One of the many benefits that I have found from being a member of the DAR is the lifelong friendships that I have developed with other members. Many of those friendships often start at the chapter level and many times, the more fun a chapter has together, the more active they seem to be. When I was State Regent of Texas, I loved having the opportunity to travel around the state to meet all of our different chapters and learn about their different dynamics.
As President General, I am so looking forward to meeting and hearing more stories from our chapters all across the nation and abroad. Since I, unfortunately, can’t visit all of our 3,000 chapters, please let me hear from you about all the great things that your chapter is doing. I plan to start sharing these chapter success stories on the blog – but first I have to get them from you!
To give you an example of the type of chapter stories I would love to hear from you, I’ll tell you a little bit about a chapter that is very dear to my heart…
Tejas is the Native American pronunciation of the word “friends” and is the name the Indians gave the earliest settlers. The motto of the state of Texas is “Friendship,” which is derived from this word, and it perfectly describes the name of my chapter, Tejas. Our chapter was founded 61 years ago by school teachers who wanted to have a chapter with Saturday morning meetings so they could attend chapter meetings.
Recently, I had a rare opportunity to attend one of my own chapter’s meetings and thoroughly enjoyed looking around the room, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. We are a down to earth, friendly group of women of all ages and stages. Our Regent, Janet Hicks, leads the meetings with efficiency, kindness and humor. Our membership has quadrupled in the last 15 years because of excellent Registrars, like Sally Patterson, who works closely with prospective members to compile the documents needed to prove lineage.
It is particularly gratifying to see so many mothers and daughters seated together, in different stages of life but sharing a common bond of God, Home and Country as well as the many areas of service.
Not only are Junior members enthusiastically welcomed, half of the elected officers are Juniors!
We are actively involved in a number of areas, particularly DAR Service for Veterans, Project Patriot, American history, education, historic preservation, genealogical record indexing, and C.A.R. We sponsor an active C.A.R. Society and are able to attract young women who enjoy spending quality time with their children while involving them in patriotic activities. It is heartwarming to see the young women, who were the Pee Wee Patriots just a few years ago, now in leadership positions.
In reflecting upon the reasons why some chapters are more successful than others, I realized that it is a combination of factors that make chapters successful. If your chapter is not thriving, please take a look at the chapter checklist on the Chapter Development and Revitalization Commission website.
I hope your chapter enjoys the spirit of cooperation and friendship as mine does. If your chapter is thriving, please share your success stories with us! By providing a variety of stories of how chapters are staying active in their communities, I hope it offers ideas to you on ways you might incorporate similar successful activities into your own chapters.
Make sure you send us your chapter anecdotes, initiatives, photos, etc. either in our blog comments section or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so we can feature the great things you are doing. I look forward to sharing these stories with you!