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Re: Soap Box

In a message dated 96-07-30 10:34:17 EDT, you write:

> "Care
>Growth of New Members".
>1.  "Load'em up" - with irises.  There's no quicker way to encourage
>than to
>       give new members lots of different types of irises from the
>2.  Establish an Iris Lending Library.  Make info available to new members
>       library
>3.  Assign an "Iris-Buddy".  Each new member should be assigned an
>       becomes good friends with the new member; acts as a resource person
>       questions or refer the question to other members; calls and reminds
>new member
>       of upcoming meetings and activities; introduces the new member to
>everyone in the
>       club; encourages conversation  about a general iris topic to;
>the new member        to tour his garden and takes the new member to other
>members' gardens.
>4.  Make a "New Member Welcome Packet", which lists upcoming club
>      and their telephone numbers; and a "a panic & help list" to call
>members who           specialize in particlular iris varieties for help.
>5.   Get the new member involved! Make the person a part of the organization
>assigning       him to a committee.  One excellent assignment is to help
>digging and dividing            irises.  You can't beat "hands-on" training.
>Make sure he/she is included in all 
>     discussions/decisions.  As a new member they should be asked for views
>     different perspective.  Develop a bonding with the group.  Nothing is a
>     as being somewhere where you're overlooked, made feel to be in the way,
>      made to feel  welcome.
>6.  The less meetings your society has is time lost with individual members
>     in the society.  Programs should be varied and not necessarily be all
>Most of
>     us are gardeners first, and need other things growing to look at when
>don't have
>     irises in full bloom.  Don't stray too far away on program topics
>Also, it never
>     hurts to "review" the basics.
>     While all of these suggestions may help keep new members after the
>year we 
>must remember that these societies are volunteer organizations and are only
>as the members push for and want  it to be.  
>Bill Smoot - climbing down from the soap box!    

Attention editors, including Zebra and Mr. Stoneburner....this input from
Bill Smoot deserves, in my opinion, to be seen in Bulletins and regional
publications....great ideas!  And I add my own suggestion that I've made
before:  Get new members to take on jobs...give them a little job description
if appropriate to help them out.  Jobs that are good for this purpose are
being clerks at shows... helping to unpack and arrange rhizomes at sales,
getting publicity for club activities, i.e. publicity chairman... bringing
some refreshment, e.g. homebaked cookies, to a club event...any job..but you
have to call them  up and ask them...You will get more positive answers than
you expect...people very often like to ask...and it makes them feel useful
(And every local club can always use a new worker)...Clarence Mahan in Va

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