Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross
Ideas & suggestions on ways to use the 2002-2003 International theme.
As defined in Webster's New World Dictionary, gateway is:
Refer to clip art using gates, arches, trellises, etc.
The vintage clip art from a late 1930's issue of The Torch ideally conveys the meaning of this theme. Two women stand at the gated entrance, bidding welcome to all who enter the wonderful world of Beta Sigma Phi -- a beautiful world of Life, Learning and Friendship.
Garden gates - What a great place to use our yellow rose! Plan a garden party. Wear hats. Have a contest to see who can make the prettiest, or the silliest! Use clay flowerpots to bake bread; put salad in a plastic-lined child's wheelbarrow, use a trowel for the salad fork & spoon! Arrange a bouquet of real (or silk) yellow roses (or flowers of any kind) in a watering can for your centerpiece. Serve Dirt Cake! Give Friendship Seeds as a favor. (see below)
Variation at the garden gate: Strawberries! Use baskets & place beautiful, fresh strawberries in plastic lined containers inside the basket. It makes for a beautiful & inviting display. Serve strawberry refreshments: candies, cakes, breads, slush, ice cream et al. Great recipes abound in most any cookbook. Last year's Beta Sigma Phi cookbook or The Recipe Rack would be a great resource for strawberry recipes. Simple dippers include: powdered sugar, brown sugar, powdered or melted chocolate, cinnamon.
Use a gardener theme . . . anything related to gardening. Gardens are beautiful gateways to friendship! Invite guests to enter yours. Use vintage tablecloths, twigs, vines, colorful fabric pillows, abundant with plants & flowers. Send a package of seeds with an invitation to join you & your chapter for whatever social, rush party, event of your choosing. Friendships forged & memories created in the garden make the sweetest bouquets. Display your favorite birdhouses, wind chimes, gardening books. These would all make great Secret Sister, hostess or anytime remembrances, too!
Gateways of any kind seem to bid us welcome.
Grandma's Country Gate - decorate with country inspired items, old-fashioned treasures, display antiques; display bleeding heart plants to greet all who enter the gate. It has heart-shaped blossoms (1st great lesson & the fellowship of Beta Sigma Phi is LOVE, symbolized by hearts). There are rubber stamps available with bleeding hearts, check greeting cards as well.
Do you know the wonder & surprise inside the bleeding heart bloom? Pull a single plucked blossom gently apart. "This is what you'll get for Christmas (or, substitute the occasion). Two pretty pink rabbits, a pair of ballerina slippers, two fishing hooks, & a baseball bat." Use your imagination! It is easy to see the surprise each blossom holds.
Often times, the bleeding heart is called a lady's locket, for it suggests such with the rosy-red & pink candy heart blossoms. It received its name from the outer petals that form a tiny heart, while inside a tiny inner petal 'bleeds' its tip. (Use at a Valentine's Day themed event.)
Bleeding hearts suggest an old-fashioned garden that gladdens a cottage, & history proves how gardeners were captivated with its charm. This would provide an excellent opportunity to bring out & use those 'time-worn' terra-cotta pots.
Bleeding hearts would fit well with a Victorian themed party as well.
Pasture gates. If you grew up on a farm, you know the fun of old pasture gates! Plan a social, using a pasture gate theme. Wear jeans, overalls; bandanas, straw hats, hay bales. Nametags & invitations can include farm animals or plain old farm & pasture gates or barns!
Plan a hoedown!! Wildflowers could be used in abundance. Use persimmons when they come in season. Find fully ripe ones, remove the seed, carefully split it in half. A bit of imagination reveals a fork, knife & spoon!
And, go with me here! This is somewhat far-fetched. . .but I think it might have great fun (!) & different possibilities. Some of us have 'Gateway' computers. Recall the cow in the Gateway ads on tv? Plan a social, even a program around 'black & white.' Find a Gateway computer box or any large sized box & have a contest to see who can decorate one that most looks like a cow. Team-up for fun & hilarity! Use cows in your events' invitations & of course, "Moo!" Attach the invitation to a cowbell! Decorate with Queen Anne's Lace. Programs could include a chapter visit around all the Beta Sigma Phi websites using your (Gateway computers): Home Page, Membership, Rushing, Friendly Venture, Torch Department, Gift Department, The Beta Journal, The Strawberry Patch, Wooble's Place On The Net! In fact, go to The Strawberry Patch & just click on a topic of interest to you & voila! You have your program!
Other theme related socials, programs, yearbook, scrapbook ideas could include:
Plan an all-white event:
Program ideas could include:
With every seed planted, there comes the hope of something wonderful - the promise of a garden. As well, we could say this about friendship!
Use a 'stepping-stones' idea --- often found leading to or from a gateway to a beautiful garden. The 'stepping-stones' of Beta Sigma Phi:
The torch is the symbol of faith we have in the precepts laid down for us by the Wise Woman of Mantinea. These precepts are the foundation stones, the doors of knowledge, the "open sesame" to a bright & wonderful future.
Join these precious stones together & you have a chain*. . .each link a friend, joined by love's tie that binds. . .hand to hand, & heart to heart. . .a golden chain of Friendship.
*Daisies -- make a flower chain of friendship!
The way to appreciate FRIENDSHIP is to keep giving it.
