The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

A special plan for explaining Beta Sigma Phi to rushees ...


Written and submitted by Angelyn Bloom - Georgia Delta Nu.

PROPS: Most important is one member chosen to assist the Vice President. This member does not need to speak and needs no special costume, though a plain basic dress would emphasize the demonstration. She acts like a mannequin in a store window, moving only when the Vice President moves her.

Also needed are: 1 cardboard heart, a violet colored ribbon large enough to fit around an upper arm, a book, a glass, a long necklace or bright piece of jewelry.

The Vice President begins:
"Beta Sigma Phi. So often we members hear or say these words without really stopping to think of their meaning. Beta Sigma and Phi are Greek letters which begin the Greek words meaning Life - Learning - and Friendship.

Beta Sigma Phi was founded by Walter W. Ross on April 30, 1931 in Abilene, Kansas. His goal was to give each member the opportunity to make of her own life a work of art - a masterpiece of Beauty, Love and Truth.

Beta Sigma Phi has now grown to a membership of 200,000 in 11,000 Chapters in 25 different countries of the free world. This allows members to transfer membership to other chapters if they move. So you can see that usually, no matter where she goes, a Beta Sigma Phi finds friends and sisters waiting.

Beta Sigma Phi contributes to Whole Woman!! Sitting here we have a woman who does not yet know the fulfillment of being a Beta Sigma Phi. (Points to member who acts as mannequin.) She is one woman with several different images.

If she is married she is wife, lover, friend to her husband.
If she has children, she is the giver of life, counselor, nurse, chauffeur to them.
If she is single she gives of her time and talents to succeeding in her chosen career. Perhaps she is married, a mom & works full time outside the home. Or maybe she is a single mom with a career. Regardless, she is a busy woman and often she is so busy with these other images she forgets about herself. Without developing THIS image of self, the others often times become overworked, overdeveloped and taken for granted.

We are now going to give this woman a new image of herself.
The first thing we do is to bring her into the golden circle of friendship. (As she says this, the speaker helps the assisting member to stand, facing the audience, and then continues to speak . . .) And that is what this group of you are - a golden circle of friendship.

After entering this circle of friendship, she will find the love that is in every Beta Sigma Phi. (At this time, the speaker pins the cutout heart on her assistant.) This love enables her to give of herself to her sisters, to overlook their petty faults, and to understand her fellow sisters and their needs and problems.

Then we open a new world of cultural interests to this woman. (At this time, place in her hand a book.) This is done through the Beta Sigma Phi cultural programs. These programs are designed to broaden her horizons; to give her a world of art, beauty, self-expression and understanding. In each degree of Beta Sigma Phi, and there are six degrees, the programs are designed to give a better understanding of yourself and your fellow man; designed to help you become an even more interested and interesting person.

We season this woman with service. (At this time, pin the violet arm band around her arm.) Beta Sigma Phis know that before she can receive the fruits of Life, Learning and Friendship, she must first give of herself. Beta Sigma Phis enjoy their projects designed to help others. Service to others is returned 10 times in the inner joy and pleasure this woman receives.

To round off the whole woman, we must add a world of social activities. (At this time place a necklace around her neck and a cup/saucer or glass in her other hand.) Beta Sigma Phis have parties, luncheons, dances, and just plain good fellowship throughout the sorority year.

Many activities include husbands (or significant others) and families. In addition, we have our traditional Founder's Day celebrations. On that day, we honor our Founder, Walter W. Ross, and celebrate our own year's achievements. We present chapter awards and Woman of the Year of each chapter. The Woman of the Year is a member whom the chapter feels has contributed the most of her time, effort and herself. (Mention other traditional activities you have in your chapter such as Valentine dance, Mother's Day event, etc)

Before you now, you see a complete woman. A woman who has developed her own self-image, and is therefore better able to give of herself to her other images. She is happy and joy to know. SHE IS A BETA SIGMA PHI! (At this time, the assistant should break out in a big happy smile, and seem to come to life.)

I would like to close with this poem, and hope each of you will listen with your heart as well as your mind.


Take yourself
Strip away any layers of egotism and self pity
Cut out all seeds of unkind thoughts;
All unhappy emotions'
Remove all worries and doubts
Then add:
One firm belief that life is worth living
Mix well with the practical idea
That you ARE somebody;
Season with a sense of humor and optimism.
Sweeten with love
Then add one strong determination
To life at its fullest
Every hour of the day - come what will.

Now, while our hostesses serve refreshments, please let me show you to our display table. (Gather rushees around display table, show them each item and explain it. Answer questions and get on a friendly, personal basis with each prospective member.)

(While rushees are enjoying refreshments, go to each one individually to answer questions, encourage talk about what committee she would like to serve on in a chapter, to give ideas for what kind of projects she thinks would be fun and worthwhile in a chapter.)

Angelyn Bloom who presented the ideas for this method of presentation says,
"The most important thing about this program is that it should not sound rehearsed or phony. It should be prepared and practiced so it can be given with confidence. The beauty of the program is the feeling which should be transmitted to the listeners. It is best when the Vice President uses her own words."

Of all the programs, speeches or storytelling I have done in Beta Sigma Phi, this one was best received. This type of program MUST be given with SINCERITY.

I hope other chapters will be able to use this idea however they develop it or change it. I only know that I have had pleasure in writing and giving it."

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