Chapter D loves to have fun and we enjoy spending time with our sisters. Realizing we have different interests, we developed a questionnaire that listed several activities we thought our members may enjoy participating in. After choosing our favorites, one sister was assigned to head up each group. Their responsibility was to pick a place and time for each event to be held once each month. Our sisters chose to meet for coffee, lunch, walking (weather permitting), cooking dinner together, wine, and a book club. Periodically thrown into that mix is a movie night and a TV series marathon. We spent a weekend at a hotel watching the first season of Downton Abbey and subsequent seasons at sisters’ homes over several weekends. Supporting sisters performing in community events (theatre, holiday chorales, art exhibits, etc) turns into another social event for our chapter. During the summer we meet for lunch and afternoon wine. Each group draws different members. A few members attend several gatherings. The goal is to have fun together and we do.
Here are the strategies we have used in Chapter CB to help our new members get off to a good start:
- Under the leadership of membership chairman, Polly Crowley, we have given priority to assuring that potential new members become acquainted with some of our members and with the mission of the organization before they are proposed for membership. Before becoming members, our new sisters in recent years have attended activities such as our Christmas auction and summer brunch. The membership committee also arranges lunches or get acquainted coffees if one of our CB sisters has a potential member in mind. Our pre-meeting dinners also present a conversation opportunity for our members and some of their friends who are potential P.E.O.s. We have seen the rewards of these efforts as we have watched the development of new CB members who are a good fit for our chapter.
- After a name is presented, a pre-acceptance counseling session is scheduled at the home of a member or in a quiet restaurant. While we don’t use the provided counseling power point programs, we are careful to include the information in discussion form and to provide relevant written information such as a “Guide To When You Are Invited,” a Record, and a copy of the chapter newsletter. We have also learned how important it is to talk frankly about the importance of attendance at meetings and active participation in chapter activities.
- Following initiation, the chapter has expectations of the sister who sponsored the new member. The sponsoring sister becomes the Star Sister for the remainder of the year and assumes responsibility for providing or arranging transportation to meetings if needed. A post initiation counseling session is scheduled by the membership committee within a few weeks of initiation. Often one or more of the members who sponsored the new sister also attends this counseling along with the president and membership committee representatives. At the conclusion of this session, a new member has a roadmap of sorts for her initial chapter involvement. The fact that each of the five membership committee members also chairs a Star Circle (each circle representing a group of members who provide particular support for each other) facilitates the involvement and care of new sisters.
- Chapter CB functions with active committees, and we have seen good results from quickly involving new members in committee activity that matches their interests—and includes mentoring and/or training.
- Our experience has been that those members who get involved quickly are much less likely to be inactive or nonparticipating members in the future. In our busy lives today, active P.E.O. participation–or nonparticipation–seems to be a habit. Our goal is to influence the habit toward participation rather than nonparticipation!
Chapter AM Hailey
Our little membership band of four is super. We have a few fairly simple plans in progress. First the “you’re a star” Membership Committee ‘Report’ was a success. Two sisters were the focus and the QA was somewhat directed. We decided to keep it light and fun. Before we finished other sisters were in on the questions, and the two featured sisters asked one another a question or two. Choice of stars was TOTALLY random. Spring flower (a Margarete look-alike to plant in their yards) was participant’s prize. Each committee member will do the activity sometime during the year.
We work on Rummage Sales and Auctions with a sense of fun and fulfillment. We show our compassion by our love for those women who need our help with the furthering of their education. What a wise way to use our talents and time! Our friendship and care and respect for each other is obvious when attending our meetings. The membership committee likes the program to reflect some of the talents of our members. After each meeting, members give a dollar for each of their “brags,” a way of getting to know each other and their families better. Our courtesy committee keeps us all informed about our sisters. We have a printed biographical booklet that gives the “story” of each of our members and which is given to each newly initiated sister, with an invitation to include their story in this booklet.
We have scheduled one of our meetings in a nearby town where one of our members is the principal of the school so that we can include her in our meeting.
We have scheduled a Membership Committee Program this fall to provide time for the committee to share the valuable information on Membership and Leadership available on the P.E.O. website.
We are working on including those who can’t attend meetings regularly on our committees.
We will continue to connect with non-resident and non-attending members through calls, cards, and visits for birthdays and holidays, and help when needed.
We will continue to explore ways we can identify and provide P.E.O. kindness to collegiate P.E.O.’s at the University of Idaho.
Maintain on-going contact with non-resident members and resident members who cannot attend meetings on a regular basis, and contact inactive members at least once a year
Provide outreach to unaffiliated P.E.O.’s living in the Moscow area including collegiate P.E.O.’s and make initial contact with women referred through the P.E.O. form for “Introduction of a Woman Who is not a P.E.O.”
Provide chapter assistance and encouragement to members and their families during times of need including illness, injury, or loss of a family member. (The Committee may call upon the chapter members to organize additional assistance as needed).
Provide Chapter acknowledgement and celebration in times of accomplishment and major milestones in Chapter members’ lives including recognition of 50 Year Members
Provide one program a year devoted to P.E.O. membership goals, strategies, and tools utilizing the materials available on the International website.
The Membership Committee consists of a Chairman and at least 4 members with at least 1 new member rotating in and 1 member moving to the Chairmanship each year. Membership Committee positions are considered a multi-year commitment of at least 2 years.