BOG – Boots on the Ground

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Boots on the Ground: Idiom, the ground forces actually fighting in a war or conflict at the time of speaking, rather than troops not being engaged or being transported to the fighting.

I first became aware of the acronym BOG when one of my Facebook friends landed in Iraq. Her blog was entitled BOG. I gave this phrase some thought over these past few weeks as our Toastmasters year rushed to its close. I kept thinking of myself as the field commander marshaling the troops for a great offensive, fighting to make our clubs and our district Distinguished by the June 30 deadline.

When our new clubs’ paperwork is processed, District 25 will be Distinguished for 2012-2013. We chartered 13 new clubs and lost only 6, which shows how hard our Boots on the Ground worked to create clubs and to keep struggling clubs moving forward.

Thanks to all of you Boots on the Ground who made your clubs and District 25 Distinguished in 2012-2013. So many of you stepped forward to help. Club presidents, officers, and members set goals for their clubs, added new members, finished that last education award, and accepted the challenge to be Distinguished. Area and Division Governors motivated each club to achieve to its highest potential. District officers created the strategies to guide the efforts of the clubs and other leaders. District senior leadership worked tirelessly to charter new clubs, rescue clubs that had not renewed, and motivate club and district leaders to engage and to accept the challenge. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we have 91 Distinguished clubs, of which 56 are President’s Distinguished!

I would like to recognize the Senior Leadership team for a great year.

Lt. Governor Dean Lampman guided the efforts of our training team to give officers every tool possible to ensure success. Under Dean’s direction, we had two great conferences. A highlight of the year was having International President John Lau and his wife Rebecca as our special guests at the Fall Conference. We also had two wonderful contest seasons. Thank you, Dean, for guiding your team of outstanding district leaders to success in training, conferences, and contests.

Lt. Governor Marketing Marylee Mims is amazing! She worked tirelessly in member and club retention. Thanks to her Helping Hands program, our club loss was minimal this year, with only 6 clubs not renewing. She also led the efforts to charter new clubs, with a total of 13 new clubs added! Thanks to Marylee’s outreach to clubs, we even had a nonrenewing club decide to renew on the last day of the year! Marylee brought the good news to our Celebration party yesterday! Marylee, you never lost hope that we could be Distinguished, and I thank you for that!

Immediate Past District Governor and District Treasurer Diana Patton mentored the senior leadership team throughout the year, helping us focus on priorities, providing data analysis and web updates, keeping our financial records in exemplary fashion, and giving essential support to each of our endeavors. The district is fortunate to have someone of such wide experience and such deep commitment to keep the district moving ever onward and upward.

My great thanks also to District Secretary Sandra Price for her help this year, particularly in the area of communications, and to District SAA John Bergs for being the guy I could always call on for help at a TLI or officer training. It has been a pleasure to serve with you this year.

And thanks to the many other Boots on the Ground who chaired committees, helped with contests and conferences, advised and lent support throughout the year. Special thanks to Area and Division Governors for your work and determination to help clubs succeed.

To those of you who engaged this year, your Boots on the Ground made all the difference. You explored the possibilities of club and district leadership. You provided support to your clubs and members. You put on “The Greatest Show on Earth” and you accepted the challenge “To Boldly Go.” I wish you every success in your continuing Toastmasters journey. It has been my great pleasure to explore the possibilities with you this year. I look forward to working side by side with you, Boots on the Ground   together,  in the upcoming Toastmasters  year. 

Explore the Possibilities!

Bonne K. Stroman, DTM
Immediate Past District 25 Governor, 2012-2013