The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Beta Sigma Phi International Theme 2003-2004 Colors of Friendship

 The Colors of Friendship in the use of our International theme this year are the colors of the jewels of Beta Sigma Phi. You know them: Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, Green, Violet. They are our colors of friendship representing the red of courage, the yellow of vision, the blue of humility, the orange of loyalty, the green of fellowship, the violet of service.
The use of them should, ideally, reflect the members' devotion and dedication to these beautiful ideals of our sisterhood.

 Below is 'background' information from our Rituals, along with some ideas to get you started. These can be adapted to use in your chapter yearbooks, scrapbooks, on invitations, at socials or use in programs. Please use your imagination with our colors. Sky is the limit and I am quite certain you will all make this year breathtakingly colorful and beautiful!

  • 'Crystal prisms - from them come our colors.'
     Use and incorporate hologram paper available in craft and hobby shops.

  • White light of Love passes through the crystal prism composing for us the Spectrum (a series of colored bands separated and arranged in order of their respective wavelengths by the passage of white light through a prism) of beauty.
     Use hearts in the six colors - have them pouring out of boxes, hats, baskets; use them in paint palettes, etc.

  • Colors are referred to as magic hues.
     Try a magic theme. Pull colored hearts (or your choice) out of a hat, or magic hats in the colors. Use the harlequin pattern in colors of the jewels.

  • Use torches in each of the six colors or have the flames each be a different color, i.e., six flames of color, six new torches.

  • Paint brushes
     When our International theme was "Paint A Living Masterpiece" in 1984-85, I developed a 'paint theory' for Beta Sigma Phis. It is suitable to use with this years' theme as well. It is to be applied to any and all aspects of Beta Sigma Phi! Use the pattern of a wide paint brush and write this on it as a reminder to Officers, Committee Chairman, Members in your chapter:
      P. . . . . . POSTIVE ATTITUDE
      A. . . . . . ACCEPTANCE with understanding
     (give it all you've got!)
      N. . . . . . "N"THUSIASM - without which nothing great is
     ever achieved!
      T. . . . . . use the TOOLS* Beta Sigma Phi gives you to Paint
     A Living Masterpiece!
     *tools: Courage, Vision, Humility, Loyalty, Fellowship, Service

    "When Love and Skill work together, expect a Masterpiece!"
     --John Ruskin

  • Paint cans - with colored 'drips' down the side in the six colors (refer to clipart)
     Present Beta Sigma Phi to prospective members by putting props into a colored paint can with the six colors dripping down the side of the can. Pull out a prop to tell about sorority life!

  • Paint palettes

  • Plain canvas; easel

  • Badge - make each pearl a different color

  • 'By that Spectrum we shall see how to make of life a festival of every day.
     Go with a festival theme, any kind, using the colors. Try a Mexican Fiesta! This would make for a fun, delicious & colorful social for any chapter. Make paper flowers* out of table napkins; piņatas; wear bright colored clothing, use colored paper plates, utensils, napkins; make Margaritas!

    *To make flowers: Unfold and layer three brightly colored dinner napkins. They can be of different colors, or all one color. Cut napkins in half. Each half will make one flower.
     Cut off the napkin ridges and scallop all the edges. Accordion fold the napkins and wrap florist wire tightly around the center of the folds. Pull the folds open to resemble a fan. Carefully separate each layer of napkin and pull each layer toward the center of the flower. Avoid pulling from the edges of the napkins because they will tear easily. Arrange a group of flowers in a clay pot for a colorful centerpiece! Place extra pots of 'flowers' around the room!

  • Use the colors in nature where light and color tremble in harmony with the movement of joyous living creatures -- Flowers, trees, stars, sea, rising & setting sun. Try pastels and/or shades of one or two colors.

  • Look into deep places - words of wisdom, experience, advice. Find stories, anecdotes, quotes using each of the 6 colors.

  • Universe - use the colors of Friendship, incorporating them with different cultures around the world. We are, after all, an International Sisterhood. Share your own heritage at rush parties, socials or chapter programs. Dress in accordance with your individual heritage, emphasizing colors and what they mean.

