Saturday, April 26, 2014

Keeping Interest in a Genealogy Society.

Program - On the Trail of Henry Cross, Stonecarver

It has been up to me as President to keep our members interested in coming to our meetings, not to mention attracting new members. Our Society had grown stale and our meetings were humdrum. Yes, we had interesting speakers and of late more modern topics to present. That only goes so far, at least in my opinion. If I belong to a Club or Society I want to do fun things and share my accomplishments. I’m sorry to say we’ve lost some of our older members the past couple of years, but hopefully we’ve lost the old order of being a humdrum society. I want my genealogy buddies to enjoy being in a club, to enjoy doing the type of things that I do, and to learn and do new hands-on techniques.

Of course, there is always going to be one or two members that don’t like change. Then I also have to think of those that are not able to go out and do more active things like cemetery hopping. So I, as President, have to learn to balance all these different personalities and physical types. So we give them a mix of different types of programs. A couple of years ago I started taking our meetings out into the county in different locations so that maybe we could draw in new members. It also let the locals get an idea what our Society was about. Every on-location meeting was very well attended, so much better than our stay-at-home meetings.

So last year we instituted a new Summer-on-the-Road series of programs/activities. It was a big hit. We’re going to do that again this year, but with an overall theme – Summer of Cemeteries. Once the idea was presented among our members we’ve had multiple questions and comments. We’re still in the planning stages, but we plan to go up to October as long as the weather holds. We’ll have a sit down portion for the older folks with a short program or talk. Then we’re off to our local cemetery for some fun. In June we’ll have our Annual Picnic with a visit to Greenlawn Cemetery. In September or October we plan to visit the Deckard Cemetery. Plans for the other months in between haven't been set yet.

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