Some years ago a program called the "Lifeblood Experiment" was conducted in the Central States District resulting in the Chapter Counselor program being created. It was felt that if a trained "counselor" could be aligned with up to four chapters (ideal is two chapters per CSR), the attention and assistance he could provide would make a difference in the operation of those chapters. In Dixie the Chapter Counselor is known by the term Chapter Support Representative or CSR.
These CSR's would need some specialized training, so the Society created the Chapter Support and Leadership Training Committee (CSLT) and a good training program. The training centered on the CSR getting to know his chapters, becoming familiar with each chapter's goals through their Mission and Vision Statements, and then doing everything he could to help the chapter accomplish their mission. The training equipped him with a "toolbox" filled with information and ideas in the following areas: membership recruiting and retention, board meeting guidelines, officer job descriptions, district assistance/training programs/opportunities, many other administrative and operational areas and it also includes directories of many resources to access if the CSR hits a dead end.
The CSR and his assigned chapters are a work in progress. He is there to be a resource, friend, to help find answers, to support all areas of chapter administration and operation. A CSR is to be a conduit for information and assistance through other chapters, other CSR's, the District and the Society. He is well connected and knows what is occurring so his chapters can rely on him when they need answers.
As important as what a CSR is, is what he is not. He is not spy who airs a chapter's dirty laundry to the District and he usually isn't a musical coach. His primary functions is to assist the chapter with their various administrative duties and be a resource to find solutions when chapters encounter problems they cannot solve with the resources immediately available to them.
The CSR program is well planned, well trained, AND IN DIXIE IS UNDERSTAFFED DUE TO NOT HAVING ENOUGH PRO-ACTIVE TRAINED VOLUNTEERS. When properly staffed and the chapters participate, it is the best program the Society offers to help you have a successful chapter. Chapters need to use their CSR's and never feel your questions or needs are too trivial. If the CSR can't help directly, he can phone or e-mail someone who can find the answer your need or question. The Dixie District Chapter Support Representative Program has less than half the number of trained CSR's ready and willing to work for you. We need pro-active volunteers who are knowledgeable or willing to learn about the Society/District/Chapters and are willing to receive training/refresher training at District expense.