The Thursday Business meeting portion of the 2012 SCV Convention in Murfreesboro commenced with a Roll Call. The Special Rules of Order for the Convention were adopted, the same as those adopted in Anderson SC in 2010. The agenda for Thursday and Friday's meetings were presented by Commander in Chief Givens.
The Executive Director Report was then given by Ben Sewell. Elm Springs maintenance is ongoing and most items he mentioned were noted on the tour of the SCV Headquarters later that afternoon. Column water damage and the need for more space for a library and a museum for artifacts were mentioned by Mr. Sewell. There are 29388 current members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans with just 19 Real Sons surviving. That membership represents an increase of 485 since last year, a 1.7% increase. But, while there are 30000 members, there are 60000 inactive - the problem persist with renewal of memberships. Vision 2016 sets a goal of an SCV membership 50000 strong which will require an annual compounded increase in membership of 14%. Mr.Sewell stated that the annual audit was conducted and copies of that and IRS returns are available. The 2012 FY (beginning in August) was reviewed with the two largest items being the Confederate Veteran magazine and staff salary/wages. A new CPA will reduce accounting costs by $10k annually. Plans are to reduce costs of the new merchandise catalog by perhaps including it as a supplement to the CV magazine.
The Adjutant Report was provided by Charles (Chuck) Rand. The minutes from the 2011 Montgomery SCV Convention passed unanimously. Chuck went thru the duties of the Adjutant including Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, rosters, dues, and directing the disciplinary issue resolution.
Judge Advocate Don Shelton conveyed the duties of the JAG including trademark infringement issues, advice on disciplinary issues, 501.c.3 rules adherence (no political campaigning or contributions or written endorsements), flag defense cases, and also building and protecting monuments including acquiring real estate.
The Chief of Staff provided a cute and touching story of a Confederate soldier who enlisted in 1861 and left his expectant wife at home. His photo in the family trunk was all his daughter knew of him until he was paroled in 1865. Walking hundreds of miles, as he approached his home, he saw his daughter for the first time. As a precocious 4 year old might ask, she asked him, "Who are you?" "I am your Pa", he replied with tears of joy brimming in his eyes. "But, Pa's in the trunk", she exclaimed in reply. This got a round of laughter. The Chief of Staff reminded everyone that the CiC had requested a dedicated email address for each camp not linked to an individual so that there would be continuity thru staff changes. He brought attention to the Annual Book of Reports but was concerned that only 16 of the 27 Divisions submitted reports.
Chaplain in Chief Mark Evans alerted everyone that a group of four SCV members traveling from SC had a car accident enroute but thankfully only one man was injured and not seriously. He reminded all those assembled of the spiritual strength of the soldiers and officers in the Confederacy and that the South was not affected by the false teachings of many in the North - the denominations of the South believed in the Bible and the Gospel. He lamented that our nation needs to return to the spiritual truths with which the founding fathers created this country. "Duty is ours, the consequences are God's", said Gen Stonewall Jackson. He invited everyone to subscribe to the email distribution of the Chaplain in Chief's newsletter which contains announcements, condolences, and input from Division and camp Chaplains. He seconded Commander in Chief Given's desire to have an old fashioned revival in the SCV.
CiC Givens then introduced the Adjutant of the Europe SCV Division, Chris McClaren from Berlin, Germany. Compatriot McClaren said it was a long journey to Murfreesboro "but well worthwhile". He related to everyone that there is a photograph of the Slovakia Independence Day celebration showing the Confederate flag as it "represents a resistance to tyranny." He had ancestors who were veterans of the 45th TN Infantry as well as of the Revolutionary War and reminded us that the European members of the SCV have some expatriates and some Europeans that are descendants of American veterans as for instance Prussia produced officers and soldiers who saw extensive combat on both sides of the War. He actually recited part of Gen Stephen D. Lee's Charge in German. The SCV Europe Division covers an area equal in size to that of the former CSA and includes the countries of Germany, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, England, Australia etc. Activities include the restoration of monuments and the grave of CSS Captain Page in Rome.
Compatriot Trip Wilson discussed the Hunley ROTC award. More than 250 awards have been made and the SCV Mechanized Cavalry has assisted in fully funding these awards. Every Division in every state needs a contact/coordinator for these awards.
Compatriot JM discussed the state of retention in the SCV and distributed a 2 page questionnaire which he suggested should be used to query those who elect not to renew for feedback and potentially as a source of input for existing members. He stressed the importance for camps to have good programs with a ready list of speakers - query other camps nearby for suggestions as to recommended speakers and use this to develop your list. Make people feel welcome and feel missed. Greet people with nametags. Call people who have missed meetings to tell them they are missed. Ask new members what committee they want to serve on to get involved.
Lt. Kelly Barrow spoke about the leadership workshops he has instituted first as an Army Commander and since he has been in his current role across the SCV. These are twice yearly workshops for Commanders and Adjutants and those who aspire to be. The first was in March 2011 at Chickamauga with 77 people in attendance. October 2011 one was held in Burlington NC and in Feb 2012 in Monroe LA and that event was followed by a parade. Over 200 members have already attended these workshops and future ones are planned in Colorado Springs CO, Richmond VA (Nov 2012) and in Foley AL March 2nd, 2013. Registration is typically only $5-10 for a full day.
Compatriot Lee Miller conveyed that the 150th reenactment of the Battle of Shiloh raised $1000 for the Forrest boyhood home restoration. He announced that the 2015 SCV Convention Planning Committee had selected Richmond VA for the site of that years convention which elicited a spirited opposition from members from Texas who had campaigned for that year's convention to be held in Dallas arguing that 150 years ago, the War and its final battles had shifted westward. The Committee had indicated cost and the relevance of Richmond to the fall of the CSA were factors they considered but the Texas contingent presented their proposed Embassy Suites facilities as superior, including a projected Battle Flag in the lobby of the Dallas hotel and flags permitted to be erected all over the grounds. Some argued that Richmond has recently been hostile to the SCV and the Cause but others indicated that has changed with the new local government administration. A Vicksburg (2013 Convention) representative suggested perhaps Dallas would more appropriately be granted the 2016 convention. A vote was taken which by volume of nays would have defeated the Richmond nomination but it was decided a more accurate ballot should be taken on the referendum on Saturday with the elections.