Bored by Boards: Tales of a Newly-Converted Board Dodger


Bored by Boards. They're not very exciting. It's not like they serve me food and drinks or anything at all.

Boards. They’re not very exciting, are they? They don’t do tricks. They certainly don’t serve me food or drinks or anything at all. Sheesh.

Bored by Boards. That term exactly expresses my sentiment about serving on boards and committees. Such tasks sound endlessly dry, dull, sedentary… and painfully grown-up. And so, it is no wonder that I have made a career of avoiding them.

As someone whose varied careers and roles have generally involved children and youths, the payoffs for avoiding the dreaded boards and committees have been many. For example, instead of sitting on the fundraising committee for my children’s Parent Council Association, I gave back to the school by chaperoning countless field trips. (Pond dipping, anyone?)  (Here, let me shove my hand into that pumpkin and de-gut it for you. It’s only gross if you think about it too long.)

In my teaching years, I was masterful at avoiding lunch-hour and after-school meetings. My strategy largely involved sharing my love of sports with kids. As such, numerous meetings blissfully passed me by while I coached students in track and field or cross-country running, or while I supervised floor hockey in the gym.

As a parent of athletic children, my club volleyball contributions involved arranging healthy “grazing stations” for the teens during their tournament weekends, and score-keeping their games. In so doing, I had a blast–all while skirting the dreaded roles of secretary or (God forbid!) treasurer, which also required attendance at club meetings.

Sitting on boards... This is what it means, right?

Sitting on boards… This is what it means, right?

In short, I am a doer–not a sitter, and my avoidance tactics have served me well… until today, when I begin my three-year term as Board Member with the Young Alberta Book Society (YABS).

After years of being a Board dodger, how do I feel about this turn of events?

Let me put it this way… Do you know people who swore they’d never date or get married again, yet who are enjoying wedded bliss as we speak? I do too, and presumably all it took was finding “the right person.” Well, I have found my right person. Or in this case, the right organization: YABS.

And what’s not to love about this description: “For over 25 years, YABS has been an advocate for children’s literacy in Alberta. Its mission is ‘to foster literacy and a love of reading among young people in Alberta by providing access to the province’s literary artists and their work.'”

Literacy, love of reading, young people, Alberta, literary artists… Sold!

So here I am–a newly-minted Board member who, with any kind of luck, might even be able to manage the “adult” part of the equation for a few hours. Best of all, I have a back-up plan; I am going to secretly (shhh!) pack along a soccer ball, a pair of running shoes, and a whistle–in case my first meeting threatens to get too serious.

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