"Sometimes we may find it necessary to fly as on the wings of an eagle, with great strength, to defend our ideals and to accomplish the more difficult objectives. At other times we may be compelled to fly as on the wings of the beautiful redbird, who happily sings her lovely song or preens her soft velvety feathers, using the talents with which she is endowed to give pleasure to others. But always we must fly on the wings of the swallow, who follows the leader in perfect formation."
What would you pick for your bouquet of yellow rose memories?
In both happiness & sorrow the heart of a friend is our common need.
Friendship is the rarest & sweetest flower that grows in the garden of life. Its soil is the human heart. It is planted by honest thought, matured by tears of sympathy & kept alive by good wishes.
Thoughtfulness is to Friendship as sunshine is to a garden.
She who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and she who plants kindness gathers love.
The only rose without thorns is. . .friendship!
Friendship is a word the very sight of which in print makes the heart warm.
But friendship, like any other living thing, like love, must be fed & nourished, or it will fade & die. Do things for your friends & with them & allow them to do things for you. Let them know you remember them & value them, that you are happy to be with them, & happy to hear from them. Keep your friendships alive & bright-they are the most valuable things you will ever have.
Gateway(s) to Friendship using a garden type theme goes well with a tea party of any description. (You can substitute tea with fruit juice, hot chocolate, warm milk, iced tea, etc.) An excellent resource is a book entitled, "The Twelve Teas of Friendship." It was written by Emilie Barnes & Anne Christian Buchanan. Harvest House Publishers, 2001. It is loaded with beautiful, sisterly ideas including ideas for a Gold & Silver Tea, A Hearts-and-Hands Tea, A Shopping Bag Tea, A 'Job-Well-Done' Tea, Share Your Treasure Tea. It's a book filled with inspiration & lovely thoughts.
Call a friend the next time you:
Tools for gardening include:Tools for life include:
"The hardiest climbers in all the world need sturdy support to show their stuff. Why should friends be any different?"
Pansies at your Gateway to Friendship symbolize loving thoughts
Plan a Plant-Swapping Social - each bring a cutting from a favorite plant & 'down-to-earth' advice!
Friends, like flowers, give pleasure just by being.
If you do a kindly deed,
A Friend is someone who makes time to get together when there is no time. . .who puts seeing you ahead of being seen.
How to make a basket of flowers:
Flowers grow & bloom together
There are many kinds, and yet each has unique beauty to offer.
There are friends who share our paths during certain stages of our lives,
while others stay close to us year after year.
Some are vibrant, admired for their strength,
While others are delicate whispers of color
whose gentleness has a special place in our hearts.
We meet many different kinds of friends along life's journey,
Each adding color, joy & beauty to our days."
Idea for using Friendship Seeds. . .
LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU: A Sisterhood Salad
(from the Rushing Dept, Beta Sigma Phi Int'l)
This is a great idea for a rush party, or a get-together where you plan informally to explain Beta Sigma Phi to prospective members. Could be easily used around a garden party theme & works very well with our Gateway to Friendship theme.
LETTUCE ENTERTAIN YOU:
A Sisterhood Salad
(Name of Your Chapter)
Setting: A table, spread with a plain cloth. A large salad bowl is centered on the table.
Cast: In order of appearance -
Gather names: for your guest list. Invite those whom you think would enjoy what Beta Sigma Phi has to offer & who would make good members.
Select the party site: This party can be adapted to any season & any setting, but if weather & timing allow, it's perfect for a backyard, patio, courtyard, garden area.
Invitations: Create your own or do what the members of Florida Delta Delta, Tampa did. They designed their invitations to look like seed packets with a map to the hostess' home as the "suggested planting time and guide."
Decorations: Take a cue from Mother Nature herself! What could be prettier than a room, porch, patio, courtyard filled with vases of wild or garden flowers or blooming potted plants? Or baskets of strawberries, other fresh fruit or vegetables that can later be given away as favors, door prizes or eaten for dessert! FL Delta Delta decorated the front door of their party site to look like a giant version of the seed packet design.
Name tags: Refer to sample art in theme clip art - (garden trowel & potted flower.)
Mixers/Games/Activities: Remember the fun of playing "Mr. Potato Head?" Try your own version, having guests do self-portraits using a variety of vegetable parts for eyes, ears, nose, celery strings or corn silk for hair. Votes on the best/funniest portrait will get everyone involved.
Entertainment: Show your guests how a chapter works together with your own presentation of "Lettuce Entertain You: A Sisterhood Salad." Adapt the script to describe your own chapter and its members - and have fun with it! Program handouts will help your guests remember your cast of characters.
Food: Cultivate new friends with great food! What's a more obvious choice for a garden party than a buffet of garden salads, and delicious Dirt Cake for dessert. Offer iced tea and a pretty party punch made with lime sherbet, ginger ale and 7-up.
Favors/Prizes: Small potted plants (marigolds, petunias, or herbs - rosemary is for remembrance!) are inexpensive and make a lasting take-home keepsake. Attach a card saying "As this plant grows and flourishes, so will your friendship and sisterhood in Beta Sigma Phi." Or try this great idea for "Stuffed Carrots" sent to us by California Tau Eta, Hemet member Carolyn Goldback:
1] Cut 6" x 10" rectangles of orange cellophane and twist into a cone, affixing with two sided tape.