Issue 51: AKA Corner

Hello from the new president. The AKA is part of my family, and I am honored to serve as the AKA president.

I’m not sure how many of you have ever read the purpose of the AKA in the bylaws. It’s really not the kind of thing most people curl up with at night but its actually pretty exciting stuff. It lays out a venture that is larger than all of us together.

Section II of the AKA Bylaws

The overall purpose of the Association shall be to educate the public in the art, history, technology, and practice of building and flying kites; to advance kiting, its joys and its values, in all nations. To that end, the Association shall work to:

  1. Share information about kiting and provide avenues of communication among kiters.
  2. Promote kiting as a rewarding form of art, sport, utility and scientific study for all ages.
  3. Facilitate coordination and planning of kiting activities.
  4. Provide an international educational resource for the development of kiting.
  5. Maintain historic records of kite studies, activities and achievements.
  6. Seek interchange with kite associations worldwide.

I find that a really energizing pursuit; to bring the joy and value of kiting to the world We have an outstanding magazine and an incredible deal on event insurance but we are not about these things. We are the embodiment of kite flying. We recruit members not to be our customers but to be our partners.

Bringing the joy of kiting to the whole world is a humongous task; it’s a mission that is far bigger than the AKA. It’s a mission that the founder’s of the association were working on when many of us were still in grammar school. It’s a mission that I hope people will be working on after all of us have turned to dust. It’s also a wonderfully fun and exciting mission; the opportunity to affect the world in a positive way, to share joy and passion with the whole planet. The association may never truly fulfill this mission but it is an adventure worth the journey.

The AKA provides a valuable benefit, to communities, that is broader than just providing a magazine and insurance to individuals. We do this while we are having fun flying and talking about our kites. We are not just a club who likes kiting; we are a non-profit corporation on a crusade to share kiting.

The AKA board of directors and committees are currently brainstorming ideas for how to bring the association closer to our ultimate goal. I invite each of you to contribute by sending any AKA board member an email with your ideas. The goals for this next year will be published when they are complete; I hope you will join in our efforts to achieve great things for kiting.

One area where we are especially beefing up the AKA’s efforts is in education; Ronda Brewer has joined the board as the chair of the education committee. Explicitly this committee will work on resources for our younger members and teaching kite flying to them. Ronda however doesn’t just want to stop there, she’s already thinking of other educational opportunities, such as resources for kite making workshops and retreats.

Of course the AKA already has many great things going for it including our convention and National Kite Month. Our new convention chair Mike Shaw is striving to pack more ways to have fun in to the convention week and of course the Grand Nationals which host the largest competition in the US are always a key part of the week. Mike Dallmer is hard at work on National Kite Month, in cooperation with the Kite Trade Association, to make it more colossal than ever. Concentrating our efforts to create as many events as possible in one month is a great way to get the word out about how fun kite flying is to the public The impact of all the events together is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Accomplishing awesome things in the coming year is within our grasp. Kiting is a passion best shared. The more people infected with its passion, the more it will grow, invite someone to join you and your kites on your next kiting adventure.

    Susan Skinner
AKA President