Engage your chapter or council by participating in this interactive activity
To help students develop or revise their chapter’s or council’s mission statement.
Paper and pens for every group. Sample vision and mission statements from recognizable organizations.
Two separate 30- to 45-minute periods
Break your students into small groups of five or six. Make sure every group elects a secretary and that each group has a pen and paper.
Day 1: Instruct students regarding the definition of a vision statement. A vision statement should:
- Define an organization’s future goals or condition
- Provide inspiration and direction for an organization’s emphasis over time (five, 10, 15 years, etc.)
- Serve as a focal point for all individuals to know and understand the goal and the endpoint
- Inspire succinctly-it should be written in a short manner
Review examples of vision statements from two to three well-known organizations. Have your students find your district or your school’s vision statement.
After understanding the vision statements, have students come up with their thoughts on how their mission statement might differ from their vision statement findings. After sharing, review elements of mission statements, including:
- Organization’s purpose
- Answering the questions:
- What does it do?
- Who is it for?
- How does it do what it does?
- Brevity in structure and timeframe
Simplicity that it may be easily memorized
Prior to creating your own mission statement, review those from other neighboring student governments. State executive directors can be a great source for this information.
In groups, have students brainstorm their ideas for your chapter’s or council’s new mission statement. At the end of this session, have each group share their ideas aloud. Collect the idea sheets from every group.
Day 2: Start the day by revisiting the difference between a vision statement and a mission statement. Provide every student with a typed version of all the brainstormed ideas. With a lot of discussion, use a mediated process of elimination to narrow the ideas and create the best possible mission statement for your group. In many cases, the mission statement your group selects will be a combination of many ideas that best reflect your organization’s purpose.
Once your group has selected a mission statement, it can be used as a tool to evaluate whether the events your chapter or council sponsors truly reflect its purpose as defined by your new/newly edited mission statement.
- Is your mission statement easily articulated?
- Does it answer the “what,” “who,” and “how” questions?
- How did your students prioritize what was most important to include?
- Does your mission statement accurately reflect your goals and purpose?
- When comparing your new mission statement to your activities calendar, what should you change?
- Were some students more vocal than others when discussing their viewpoints? If so, why?
- What did your facilitator (teacher or student leader) do to make sure all voices were heard/viewpoints were expressed?
- How soon should your group revisit this mission statement?
Julie Kasper (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the activities director at Century High School in Hillsboro, OR. She, along with her school, is excited to host the NASC National Conference in June 2016.