  • Focus on the depth, importance & meaning of the fellowship of Beta Sigma Phi; and its lesson of Love that grows between women who have been "united at the same distaff." (Distaff refers to part of a spinning wheel which has since Old English times symbolized women, their work and concerns.)
     Use the spinning wheel as a theme idea, weaving the colors back and forth.

  • The first three colors are represented by red, yellow and blue - the primary colors and which signify the importance of those three virtues of Courage, Vision and Humility. The last three colors are secondary colors, each of which is formed by the combination of two primary colors, signifying that those virtues are seen as combinations of the virtues of courage, vision, humility, i.e., red - courage, yellow - vision, blue - humility; orange - loyalty - combination of red & yellow; green - fellowship - combination of yellow and blue; violet - service - a combination of blue and red.

    In Bill Ross' Founder's Day message, he has requested that you, the Members, do the following. Why not do this as one of your chapter Programs? For members who are:

    Pledges less than a year: Write to Bill telling him how friendship has affected your life this past year.

    Ritual of Jewels degree members: Write to Bill about the opportunities BSF has brought to you.

    Exemplars degree members: Write Bill about how the green of fellowship has affected your life as a Beta Sigma Phi.

    Preceptor degree members: Write how the red and yellow are apparent in your chapter and in your own life.

    Laureate degree members: Write how the blue and orange has affected your life outside Beta Sigma Phi.

    Master degree members: Write Bill about your most rewarding experience in the realm of our violet ray since receiving your Master degree.

    Click here to go to the on line submission form to print out for your program or take a few moments and complete the form below:

    Colors of Friendship 2003 - 2004

    A. Please select one of the following (for Bill Ross's Friendly Challenge):

    I am a Pledge (less than a year).


    I am a Ritual of Jewels.


    I am a Exemplar


    I am a Preceptor.


    I am a Laureate.


    I am a Master.


    B. Please use the text field below to enter the contest:
    Write and tell me the answer to this question: "WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BETA SIGMA PHI."

    C. During this new sorority year, International is presenting a NEW AWARD for those members and chapters who keep P.A.C.E. (PARTICIPATION, ATTITUDE, COMMITMENT, ENTHUSIASM!) with themselves, their chapter, and their communities of chapters.
    I invite each of your chapters to select one member who best exemplifies those attributes and send her name to me by March 1, 2004. Please use the text field below to send her name and how she best exemplifies P.A.C.E.

    Enter your full name


    Enter your E-mail address   
    Enter your member number   
    Enter your phone number   
    Enter your street address   
    Enter your city   
    Enter your state / province   
    Enter your zip   
    Enter your country   
    Please correct country name, if not USA

    Chapter Name Chapter Number
    Chapter City Chapter State/Province

    Comments and More Detailed Information

  • Go Greek - use Grecian columns, ivy, togas, grapes, refer to clipart of Diotima. Refer to the Toga party plan.

  • Use art supplies, tools, mediums

  • Music - use colored musical notes. Go to a musical concert of some kind in your community. Or, invite a talented member of the community to serenade your chapter with favorite songs. If you haven't already, go together to see the musical, "Chicago". You'll love the songs and music! Why not share your favorite music and why with your chapter sisters. Ask them to share theirs as part of a program presentation.

  • Architecture - tour buildings in your area; give a program on the architecture of a great city you would one day like to visit. Or, perhaps you have traveled there already. Share your pictures and your experience. What a great cultural program this could be.

  • Sculpture - try sculpting something out of clay. This, too, would make for a fascinating program!

  • Books, pictures, paintings - what a great opportunity this is to share your favorites with your sisters as a program!

  • Dance - go to a ballet as a cultural outing; watch a movie such as Chorus Line; or a movie that features great dancers like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, James Cagney just to name three. Have a slumber party and watch the movie together. Then try to dance like they did in the movie!!! (Send pictures to International, too!!!) J

  • Use sorority symbols with colors:
     Great golden Phi is the golden circle of friendship
     Greek letter Sigma
     Flaming Torch
     Yellow rose
     Crest is a shield
     Lamp of Knowledge
     Book resting on leaves
     Latin motto: Vita, Scientia, Amicitia
     Scroll bearing Greek letters

  • From the Ritual of the Badge:

    "Life will go on in any sort of vessel but in the proper place it becomes a work of art. So it is in Beta Sigma Phi. You are artists, each creating a different work, using different materials, but each striving for the same artistic goal, that your life shall be a thing of beauty.

