We had a successful first official meeting of the Souda Bay Overseas Support Group on May 9th! At the meeting, attendees were introduced to the new Executive Board, which includes the following officers:
President: Ginger Barker
Vice-President: Sylvia Hollenback
Secretary: Morgan Hill
Treasurer: Teneal Breitesten
Congratulations to our new, elected officers!
Our new Secretary, Morgan Hill, conducted a brief OPSEC training for those in attendance in order to refresh or introduce security considerations for new members while out and about in Crete or on social media. Speaking of social media, the group also introduced its new website here at soudabayfrg.wordpress.com as well as its public Facebook page and closed group, both aptly named Souda Bay Overseas Support Group.
One question that gets posed frequently is “Why does the group have an open Facebook page and also a closed Facebook group?” The answer is, we have both in order to include as many interested persons as possible, while also addressing security concerns for our members as we are in a unique situation simply by being stationed/employed at an overseas naval base in a foreign country. Hence, you can “like” our open Facebook page and you will receive information that is posted to our website; however, in order to receive specifics on location and times of events (other than events on base) it is necessary to join the closed group. Joining the closed group is easy, simply send a message to the admin of the Facebook group indicating your affiliation with NSA Souda Bay and fill out the online membership form on the website. Both of these steps can be done in about 5 minutes, easy-peasy! For additional information on membership, OPSEC training, code of conducts, etc. please visit our membership page.
We have also had our first official event, a “Meet and Greet” get together in Stavros at the home of one of our members. With over forty people attending, it was a great family-friendly event with lots of food and conversation. As a plus, some of the kids and adults were able to get some beach and sun time. A good time was had by all and it was great to get to know each other better in an informal atmosphere. We look forward to many other such events as our group grows.
Some other exciting things have taken place since our first meeting as well. Our committees have formed up and are already meeting together. There are lots of great ideas being put forth and it is a great time to get involved. The current committees we have are: Welcome, Social Activities & Recreation, Community and Charity Outreach, Social Media and Fundraising. If you are interested in joining a committee, please get in touch with us and indicate which committee you are interested in volunteering with and someone will contact you and get you connected. Volunteering for a committee is a great way to meet new people and also get involved!
Our Social Activities and Recreation Committee has some great activities planned, which also intersect with our Community and Charity Outreach Committee. On June 10th, there will be a beach clean-up event followed by a picnic on the beach. You can bring your own picnic or grab something from a local, adjacent taverna. This is a great opportunity to get out and help the local community and enjoy a time of fellowship. You can enjoy more fellowship on June 13th with our “Coffee Break” at a local restaurant. This is a kid-friendly, self-paying event where you can get out and take a morning break with your fellow members and enjoy a coffee or tea while getting to know your Souda Bay family! Check out our this post for additional details and closed Facebook group for specific locations. On the Facebook group and website you will also find information about MWR and NSA Souda Bay, including the Fourth of July Celebration in late June.
We WELCOME you to join us for our next meeting on Tuesday, June 13th at 6:00 p.m. in the Training Rooms of Building 49 on base (next to the Coffee Shop). The second Tuesday of every month is the planned meeting date for the group, at the same location on base. There will also be a child friendly movie playing at Graffitis’ Movie Theater at 6:00 p.m. We invite you to come hear our two guest speakers as well. Representatives from the Fire Department and NSA SB Emergency Management will be speaking, providing us invaluable information regarding Emergency Preparedness and the unique circumstances that members face being in a foreign country and what to do when an emergency arises, as well as who to contact. This looks to be a great meeting with lots of important information relevant to all active duty, civilians and families at NSA Souda Bay!
We look forward to seeing you at a meeting in the near future or connecting with you on our social media!
Your Souda Bay Overseas Support Group