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 The Rose Garden
 Contributed by: Karen M. Ing, Editor, "The Beta Journal"

 Friendship's Tapestry

Beginning Day officially is August 31st. Most of the chapters and councils begin sooner than this, which is fine.

Beginning Day is a good time to review and preview chapter activities. Yearbooks or rosters should be handed out at this time. This is a good time to preview what is happening in the sorority year to come. Some suggestions for a Beginning Day program are as follows (taken from the May/June "Torch").

  • Welcome From The President
  • Opening Ritual/Yearbook Distribution
  • Resume of Cultural Programs
  • Social Calendar Review
  • Vice President's Report on Membership
  • Forecast of Service Activities to Come
  • Ways and Means Projects in the Works
  • Adjournment/Closing Ritual

Remember, this is a good time to bring in Honorary Guests, Past Members and New Prospective Members. If you know of a Member at Large who might like to attend, this is a good time to invite them.

Keep the Beginning Day agenda informal and loose. Most are there to socialize and meet each other and exchange things that happened over the summer.

If you desire theme oriented Beginning Days for rushing or to jazz it up for the membership, here are some suggestions.

Turn it into a "Surprise Come as You Are Breakfast." Fine members for not having on robes, curlers, socks, shoes, etc. Gather the fines up and put it in the money jar. You just might collect a few bucks for miscellaneous expenses for the year. Charges can vary. 5 cents to 25 cents is a small but good charge for the missing items of clothing the member doesn't wear. IT must be a secret!!! Get two to three members to pick up the gals and divide up their routes. Pickups should be made before 7:30 a.m. to not run the risk of someone being completely dressed.

An informal tea is a nice route to go for those who want less work. An early tea or brunch seems to make the day a nice one for many. Go to a tea room in an antique store or Craters Mall. They serve a variety of nice dishes inexpensively and on different china for each lady. Choices usually are sandwiches, soups salads and flavored teas. Dessert is also available. Make small gift baskets for each member, filled with small trinkets to take with them. Raffle off items like BSP cookbooks, calendars or stationary.

If your membership is not interested in going to much trouble and want to keep things light and brief, have an ice cream social, salad exchange, or potato spud gathering. The hostess supplies the ice cream, potatoes (cooked), or lettuce. The other members supply the toppings or mixtures. For the ice cream social, a variety of toppings can be brought such as nuts, sprinkles, whip cream, sauces, cones and others. For the potato spud party, members could bring: bacon bits, sour cream, cheese, chili, lettuce, tomatoes, cooked broccoli, butter and more. For the Salad Exchange, the ladies could bring their favorite toppings: boiled eggs, bacon bits, croutons, tomatoes, onions, broccoli, cheeses, etc. If someone would like to bring an additional different type salad, by all means allow this. Jello salad or pasta salad add to the luncheon or dinner. Don't forget the bread for the potato social or salad exchange.

If socializing with a large amount of food isn't your chapter's cup of tea, just serve a variety of cookies and finger sandwiches. Munchies are a must to the socializing involved in the Beginning Day.

Decorate how ever you wish. Use theme oriented items in your planning. If it's hearts you want, use napkins, plates, tablecloths, cups, invitations, music, and food centered around it. (i.e., red punch, red decor, heart sandwiches and cookies). The members would receive heart shaped invitations and one of the games could be hearts.

Examples of themes:

  • Jungle Party
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Pajama Party
  • Safari Party
  • Tea Time
  • Brown Bag Social
  • Hawaiian Luau
  • Pool Party
  • Hearty Hats
  • Friendship Exchange

Whatever theme you use, carry it through out in your planning. Go to stores and shop for the bargains or whatever catches your eye. Give yourself time to do this. Look in craft stores, discount stores, stationary suppliers and even your local grocer.

If you have time allotted in your schedule, bring in a guest speaker. This always boost participation and is enjoyable by the membership. Creative Memories always enjoys presenting and showing members how to make a scrapbook.

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