My first mini-conference was in 2003. I had just joined the Area Committee as DCM for District 16. At that time the Area was very short of funds and had voted not have the mini-conference. The then Delegate presented a plan of how we could have one that was close to self-supporting, if the DCMs would get behind it. I immediately got on board and have been intimately involved in the mini-conference ever since.
I started playing a key role in 2006 and from my history of attending Ohio Department of Development retreats at Ohio State Parks, secured a very reasonable deal with Salt Fork in 2007. This year will mark our 10th year with the state park system. It is an arrangement that has worked out very well. People like getting away to a secluded setting to do a mock conference and the lodges love having us during their non-peak season.
My most memorable mini-conference was some years ago, at Salt Fork. The year of The Blizzard. It hit the I-70 corridor at exactly 5pm on Friday. Half of us made it to the park and the other half did not. The snow kept coming and coming for the next 40+ hours. I didn’t think it was ever going to stop. The hotel staff was stranded there, we were stranded there and it took us hours to dig ourselves out on Sunday. But we made the best we could of the situation and had a great conference. I will never forget it.
Another time was when we had 50 GSRs reporting at the Assembly on Sunday. I could go on and on about my experience and my joy at seeing the Mini-Conference getting better and better every year but I have to say that the biggest payoff has come in how well it prepared me as Delegate to the General Service Conference. There are plenty of fellow delegates that talked about their nervousness and anxiety with their first conference, but I was at home. Some areas don’t have mini-conferences like we do. We are very fortunate to always have a core group of dedicated servants who put a lot of work and effort into this event. I think it is one of the most important things that we, as an Area, do.
Looking forward to another great year,
Kristi H., Area 53 Delegate, Panel 65
Visit the Mini-Conference webpage for more details.