Camps of the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans
Below will be founding a listing of the Local State Camps of the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans. Each Camp has shown its name, city and state it was chartered in, and is followed by the Camps Point of Contact for further information. Please contact the Webmaster to add or change any information about a Camp listed below, or to report a broken link.
How to Form a Camp
Hope for the Future. Persons willing to act as organizers of camps of the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans must believe the organization is a worthy one, with a future, and the best kind of memorial that the United Spanish War Veterans Camps or Comrades can leave behind.
Such persons are cautioned against becoming discouraged at the lack of cooperation they will probably encounter. Just try to remember how worthy the cause is and expend a little more effort.
Among the arguments of defeatism will be the old one about there not being enough possible members in the locality to make a camp possible. And the newer one to the effect that potential candidates will not be interested in joining because of membership in the American Legion or the Veteran of Forgein Wars. But let a little recruiting be done among the families of the former members of the United Spanish War Veterans and one will be agreeably surprised at the number of prospects that turn up!
A meeting will have to be arranged, prospects will have to be interviewed, plans made for institution and installation ceremonies, etc… However, in recruiting candidates, a different type of inducement will have to be present to prospects. The appeal to Comradeship which could be used by Veterans will be of no avail here. There will be noting in the way of material benefits such as pensions, hospitalization, or burial subsidies to dangle before the eyes of the prospect.
The appeal to potential Sons must lay in the love a son or grandson or great grandson holds for his forbear as a veteran; the patriotism one will be evidencing by affiliation with a patriotic order; and the opportunity enrollment affords for a social and recreational outlet.
Procedure. A Camp may be formed by the authority of the National President, but a charter shall not be issued unless the application shall be signed by at least eight (8) persons who are eligible to membership and whose qualifications shall have been previously determined and accepted by the Department President, if in the jurisdiction of a Department. A Charter fee of five ($5.00) dollars must accompany each application for a Charter. Each Camp in the process of formation shall charge an initiation fee of not less than three ($3.00) dollars. The initiation fee shall in all cases accompany the application. No Camp shall act upon an application unless said initiation fee shall have been deposited beforehand. In the event the applicant for membership is rejected the fee is to be refunded immediately.
How to Secure Prospects. A Camp Organizing Officers should send a letter to each and every member of the Sons within the area of the proposed Camp informing them of his intention of forming the New Camp. This list of Members At Large within the area of a potential Camp may be acquired from the National Secretary.
Having found the whereabouts of immediate prospects, it will be a good policy to send them letters regarding the movement and enclose literature about the "Sons." The committee on organizing will do well to make as many person to person contacts as possible. If possible try to have some of the prospects accompany committeemen on recruiting visits as they will put prospects at their ease.
Meetings. Don’t let the interval between the release of the first letter and the first get-together be too long. And try to have members of nearby Sons camps attend, as well as any Department Officers. Be certain to notify all eligible candidates about the meeting.
At the first meeting have each prospect rise and announce his name and address and his connection to the Veterans of 98’ to 02’. This will enable persons who reside in the same locality to "buddy up;" for coming and going to meetings. Make sure that all candidates become acquainted. Pay especial attention to the shy candidates.
Form recruiting committees from the first batch of sons and have them take over the work under the guidance of original committeemen. Make sure they carry literature. Form teams of two or three.
Temporary Officers. In so far as what happens at these meetings will constitute camp history later on, it will be well to have a record kept of what happens. Therefore, a temporary Presiding Officer and Recording Secretary should be selected. And, if the organizer desires, he may also suggest that a temporary Treasurer be selected to whom he may relinquish the monies he has collected thus far from candidates. He should admonish the person selected to give and ask for receipts for all monies taken in and disbursed.
These temporary officers provide the machinery by which the groups can conduct nominations and elections for permanent officers of the camp-to-be. Therefore, a date should be chosen for this all-important business and all candidates, as well as prospects who have failed to show up at previous meetings, should be notified by mail.
Officers to be nominated and elected are a President, Senior Vice President, Junior Vice President, Chaplain, Guide, and three (3) Trustees, to serve one (1), two (2) and three (3) years terms respectively. Let it be understood that the "Sons" do not want sponsored or appointed men in the chairs of their camps. No member should hold an office in the camp solely because his father or grandfather was active in the organizing. On the other hand, let no person be denied office for the reason that his parent has never been outstandingly active in the Veterans' Camp. Choose officers on their merits, interest and activity. The first should consist of qualities as a leader, capability to carry the organization, etc. And under no circumstances will the matter of religion, racial extraction or nationality descent be permitted to enter the picture when nominating or electing officers.
Careful selection of these first leaders may mean the difference between a successful camp and a failure and the organizer should stress this fact prior to nominations and elections.
Naming of the Camp. A very important thing is the matter of a name for the new camp. It cannot be too forcibly pointed out that the "Sons" is an organization which has as its principle purpose the commemorating of events and personalities connected with the war and campaigns in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and China. Therefore, it is suggested that a name having a historical connotation or that of a dead man, notable in those days be chosen. The number of the camp will be designated by National Headquarters.
Open Charter Period. The Charter of New Camps will remain open for a Sixty (60) day period after the institution of the camp, during which time additional members may be taken into the camp and considered charter members. A list of all members after the open charter period is ended shall be sent in to Department Headquarters in duplicate. Where no Department exists send this list to the National President at the National Headquarters. The list should include the names of members, their place of residence, and the names of the persons on whom they base their eligibility with the latter's service record.
Conclusion. This concludes the necessary information and the mode of procedure relative to the formation of a Camp of the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans. If there is anything that is not clear or any question relative to organizing that has not been covered herein, to your satisfaction, please feel free to contact a National Officer for clarification.
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