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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Optimist Club visitations are fun!

Do you ever take the time to visit other Optimist Clubs? Club visitations used to be widely promoted as a way to increase camaraderie in between zone and district meetings. When you visit a neighboring club, you get the opportunity to:

  • See how they function. Clubs have different procedures - do they have a guest speaker or is it all about networking?
  • Find out about their programs. Every club has something that most of their members are passionate about. Individual members have passions as well. How does that affect the services they provide?
  • Find out about fund raising. Where do they get their money to operate?
  • Share stories from your home club. Find out if there are opportunities to partner on events and activities and make an even bigger impact in your region.
  • Pick up a souvenir to take home. Okay, I don't really recommend this, but when it happens, it sure is fun to for the other club to plan a visit to retrieve their possession.

Over the past year, the Boise Noon and Meridian Optimist Clubs have developed a close relationship through club visitations. They support each others service projects and fundraising opportunities. On one visit, the Nooners picked up the Meridian gavel, forcing President Sue Thompson to start the meetings with a small ball-peen hammer, lovingly provided by fellow President Cindi Wall.

On the next visit, President Sue invited the Boise Noon Optimist Club mascot Buster Bronco to visit the Meridian Club for a while. He accepted and held a place of honor at Meridian feed bag until a group of Nooners turned up to retrieve him. A treaty was reached. A ransom was paid. Buster Bronco returned to his rightful place at the Boise Noon Meetings and President Sue retrieved not one, but two Meridian Optimist Club gavels for her trouble.

Try it! You will find that Optimist Clubs are more fun when you take the time to share some humor. Plus a good laugh has wonderfully positive, healing properties.

Thanks to Walt Callahan, Boise Noon Publicist for the picture. Michael Bouton and Sue Thompson are shown making the exchange while Bill Garcia looks on.