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Being Intentional - Engaging the Family

Being Intentional - Engaging the Family

How to engage your family in your local Shriner Center and their activities.
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Hi i'm Mandii Sturlaugson. I am the wife of Matt Sturlaugson we are from Fargo, North Dakota and El Zagal. And I'm Matt Sturlaugson past potentate El Zagal shriners obviously Fargo North Dakota and i'm just glad to be here.

I think the biggest thing that we did at El Zagal is we were intentional about including children in our activities simple things like making them an agenda making sure that parents knew where their children were going to be and that they were safe and comfortable and having fun that was probably the largest culture change that we had yeah and as a mom it really allowed me to have more fun as well as with the other moms knowing that i didn't have to find a babysitter to attend or participate in events we did need to keep tasking grandmas if we wanted to go away for weekends you know we had to be cognitive of that and that opening the opportunities for families to come took that pressure off and also knew i wasn't on a schedule we could do more things and naturally as a mom that becomes my role to make sure the kids are always coordinated and organized.

I think the change that we've seen is really parents are are more apt to bring their children to events um we know that we've gotten phone calls before events start you know hey are you bringing your kids um and so what are we doing with them you know and if they know what the agenda is and they know their children are going to be you know running in a in a kid's marathon for example it makes it a lot easier for them they can start hyping it up to their kids and it just makes for a more fun environment for the children to be in and i think it the temples get the units get excited members of the shrine get excited to see the kids there is a certain freshness that kids bring and they really do bring the natural fun back so it gives the opportunity for some of our members to bring out their goofy side in an event that would normally be more adult-ish but to highlight on the marathon thing that was one where we actually got the temple engaged with us because we coordinated it around an event that we had and we brought the shriners just like we would go to a parade they stood on the outside and they cheered the kids along and so it really became kind of a culture that we want to embrace those kids they are our future they are what is going to keep us going and they remind us that we always have to have fun if not they'll force you to have fun

well obviously everything that we have been doing for the last forever um has been together uh i i think from a temple perspective i think the temple has seen us working together i think they've seen us having fun doing what we do um we're that couple that we're that annoying couple that just we get along and we like to be around each other so people ask us how we can work together all day long and then go play together and it just kind of comes natural but but we're intentional about it and yeah we play off each other's strengths and weaknesses very true i think from from a female perspective having his support has also been very very important it's been very instrumental he looks at me as a partner as i look to him and i certainly want to support him in everything that he does in the shrine and i want to make sure that that's successful but the respect that he shows me back allows that to be a a pillar or a piece of influence and it helps us when we have as ladies as family members when i present ideas and things to do with the kids it's received in a much more open and accepting way because he respects my ideas and they they know it's okay that i am your partner i'm not i'm not here to take over i'm not here to to do anything i'm not supposed to but it's just it increases a different set of respect i guess and and i think it's been very instrumental in changing again that culture with female family involvement to help support the shrine in general

you know getting involved is is so easy to say and kind of hard to participate in sometimes we always want to feel in our comfort zone and sometimes when you're new to something you have to find that comfort zone and that's where having a partner that was um always my best friend of the shrine helped and that being you but finding a network within the shrine finding your tribe or your village we always say it takes a village it really does um but finding that that connectivity within the shrine sometimes you have to be the one that invokes that and and that's certainly outside of a comfort zone for folks and if that's an area that you're challenging find what is your wheelhouse find how you can participate even if it's behind the scenes so if you want to look at opportunities for you to do something if you are a past teacher or you're a current teacher those are opportunities where you have abilities to recognize where changes could happen or where opportunities are having having a dialogue with your noble passing that on or even being the first to volunteer for some of the back office things is a great place to start you'll get to know a lot of the inner workings from from the back side or from behind the scenes and that gives you your own ability to kind of morph into the person you want to be in the shrine

the the whole concept of having a mindset change within our organization uh has been long coming i mean it it's taken a long time and we still have a long ways to go but what we found is that when individuals when temples when units when clubs when they start thinking of things differently when they start thinking of the the betterment of their club their unit their temple our organization

it becomes infectious i mean you really can see that they're looking out for what's best for the group it's not you know it's not i'm here to have fun it's we are here to have fun and i think that mindset change uh has has really started to take effect in a lot of our organizations i think the contagious piece is is what's helpful you know we always like to say fun is contagious and we live by that um and watching it it be a trickle-down effect um has has been a natural progression it does take work it really does but it becomes much more natural when you start to see more around you that are doing it so we find that recognizing that people have their time and energy to give and there's so many places that they can give it we want to make sure that when you're giving it to the shrine that you're getting the value back to it we want it to be the value add

I, I will live preach and die with a statement fun is fun is contagious i live it i believe it we use the term natural things do really come naturally i think naturally we want to be part of something i think naturally we want to have fun and be included and what a better environment to do it than in the shrine where their their mindset and the whole premise of it is to have fun helping kids which really aligns with a lot of those same values i think for me i joined this organization uh being a legacy and i can remember when i was young sitting outside of a hotel at a summer event and being just memorized by the bagpipers and then i watched a bagpiper jump onto a motorcycle and go driving around town and to me it just looked like something fun and so when i joined i didn't know about the hospital i joined because of the fun and then later the hook was the hospital and you know meeting one shrine patient meeting um you know the hospital staff that that's really what brought it home for me but again it started on the premise of fun and if you look at our organization that is why we started and so i think the one thing that i want to make sure that we do is we make sure that we're having fun that we're having family fun and it's not just you know mom and dad it's it's our whole shrine family so whether it's aunts uncles it's the communities that we serve to me that's our shrine family it's and it's ever growing and i i just have a lot of joy knowing that our family's getting bigger and that's rap.