Membership Hack: Host an ‘Amazing Race’

The American Probation and Parole Association is adding some friendly competition to its annual conference to get members moving in their host city.

How to hack it? At this year’s Annual Training Institute, the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) is launching a new workshop designed to get members moving beyond the meeting room.

The Community Corrections Chase is a competitive challenge and race that will orient attendees to New York City while teaching them about common practices, theories, and policies related to the justice system. It’s a scavenger hunt, similar to what you might see on CBS’s Amazing Race, says APPA Executive Director Veronica Cunningham. “I’ve had discussions with a lot of members, both young and old, and they were looking for something to get those competitive juices flowing,” she says. “We have three sites in New York helping to put this challenge together, and each stop will be a chance for our members to learn.”

Why does it work? The off-site activity gets a large group of members working together to solve common problems that they might face in the field. The three stops include the Vera Institute of Justice, the Center for Court Innovation, and New York City’s Probation Department. “All of the teams will go to those stops and complete prepared activities that deepen their professional development,” Cunningham says. “At the same time, there will be detours that orient members to some of the city’s sights and attractions.”

What’s the bonus? This new style of programming is designed to get members moving and active outdoors. And it’s more engaging than APPA’s traditional workshops that take place in meeting rooms, Cunningham says. “If you think about probation and parole officers, getting out there is the very nature of the job,” she says. “These are people who are strongminded and not afraid to walk through a few doors.”

Give your event an "Amazing Race" vibe. (CBS Television)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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