an article on such topics as craft improvement, outdoor and conservation news, business tips and more. Submit photos for Portfolio. Write a letter to the editor. Submit a bookshelf listing to announce your newest work.
Share your latest adventure, awards, job changes and more in the Member News portion of the Outdoor Alerts news feed on the OU Online homepage. For submission instructions, review the editorial guidelines at
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for personal and professional gain while helping the association. Take the time to get involved; OWAA needs your help and expertise. You’ll gain much satisfaction from what you put into the group.
— OWAA President Mike Walker

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