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Why should I attend NGC Conventions?

by Brenda Moore
February 14, 2024
comment 1 Comments

National Garden Clubs (NGC) holds a yearly convention, typically in May. In 2024 the NGC Convention will be the first week of June in Westminster, Colorado, just outside of Denver. I’m often asked if this is open to members to attend. Not only is it open to members, but it is also open to guests. Attendance should be encouraged.

We’ve seen a decline in attendance at meetings and conventions, in general, since Covid.  It has many thinking about the future of conventions. National Garden Club staff and officers must estimate attendance at conventions because sleeping rooms and meals must be guaranteed. Meeting rooms and audio-visual equipment are costly. A budget is given based on these estimates. Sometimes National Garden Clubs sees a profit, but often, these conventions cost National Garden Clubs money.

With that being said, I cannot encourage you enough to attend NGC Conventions. You might ask “why should I attend NGC Conventions?”

The future direction of National Garden Clubs is decided at the general meetings. Our governing documents are ever changing and voted on. Leaders and projects are voted on.  It is so important for our members to have a vote on NGC’s future. The Board of Directors’ members already have a vote, but every state may appoint delegates who also have a vote. These votes are vital for us to know the thoughts of our members and to steer NGC in the right direction. I’ve heard members say, “I’m no longer a Board of Directors’ member so I’m not planning on attending.”  That comment is discouraging to the state that is hosting the meeting and the officers.  Those members need to set an example by showing support for NGC.

Conventions are a time of fellowship amongst our membership. We make friendships during these meetings that often form life-long relationships. It is a time to network with like-minded individuals.

Conventions are a time of learning about our organization. Most members don’t realize the relationships between their club, their state and National Garden Clubs. Members are often unaware of what NGC offers its membership.

Future National Garden Club leaders are mentored and encouraged during conventions.

Conventions should inspire our members. I remember returning from an NGC Convention in Buffalo, NY and creating a succulent quilt, which included a small metal headboard and footboard in one of my flower beds. A seminar speaker inspired me.

Conventions are great ways to see our country. Host states offer unique tours. Colorado is a beautiful state with a lot to see. So many of our conventions are held on the east coast but the 2024 and 2025 conventions are in the Midwest. Surrounding state members should take advantage of that.

Conventions are a time you can meet with officers and speakers face to face. It’s a time you can interact with or get to know them. I’ve had the privilege of talking to P. Allen Smith and Graham Kerr (formerly the Galloping Gourmet).

Conventions are educational. We should leave conventions with more knowledge than we had before. I always learn something new, or I leave inspired.  After seeing a Rachel Carson impersonator at the convention in Richmond, VA, I reread the book Silent Spring.

Attending these conventions helps us to step out of our comfort zone. After becoming used to Zoom meetings during covid, we often need to push ourselves to get out in the real world. Zoom has been a wonderful tool for meeting with others, but nothing replaces live meetings.

State delegates and club members that attend conventions often have a stronger organization than those that don’t. That’s because ideas and concerns are shared. It creates a connection.  Conventions often give membership and leadership tips to make clubs stronger.

Most of all, attending conventions shows your support for National Garden Clubs and all it stands for. It encourages the host state members, NGC staff and officers.

So, take a moment and register for the 2024 Convention

The views and opinions expressed in the National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC) blog and podcasts are solely those of the original author(s) and other contributors.  These views and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of NGC.


SAR Director 2023-2025

by Carcille C. Burchette on Fri, 02/16/2024 - 09:18

This applies also to state district meetings, state conventions, and region conventions as well as the NGC Convention. Personally, I returned home with a fire inside me to get a Blue Star Marker in my small hometown after sharing a table with the national chairperson. We now have installed two Blue and one Gold. And I always mention to prospective clubs that it is a privilege only for clubs that are federated with NGC.

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