Some of us are just destined to be in a garden club. The journey is what we make of it. When I was little, I did not say when I grow up, I want to follow in my mother’s footsteps and be a gardener and join a garden club. In fact, I was not happy weeding the vegetable garden, cutting the grass and did not have an appreciation for picking the wild flowers (weeds) that grew along the road. But I think it really was embedded in me because somehow, I ended up where I am today.
As some of you may already know some of the things that have led me on the journey toward the decision to think becoming about Central Region Director. My journey began by participating with attendance at National Convention in 1997. At that time, not being a garden club member, I went along to see what Garden Club was all about. Since that time, joining a Garden Club, holding several chairmanships and offices in that garden club, and participating on the NGC Youth Committee, NGC Awards Committee and NGC Member of Honor Chairman strengthened my garden club interests. Meanwhile various chairmanships and officer roles in District, WGCF and Central Region reinforced the importance of protocol and parliamentary procedure on all levels. The interest in floral design was a new dimension in my garden club life and led to becoming a Master Judge. Meeting new people and bonding with them, attending a variety of workshops while traveling across the United States and some of the South American Countries for garden club activities, have served as momentum for furthering interest in the environment and instilling the importance of making this a better world for everyone. I think the people are the reason I really got involved in Garden Club.
With this new responsibility, I hope to help get a little spark back in garden club again. We have had a tough time in the organization the last few years with COVID and now that people are able to get out, people are less afraid of getting together but are comfortable staying home. We have lost some of the excitement. We did have to venture through new challenges. We are still getting things done and finding new ways (i.e. meeting virtually), but with a little less socialization. We have worked hard on our change management skills which isn’t always easy the older we get. But we are surviving! We now have to find a balance with the changes we made by staying home and getting back to socialization.
Some of the things we are planning on looking at for the next term are:
Redesign of the Central Region Website
Adding additional information to the Central Region Website
Improving our Facebook Presence
Collaboration of information of Judges Council across the Region
Improving our Award applications across the Region
Having a Central Tree Planting Extravaganza (our Central Region Project)
In order to do this, we need interest and commitment from the members. We can find people to update the website and post things to Facebook, but we need people to submit articles, pictures, and information. When you are having fun and submitting this information, this is one of the best advertisements for getting new members. When you tell us what you want to see, how you would use the website, what interests you, chances are, that is what interests someone else.
When people get awards, how does it make them feel? When you are talking about garden club, are you talking about it with a smile on your face? When you are touring gardens, planting flowers, vegetables and trees, enjoying the environment, describing a great landscape or making a design, does it make you smile? Think about what makes you smile.
Let’s smile a little more. It is more important than just sowing a seed or planting a tree, it is improving the life of everyone while sharing and caring. It is not just existing; it is helping everyone to live a fruitful life. Let’s get excited!
Central Region Director