National ALA Junior meetings provide fun and learning

Posted On: Friday, 06 January 2023

Register your Junior member today! 

Looking for a way to break up the winter blahs? Register your Junior for a national Junior meeting! Spend a Saturday learning about the ALA and our mission, interacting with peers, and having fun throughout the entire experience. 
“I would totally recommend going to one of these events,” said Samantha Stai, 2022-2023 Northwestern Division honorary national Junior division vice president. “It will give you a better understanding of the American Legion Auxiliary and just a fun time to see other Juniors.” 
The national Junior meetings aren’t like school or even unit meetings. Kids who attend these one-day events learn leadership skills and why we do things the way we do in the ALA. They also participate in crafty service projects. This year, there will be four crafts as part of the service project — a hand-decorated canvas bag, a handmade “Open When…” card, a poppy bracelet, and a poppy picture frame. The Juniors will make two bracelets and picture frames — one they’ll keep and one that will be given along with the bag and card to a companion at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival to tie in with ALA National President Vickie Koutz’s focus on NVCAF companions.
“My favorite craft we made were the poppy bracelets,” Stai said after attending the Minneapolis national Junior meeting in November. 
Often a favorite for Juniors who attend is watching or participating in the Military Child Table ceremony. This year, the POW/MIA table ceremony was added. Other parts of the day include installing the Junior division national vice president at the beginning of the meeting, practicing folding the American flag, learning about ALA programs — National Security, Americanism, Leadership, Membership, Poppy, Junior Activities program patches, and more. 
Upcoming 2023 ALA national Junior meetings:
Jan. 21 – Indianapolis
Jan. 28 – Nashville
Feb. 4 – Las Vegas
Juniors who attend one of the above events will receive a free ALA branded T-shirt, as well as the book America’s White Table about the POW/MIA ceremony. 
“If any Juniors have the opportunity to attend, they should,” Stai said. “This is an amazing opportunity, and we have so much fun!” 

Register your Junior member today! 
Bonus idea for units/departments: Juniors are the future of the ALA and it’s important to get them involved early in the organization. As a unit or as a department, you could work together to fund your Juniors to attend these important events — sometimes, not having the money is the only reason a Junior doesn’t attend and get involved. You could be the one to make a difference!
The national Junior meetings are held at the same time and in the same city as ALA Mission Training 101 for our adult members. Juniors who have celebrated their 8th birthday or older may attend the national Junior meetings. Be sure to follow the ALA Juniors on Facebook. #ALAJuniors
By Sara Fowler

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.