“Supporting our Local Clubs” has been our focus for the past eighteen months and it has been an important theme in order to insure our clubs not only still exist in 10, 20, 25 years, but that they are vibrant with an engaged membership that is growing. The attraction to Garden Club and the key activities of its membership take place at the local level.
Over the years, many of us looked forward to and eventually joined the Garden Club of our mothers and grandmothers; however we can’t expect the same to attract our daughters and granddaughters. They have grown up in a world of technology, hyper communication, social media, dual careers, many opportunities that compete for little time. Should they join a garden club, they want that time to be fulfilling in their busy lives, they want to feel they’re making a difference in their communities and they want an experience they can be proud of and share with their friends on social media, often in real time.
What has this meant to our endeavors at the GCNJ?
Let’s start with technology, which can be wonderful when it works, but so frustrating when it does not. It would be so easy to ignore the challenges and remain in an analog world, but to insure our future, we must persevere, we must stay with digitalization, scheduling and communication enhancements, even when it would be easier to just do it the old way.
For decades Flower Shows were regular events in most clubs. Not so anymore, members prefer to focus on the environment and beautifying their communities.
We must be cognizant of these trends and provide guidance, education and programs that facilitate the interests of our local clubs in their communities. In that regard, we have updated our Speaker’s List, shared programs that were successful and those that were not. Our club presidents have met on a number of occasions, shared their challenges and brainstormed possible solutions.
Moving forward, clubs know GCNJ is here to help them develop and continue to be a positive force with both their membership and in their communities.
With warmest regards,
President, The Garden Club of New Jersey