Photo Credit: Jennifer Gossage Carr
With a catchy name like GUM, it’s easy to forget that our acronym does in fact stand for something. The Girls’ Ultimate Movement is – in its moniker and its mission – a movement. The thing that drives movements is not a top-down hierarchy and bureaucracy. As much as we love our USAU staffers Sarah and Dan (HI GUYS!) and all they do for us, what we really couldn’t live without are all the volunteers and passionate organizers on the ground. So that’s what I’m here to blog about today – the grassroots GUM folks and why YOU should be one.
Ok, I know I just said movements aren’t about infrastructure, but darn it, it doesn’t hurt to have a little method to the madness. That’s where I come in! I’m Rojo – your Girls’ National Outreach Director (HI FROM NORTH CAROLINA!). I have the super fun and super challenging mission of organizing a structure of volunteers around the country. The structure looks like this: state-level organizers focus on projects and helping out anyone looking to run a girls’ clinic or league; regional directors help the state folks stay motivated and reach our goals while recruiting in their areas. We have three girls’ regional outreach directors (GRODs) overseeing the west (HEY ERIN!), central (WHAT’S UP ROBYN!) and south (LOVE YOU MEG!) regions, but right now we are missing a GROD for the northeast region. We desperately need someone to come in and help keep this hotbed of ultimate rolling.
Would you be interested in the position? Maybe you know someone who would be? EMAIL ME!
That brings us to the girls’ state outreach coordinators (GSOCs). These are the real heroes (I’m pointing at you GSOCs right now). They are our boots on the ground, grassroots organizing, blindly emailing GUM superheroes who are getting things done. Last year, when we presented at the U.S. Open, we shared findings that states who hosted a GUM clinic in the past year saw growth in girls youth memberships, YCC participation and other markers. I mean, GUYS, if we ran a clinic in every state, which is our goal this year, can you imagine the impact we could have?? There are plenty of openings. Maybe your state is one. Check out our volunteer page for a list of openings and how to become a GSOC.
But wait, there’s more! Maybe your state has got volunteers on lock, or maybe you don’t have the time to devote to a position. I completely understand. There are more ways to support the movement. If you play on a club team, any team, we’d love to have you as a GUM Ambassador. This just means you’re looking for ways to rep GUM and build girls opportunities in what you’re already doing. There are more examples and how to become a GUM Ambassador on the volunteer page too!
Even if you’re not playing on a team right now, the ambassador ideas are great for anyone who wants to spread the word about GUM. You can build the movement by sporting a headband, hitting us up on social media with hashtag #stuckongum, helping out with a local girls’ team or league, or running your own event. Every single person counts and can help grow girls’ ultimate!