By Ann Lehr
Leadership Big Canoe is an organization dedicated to educating community volunteers about the history of Big Canoe, the philosophy around its formation and the opportunities for service in the area.
The group is now in its 17th year and has graduated over 375 Big Canoe residents. Most have gone on to provide the Big Canoe community and surrounding communities with essential volunteer services. Big Canoe could not function successfully without these services.
Each year, the organization works to provide students with the information they need to help better understand Big Canoe and serve the community, including roles in leadership and other volunteer positions. We are a volunteer community and participation of the residents is essential to maintaining this wonderful place where we reside.
During the program, the participants will learn about the history of the community, including information from the original developer and his philosophy of maintaining the natural beauty of this community.
The class is provided with a tour of all the facilities in the community and is given an opportunity to meet the people behind the scenes. There is interaction between the class and the
people who make Big Canoe tick. Also, there are classes on governance, finance, communications and marketing. There is a chance to hear from the local leaders of Pickens and Dawson counties and to learn about their plans for the future of the communities surrounding Big Canoe. POA representatives give insight into how the amenities and the events in Big Canoe are run. In addition, the long-range planning goals for the community are explained.
What does all this accomplish? This information is utilized by class members during the course to assist them in completing projects and other activities that would assist the community. For
instance, the signage at the garbage facility is a direct result of a Big Canoe class project. Previously, there was a great deal of confusion as to where to place items and what was recyclable. Also, the members of the class get to know one another and develop lifelong relationships.
Leadership Big Canoe recognizes not all people may want to participate in the governance of Big Canoe. It also recognizes many people have a desire to assist the community in some fashion
but are uncertain how to accomplish this. Through the program, participants learn of the many volunteer opportunities available and are given a chance to interact with many of the organizations
that need their assistance. Our community depends on volunteers for so many activities, from trail maintenance to helping at special events to service on the numerous POA committees. There is
something for everyone.
Come to the wine-and-cheese get-together in the Canoe Lodge tent from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15, to meet the Leadership Big Canoe board and learn more about the organization and the requirements for acceptance. Please contact Sue Merrick if you have questions or are interested in attending at firstname.lastname@example.org.