    Art, whether it be music, painting or sculpture, is an expression of life. A life that is a work of art must be expressed. She who would live a masterpiece must share it with the world, for a creation in the mind of the artist is not a work of art until it is committed to canvas or paper or clay or life. The days of your life are your canvas. We beseech you here to fill them with color; to apply yourself to your masterpiece with vigor and dignity, that in giving it expression your life may become truly a work of art.

  • Paint jars

  • Paint tubes

  • Artist smock & beret; painter's shirt

  • Crayons

  • Colored pencils

  • Ink

  • Large bows/painter's bows

  • Watercolor pans

  • Chalk pastels

  • Colored glue - Elmer's glue with drops of food coloring; blend with toothpick; paint and let dry. Neat effect!

  • "Well, this is the end of a perfect day,
    Near the end of a journey, too;
    But it leaves a thought that is big and strong,
    With a wish that is kind and true.
    For mem'ry has painted this perfect day
    With colors that never fade,
    And we find at the end of a perfect day,
    The soul of a friend we've made."
     --Carrie Jacobs Bond

  • Refer to The Living Masterpiece written by Lydia G. Hicks for objects & ways to think about our colors of Friendship. Great resource! This speech she wrote would make for a great resource for one of your chapter programs as well. It focuses on each color in a way for children to easily identify. It's a priceless piece and is filled with ideas on what you can do with color!

  • Candles -- When you are the hostess of your chapter's meeting, have a candle in one of the colors of the jewels (can be a votive, a taper, pillared - any size is okay.) After the roll call, the President can call upon the hostess to light her special candle of the evening and tell why she chose that particular color. And, the hostess can share a story, a poem, anecdote, anything to make it special to her. In this manner, insight can be absorbed about the color chosen and about the member who chose it! Some Preceptors do this already, using the color they have chosen for the year ahead.

    Candles and candle light slow us down and create a peaceful atmosphere. Have plenty in colors of the season and incorporate them with the Colors of Friendship!

  • Programs on each virtue

  • Colored Ballet shoes/dancers

  • Rolls of colored crepe paper

  • Rainbows
     Host a Rainbow Potluck. This can successfully be used for a Chapter Social, Rush Party, Inter-Chapter Social:

    Each guest is assigned a particular color and requested to bring a dish of that color and to dress "Appropriately"! Examples: "red" may bring spaghetti; "yellow" may bring corn, etc. Decorate with brightly colored balloons and ribbons. Use multi-colored plates, utensils and cups!

  • The following about Rainbows came across my desk some years ago. It is so neat that I have kept it all these years and am sharing it with you in hopes it will trigger an idea for you to use. I do not know the author's name.

    From the Pot of Gold Fantaseed Company - Emerald City, Kansas
    Rainbow Seeds - (Spectrum Spectacular colorosa)

    A Rainbow:
     Most enchanting member of the heavenly family; elusive, ethereal and bright. Enjoys being chased by bluebirds and shadows; captured only when the moon is in miracle and your heart is in the right place. Thrives on daydreams, lavender and blueberry snow; fights windmills, broken promises, "should have" and "can't." Plays hopscotch with unicorns, paper dolls, passion; grows in a whisper when all's right with the world. Blossoms in a heartbeat with its head in the clouds; wears a coat of many colors, but is partial to all. May be carried in your pocket, purse or heartlight forever.

    When/Where to Plant:
     Plant high on every mountain you can climb, on the eve of tomorrow, on the tail of today. Harvest in silk after the rains, when the air is delicious and sweet. Toss between the clouds and under the sun-near licorice rows and edelweiss, beneath a fairy-tale tree. Line along a yellow brick road, where apples grow on orange trees and animal crackers bloom.

    How to Plant:
     With your karma clean, your hopes up high, and your umbrella upside down. Make a date with a daydream, and wish upon the brightest star. Click your ruby slippers, come out of the blue, and you'll have the feeling you're not in Kansas anymore!

