SUVCW Department of Kansas
Commander Thomas E. Schmidt, PDC

“For the good of the order.” Many of you may have heard that phrase if you have attended a SUVCW National Encampment, Kansas Department Encampment or maybe even at a camp meeting.  I think of it as someone who has an item, idea, or information to share with the group as a whole for the benefit of the group. But how can we adopt this same thought process to us as individual SUVCW members in relationship to our camp and the SUVCW organization as a whole? Let’s break it down.

“For the good of the order” may mean attending camp meetings on a more regular basis.  Maybe it is volunteering to share a program of some kind at your camp meeting.  This program could range from information about your ancestor, to a particular civil war battle or something that you are especially interested in from the civil war era.  Others might just learn and enjoy from the topic you choose.

 It could be serving in an elected or appointed position in your camp for the first time or second time or X number of times.  Maybe it is getting a group of your members to march in a local parade with your camp banner or doing a recruiting table as some event in your community. If your camp has a cemetery project, try to  participate and bring someone with you.  If your camp doesn’t have a cemetery project, do some research and start one.  How about putting out flags on Memorial Day or be involved in an existing Memorial Day ceremony?  Participate and bring someone with you.  How about inviting someone you know to a camp meeting?  The camp is the lifeblood of our organization. Tell someone about the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.  If our camps are strong, active, growing and vibrant, we have a healthy organization.  Let’s make it the best that it can be.

Ours is a unique organization.  Your ancestor would be proud of you for still honoring his memory and service by belonging to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, but even better, by actively participating and helping to keep the organization going.  I challenge each of you this next year to be an ambassador for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and participate in making it something potential members want to join and be part of.  Let’s commit to leaving your camp and the Department of Kansas in better shape than we found it.  Let’s make this year “For the good of the order.”

Yours in Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty,

Thomas E. Schmidt, PDC
Department of Kansas