Long time readers know that I'm a guild member. Not of just one guild, but several. Two EGA chapters, two ANG chapters, and the Loudoun Sampler Guild to be exact.
When I first joined any guild, it was back in 2000. And it was one of the chapters I am a member of now. I never made it to a single meeting because of their daytime meeting schedule. I was a member for exactly one year. When I moved in 2002, I had posted a question about my upcoming move and was rewarded not only with a thoughtful answer, but also an invitation to join the local EGA chapter. And thus, two months after moving I headed off into a September to a guild meeting. There I met the wonderful lady who had invited me and one other newbie who she had met waiting in the parking lot for the Sudberry House Garage Sale to start.
I don't remember what we did that first meeting. But I do remember being impressed with the upcoming classes and events. And in the 3 years I lived there, I rarely missed a meeting. In fact, these meetings became a priority for me. I made some friends. I took some wonderful classes. I did my first beading. And completed my first Group Correspondence Class. And I started this blog.
When I moved in 2002, it was back to northern VA where I found a different EGA chapter than the one I had originally joined. This one met both morning and evening. And the best part - that first meeting I went to I was greeted by someone who remembered my name when I went to my second meeting.
Can we be a bit cliquey at these meetings? Possibly. And in some cases, certainly.
I am a young EGA & ANG member however I do not attend meetings because the women are sooo hateful!
This is an anonymous comment from the other day. I truly feel badly about this. I don't know what's wrong with people who aren't welcoming. It's so hard to walk into a room full of strangers. Guild members need to acknowledge this fact. What does it take to go up to a new face and say hello and introduce yourself. I don't like to think about what experiences anonymous has had to characterize the women as hateful. And I truly hope anonymous isn't talking about any of my guilds!
To my guild friends: if you want your guild to continue to exist, you really must do your best to be thoughtful about the visitors and newbies. Put yourself in their shoes. Treat them the way you'd like to be treated. A little friendliness can go a long way.