You might say the recent Great Smoky Mountains National Park Regional Event last month (October 2021) was years in the making. Normally, planning for a NANPA Regional Event starts nine to twelve months in advance. The planning for this event began in spring 2019, when I was asked if I’d like to lead it. It quickly became apparent that this would be popular. NANPA likes to keep a ratio of about ten participants per group leader, so Tom Haxby (past NANPA President) was asked to join me as co-leader. We planned the event, discussed shooting locations and where we wanted to base it (Townsend, Tennessee – the “Quiet Side of the Smokies”), meal possibilities, dates, and other such initial decisions, came up with an agenda, and sent that info off to the NANPA Regional Events Committee for their review and eventual approval. In turn, they sent the event proposal to the NANPA Board for final approval. We planned it to coincide with NANPA’s Nature Photography Celebration in nearby Asheville, North Carolina, so that participants might be able to attend both if they wished. Approval was granted and, in autumn of 2019, the event was announced. It quickly filled and a wait list was started. Then….
The end of a year signals a time for reflection of the past months as well as anticipation of what’s ahead. As I review 2018 for NANPA, I’m amazed at the variety and number of events and services offered for a relatively small organization. Everything we do is coordinated by a handful of part-time contractors and around 100 volunteers.
Volunteers are the life blood of membership organizations. At NANPA and the NANPA Foundation, volunteers serve on committees, help plan conferences, present webinars, judge competitions and evaluate grant applications. Volunteers serve on the Board of Directors and play other key roles in keeping NANPA vibrant, relevant and growing.
This is the second of an occasional series of volunteer profiles, saluting those whose hard work, ideas, passion and commitment benefit NANPA and its members.
NANPA recently had the opportunity to ask NANPA volunteer Dawn Wilson a few questions about her volunteer experiences.