Re: Soap Box
The infamous IrisBorer writes:
>This is all in response to an article published some time ago that was VERY
>much like what you said... person said she felt like she was invited to a
>party where she didn't know anyone. We try our best in our club to make
>every member welcome - without pressure.
I won't "hog' the soapbox, but just add a few suggestions comments on the "Care
Growth of New Members".
1. "Load'em up" - with irises. There's no quicker way to encourage interest
give new members lots of different types of irises from the beginning.
2. Establish an Iris Lending Library. Make info available to new members via
3. Assign an "Iris-Buddy". Each new member should be assigned an "iris-buddy"
becomes good friends with the new member; acts as a resource person to
questions or refer the question to other members; calls and reminds the
of upcoming meetings and activities; introduces the new member to
everyone in the
club; encourages conversation about a general iris topic to; invites
the new member to tour his garden and takes the new member to other
4. Make a "New Member Welcome Packet", which lists upcoming club activities,
and their telephone numbers; and a "a panic & help list" to call certain
members who specialize in particlular iris varieties for help.
5. Get the new member involved! Make the person a part of the organization by
assigning him to a committee. One excellent assignment is to help with
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 from
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, or
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 iris.
us are gardeners first, and need other things growing to look at when we
irises in full bloom. Don't stray too far away on program topics though.
Also, it never
hurts to "review" the basics.
While all of these suggestions may help keep new members after the first
must remember that these societies are volunteer organizations and are only as
as the members push for and want it to be.
Bill Smoot - climbing down from the soap box!