    Care and Feeding:
     For everything coming up roses, and rainbows that keep falling on your head, sprinkle with smiles. Water with sunshine, satin and strawberry pie; sing zippity-do-dah and invite Tinkerbell to tea. Tie plants with strings and sealing wax; ask a peacock for colorful advice. Surrender to the rainbow connection. Allow Rudolph the space to lead.

     Use dried rainbows when your crayons get broken, and you forget all of the words. Rainbows are for dancing; ask a rainbow to brunch. Catch a rainbow by the tail, and fly it as a kite; paint a rainbow on a billboard for a Friend. Read a rainbow story at bedtime; send a rainbow with your tax return. Put a rainbow in your shopping cart, hold a rainbows' hand at the movie show. Have rainbows for breakfast instead of cornflakes; write a rainbow to your aunt. Kiss a rainbow good morning; use on a toothache, tummyache, heartache. Turn on a rainbow then watch the evening news. Embroider a rainbow with all the colors you have in you, and watch while the world catches up.

     Packages of Rainbow Seeds contain fairy dust and miracle powder. Keep out of reach of non-children, non-believers and party poopers

  • Balloons in the 6 colors -- use in yearbooks, scrapbooks, at socials, special meetings, conventions, rush parties, any sorority event this year!

  • Umbrellas

  • Gumballs

  • M & M's (candies)

     A couple of years ago, Olathe, KS City Council held a citywide rush using M & M's. Actually, it was the year of the Millennium Membership program. MM is the Roman numeral for 2000. Each Chapter was assigned a different color with which to decorate. The chapters each had a booth or table where they showed their yearbook, scrapbook, pictures of the chapter activities, chapter properties and so forth. Some chapters bought balloons in their assigned color to accent their tables. The dessert table had an "M & M candies" tablecloth. All of the desserts had M & M's used in them. It was heavenly! The presentation of Beta Sigma Phi was small round boxes painted in the six colors and each represented various aspects of the organization. As the organization was explained, a different color 'M & M' was held up to represent that particular aspect. White 'M & M' stick-on letters were used to decorate the front of each box. It was easy, fun and it was successful!

  • Bowling pins in colors

  • Popsicles in different colors

  • Piano keys/keyboard; music notes of assorted colors

  • Roses - use roses of every color in the spectrum, but accent the yellow rose of Beta Sigma Phi!

  • Strawberries - You can really have fun with this in paper invitations and decorations. Cut strawberries of all sizes, using the six colors. Of course, accent the red ones, and have fun! J

  • Pinwheels

  • Kites

  • Quilts -- Research the colors used in previous decades and eras of our country's history. Decorate with them as table cloths (don't forget the plastic liner to protect them). Share those you've collected or made. Talk about the colors you used and why you used them.

  • Kaleidoscopes - Fascinating on a yearbook cover!

  • Peacocks

The Significance of the Torch

 Beta Sigma Phis are introduced early to 'the torch of learning,' with its flame of love, in the Pledge Ritual. The pledge is reminded of the torch each time she pins her badge. Later, in the Ritual of Jewels, she promised to light from the flame six more flames of color, symbolic of the ideals she will follow in her life as a Beta Sigma Phi.

 The colors, those formed when white light passes through a crystal prism, are red (Courage), yellow (Vision), blue (Humility), orange (Loyalty), green (Fellowship), violet (Service).

 The six jewels on the member's new badge symbolize these ideals. "The sum of all these colors," she is told, "shall be beauty. With them we shall paint loveliness on the canvas of life."

 When courage, vision, humility, loyalty, fellowship, service bring their combined force to a community through a group of dedicated persons, countless thresholds of opportunity are uncovered.

Carrying Out the Theme

 Chapters and Councils will find that using the theme of this sorority year in their activities will result in increased enthusiasm and a greater understanding of the basic ideals of Beta Sigma Phi and ways to apply them.

 The range is wide and offers limitless opportunity for imagination and creativity. As a beginning, consider stressing the theme in these ways:

   At rush parties, use miniature torches for name tags & place cards. Each torch could have a different color flame, OR, different color handle.

