The Sons of Confederate Veterans Annual Convention and Reunion was held July 13-17, 2011 at the Embassy Suites hotel in downtown Montgomery AL.
On Thursday July 14th, Lt. Commander Charles Kelly Barrow, following a welcome to the Cradle of the Confederacy for all attendees, provided an outstanding message on SCV recruitment and retention. The following outlines his message.
The SCV is a family oriented organization sponsoring events for fellowship with people of like mind. Retention should be easy for folks who have developed genuine friendships thru frequent social gatherings and work together.
The South needs the SCV for hope just as the USA needs the South for hope just as the world needs the USA for hope.
Lt. Commander Barrow’s personal mission is to assist the SCV to grow and be the best it has ever been.
There are an estimated 50 million people in the US eligible for membership in the SCV but the majority of these people know nothing about the SCV.
Lt. Commander Barrow’s responsibilities include SCV advertisements for getting the word out about the SCV and to promote recruitment. Unfortunately, some advertisement efforts are more successful than others. An attempt to advertise with Southern fraternities at universities in the South was rejected for political correctness but we must continue to reach out to schools to educate students and the youth.
The West Point Assembly magazine ran an SCV advertisement but it was subsequently pulled following a complaint.
The Citadel was contacted but they maintained that they allow no advertisements from outside advertisements.
A Texas law enforcement magazine ran the SCV ad and actually contacted the SCV about the opportunity.
The National SCV maintains two websites, 1-800-MY-SOUTH.com for recruitment and SCV.org as a more informational website for members.
A Facebook SCV page has many friends and “likes”.
An SCV educational site is desired to provide material for commanders and adjutants.
Television ads run on COX cable television networks in Georgia, Washington DC and Pensacola FL have planted the seed to inform people about the SCV. These ads are scheduled to run soon in Gainesville FL.
SCV Leadership workshops are being held throughout the southeast – the first was in Chickamauga GA and provided seven hours of information on how to be a better camp and how to be better commanders. The next will be in October 2011 and in February 2012 the workshop scheduled for Monroe LA will conclude with a Confederate friendly Mardi Gras parade.
Advertisements have been run in the American History magazine.
A very successful advertisement initiative was including an SCV card in ultimate survival packs provided to subscribers of Field and Stream magazine.
SCV involvement in scholarships and awards provides great community relations opportunities and an obvious grateful beneficiary in the recipient. The H.L.Hunley JROTC award is awarded by the SC Division to JROTC cadets who have demonstrated the values of honor, courage and commitment. This award is sponsored by local SCV camps throughout the country and in any JROTC branch.
Lt. Commander Barrow concluded by stating that just as each Christian is the best means to show the love of Christ, each SCV member if the best spokesman for the SCV and he challenged each member to recruit just one new member, looking for folks with Confederate apparel or flying the Confederate falg or Confederate license plates and approach them offering information or write them a letter of invitation.
He quoted Jefferson Davis who in April 1865 stated, “I have sacrificed so much to the Confederacy.” What have we sacrificed?
He reminded us that tomorrow is not promised to anyone and that we need to start today to renew and pledge ourselves to recruit and retain and double the SCV membership.