Those of you who are at today’s picnic have already received our pamphlet with information on some upcoming changes. We think these changes will excite many of our members. We will be making the following changes that we hope will enable more of our members to participate.
First, we know that committing to events weeks or even months in advance can often be difficult. Real life happens. A weekend must be worked, guests drop in from out of town, and sometimes just plain exhaustion sets in. We are thrilled to start what we are calling pop-up events. When the fancy strikes, or when an event around the area is annoyed that could be fun, an event will be set up on short notice. This could be a mid-afternoon tea announced on a Monday to that place that Thursday, a farmers’ market on a Saturday with a couple days of notice, a Tuesday evening dinner at a small restaurant, or any number of things. We anticipate these to be smaller events due to the nature of not much notice, but we hope to catch our members with some free time or who are just plain wishing for something to do. These events would be a wonderful way for new members to dip their toes in in a smaller group.
Second, our annual retreat will become a biannual retreat. These are costly affairs that require a lot of planning for leaders and attendants alike. A retreat every other year will give us all more time to plan at a leisurely pace, more time to save up, and more time to plan.
Third, we also intend to arrange get-away weekends for small groups with different focuses. Perhaps one could be at a beach house with a focus on sewing our wardrobes, and another could be at a rented house in Astoria learning various regency games and sipping spirits, or maybe one with a focus on reading and discussing books from the general era. These intimate gatherings will give out members opportunities to get to know each other better while learning new skills and just plain getting away rom the hustle and bustle of daily life.
We believe this added variety of events and changing the frequent of the big retreat will enable more of our members to participate. Our summer picnic will remain the same as always, and we will return to having a winter ball if not this year, then the following.
If you have any suggestions for events you would like to see, or if you have suggestions on how our events could be made more accessible to and inclusive of more of our members ,we beseech you to tell us.
We are also introducing a new membership program with some perks. Membership is not required to participate in our events. We are a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers, and have historically rarely charged more than the exact anticipated cost of events, which makes deposits for future events extremely difficult. Memberships will help us greatly by enabling us to scramble less for cover the deposits, which need to be covered before we can offer tickets. But again, membership is not mandatory.
Thank you so much for your support, and we sincerely hope to see you at future events!