   In decorations for banquets or luncheons, roses and candles combine beautifully for table decorations. Floral centerpieces could be arranged with flowers in the colors of the flame. Or, use just one color in a variety of ways!

   In honoring Women of the Year, First Ladies in your community, Honorary members or other guests, stress the ideal or ideals symbolized in the rays of the flame which have been especially instrumental in leading the honored persons to success.

   Give special meaning and beauty at teas, and similar events by building the decorative scheme around a different color for each occasion. The colors could be tied in with appropriate seasons, such as red for a holiday event (don't forget the strawberries!), yellow for spring, etc.

   And let's all use plenty of Red, White and Blue this year, too!

   Ideal resources:
   About Our Colors...
   Ideas for Decorating with a Torch!
   The Living Masterpiece by Lydia G. Hicks
   Colors - The Red Of The Flame

   Colors - The Yellow Of The Flame

   Colors - The Blue Of The Flame
   Colors - The Orange Of The Flame
   Colors - The Green Of The Flame
   Colors - The Violet Of The Flame
   "Our Colors of Tradition"
   The Colors
   Colors - Understanding Our Rituals

   Start your own notebook or journal, recording in it poems, verses, anecdotes, stories, newspaper clips, magazine articles, quotes about each of the colors of Beta Sigma Phi. Or, start one for your secret sister! Here are a few to get you started.

   "If I could write a story of COURAGE, the hero would be you."

   "I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest COURAGE. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but the solidest thing we know."
 --Ralph Waldo Emerson

   "The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is true COURAGE."
 --Michel de Montaigne

   "The picture of the beautiful is always complete, and can be glimpsed in one moment of perfect VISION."
 --Invitation to Life

   "When friends share with us their thoughts, their experiences, their way of looking at the world, our own VISION is extended and enhanced."
 --author unknown

   "The responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider VISION."
 --George Eliot

   "Just the word thanksgiving prompts the spirit of HUMILITY..."
 --Charles R. Swindoll

   "Pride is concerned with who is right; HUMILITY is concerned with what is right."
 --mother's wisdom

   "Humility is openness to being taught, and HUMILITY requires courage. To be humble means that we are open to learning from our own experiences. We begin to believe in ourselves as we develop hope and acceptance. It is okay to be ourselves-not better or worse than others-just okay to be who we are."
 --from a church's newsletter

   "Those who have been LOYAL to each other and to their work have been the greatest heroes and heroines in all ages."
 --Author unknown

   "LOYALTY is more valuable than diamonds."
 --Filipino Proverb

   "How important is the handclasp of a friend, whether it be in joy or in sorrow."
 --A sorority sister

   "Friendship is akin to Love. It is a golden link in the chain of life holding us together when we are apart."
 --Author unknown

   "Mrs. Browning the poet said to Charles Kingsley the novelist, "What is the secret of your life? Tell me, that I may make mine beautiful also."
 Thinking a moment, the beloved old author replied, "I had A friend."
 --From a book about Friendship

   "The finest gifts are given, not after waiting until need has to ask, but by the person whose eyes see, and whose heart feels, and whose hand is stretched out even before any request is made."
 --William Barclay

   "To know what to do is . . . wisdom
 To know how to do it is . . . skill
 To do a thing as it should be done is . . . SERVICE."
 --Beta Sigma Phi

   "SERVICE-the only ray of light that has healing power. They who give themselves to SERVICE are the crowned queens of every organization with which they are identified. It is the SERVICE you perform that will turn into pure gold, and for it and it alone, you will receive just recompense of reward. This very day there is some one you can help."
 --The Torch

   Remember your secret sister or special guests with our Colors of the Flame pins. These pins represent the Colors of the Flame, and each comes in a presentation folder with a quotation, definition and anecdote about that particular color. Available from the Gift Department:

   Preceptor degree members display the attributes of their Preceptor years with a gold-tone pin featuring six openings - one for each of the Preceptor jewels. Members wear the Preceptor jewels that reflect the colors of the attributes they have chosen. They select one each year (Beginning Day is suggested) and apply that virtue to their lives. Available through the Gift Department:

   And please don't forget the ... black and gold of Beta Sigma Phi!!!

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