✰ retreat crafts:
1. do dorm decor: freshen up your sorority house by making some cute room decor on retreat ~
- make no-sew hand tied flannel blankets, or better yet, XL “floor” pillows.
- decorate inexpensive lamp shades with fabric, trim and beads.
- paint wood trays or wastepaper baskets, then add a ribbon & bow to each one.
- cut monograms or sorority mascots out of foam-board. decorate with acrylic paint & pearls.
- paint glasses or vases. show samples and inspiration for the artistically challenged. provide templates for your greek letters, mascot and crest.
2. create a chapter quilt: each sister decorates a square of fabric ~ then have a professional seamstress assemble the commemorative quilt after the retreat. another option is to have each sister donate a greek tee shirt and make a chapter tee shirt quilt. a variation on this theme is to make a chapter mosaic with crafted squares made out of decorative paper or ceramic tiles.
3. make mini scrapbooks: have each sister bring an assortment of her favorite sisterhood photos printed out on paper. give each girl a small “scrapbook/notebook” and provide decorative paper, accessories and glue for the group. theme your memory books to your mission statement or special goals for the year.
✰ retreat ice breakers & games:
1. name tag ice breaker: when the sisters gather for the first time, ask each girl to choose an adjective that begins with the first letter of their first name ~ one that really matches her personality. for example, ravishing rachel or courageous courtney. as the girls mingle, they should ask each other about their adjective names and what they mean!
2. greeting game: as a group, 1) ask each sister to turn to the girl on her right and greet her as if she really doesn’t want to be at the retreat, like she can’t wait to get out of there! 2) have everyone (simultaneously to create lots of fun & excitement) turn to the same girl and greet her as if she is a long lost, deeply loved relative who has just returned home from a long absence! 3) then ask everyone (again simultaneously) to turn to the same girl on the right, and greet her as if she just told you that you won the state lottery for 50 million dollars and you have the ONLY winning ticket!
3. tee shirt talk: ask each sister to biring, not wear, a favorite non-greek tee shirt to the retreat. once everyone is gathered together, ask each girl to show her shirt and explain how that tee shirt best represents her personality.
4. host a kid’s kamp: theme one day of your retreat as a “blast from the past”. plan ~ a jump rope tournament, hula hoop contest, play hopscotch, color in coloring books, make play-doh sorority mascots, and if the weather is warm, provide several kiddie wading pools, water pistols, etc.. all out kid fun! serve popcorn and snow cones. everyone will bond and relieve their grown-up stress. a variation on this theme would be to host a barbie, strawberry shortcake or other ‘childhood favorite’ day.
✰ for more retreat inspiration ~
Q: I was recently elected new member educator for my chapter. I want to plan a sisterhood for the new members who joined this past semester and the girls who were studying abroad this past semester. I would really like them to get to know each other as well as possible in about two hours, but I can’t think of many good ideas at the moment. Please help! I would really appreciate it. Thank you!
A: doing something fun together will help the sisters get to know each other and strengthen those sorority bonds! plan an event geared towards maximum interaction and teamwork…..
❥ top 5 ”2-hour” sisterhood socials ❥
- art attack: divide the chapter into 6 teams and provide them with 6 x-large blank canvases, acrylic paints, brushes and one sample piece of art to copy. the idea is to recreate one painting or photograph, in 6 different sections. after painting, the 6 individual canvases will be put together to create one masterpiece. the challenge is to work closely together with all the surrounding teams to re-create the art. ideally your groups should copy a popular sorority image with meaningful symbols. after completion, hang the 6-into-1 canvases someplace where everyone can enjoy it.
- roll camera: divide the chapter into groups of 6-10 sisters. teams are asked to create a 3-minute sorority video. these videos should be themed around why they love the chapter, or why the chapter is the best. to add a bit of fun, teams must include certain “key words”! these 10 words can be spoken or acted out. words such as: bid, letters, recruitment, badge, sisterhood, t-shirt, mixer, ritual, philanthropy, and creed. substitue in key words that are specific to your sorority - such as ladybug, anchor or kite. provide a box of props and let the teams loose! after the videos are completed, host a ‘night at the oscars’ screening party. maybe some of them will be good enough for you tube or future recruitment!
- mocktail masterclass: hire an expert mixologist (bartender) to give the chapter a demonstration on making several creative alcohol free drinks. after learning the basics, divide the group into teams, and ask each team to come up with their own original “mocktail”. each team should have their own “bar/table” to work from, and a selection of liquids, sodas, syrups, fresh fruit, mixers, garnishes and shakers. if you can collect enough blenders, it would be fun to include blended drinks as well. have each team present their best beverage to a panel of judges (chapter president, advisor, e-board members) for a blind taste test. the winning team wins sorority glasses or tumblers. the rest of the time is spent making mocktails for everyone to enjoy.
- cardboard boat challenge: if you have access to a swimming pool on campus, this is a super fun bonding activity. divide your chapter into teams of 6-10 sisters and provide them with x-large pieces of cardboard, duct tape, decorations, odds & ends costumes & accessories and some kind of paddle. each team has a limited amount of time the build a boat for two. extra points will be given for theme, creative boat decorations and costumes. when the boats are built, host a chapter regatta in the pool. the boat that actually makes it across the pool wins! enjoy a nautical theme social afterwards.
- sorority voice: hire a singer/songwriter to lead the chapter in writing and performing their own original sorority song! work together to create a song that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the entire sisterhood. the songwriter should teach the basics of songwriting, lyrics and composition, and then accompany the singing on guitar or piano. writing the lyrics and composing the melody will be very sentimental for everyone. after the piece is written, all voices come together to perform the new piece. of course this debut performance should filmed! afterwards, copies of the song should be printed and given to everyone as a keepsake.
❥ ❥ ❥ ❥ ❥ ❥ ❥ ❥
Hello! I love your blog! :) I am Vice President of Alumnae Relations for my chapter. I was wondering if you had any cheap ideas, fun for our Alumnae Funday. It's a day where the Alumnae come and get together with the chapter again. Thank you!!
besides serving delicious food at your luncheon, i think hosting an activity that gives everyone something to do while they are visiting is an excellent idea! here are some of my favorites…
TOP TEN ALUM EVENT IDEAS:
- trivia tournament. especially fun are questions all about your chapter, your national sorority and greek life trivia from your specific campus.
- cooking instruction. invite a chef from a local restaurant to come and give a hand’s on demonstration. theme your luncheon to what he’s preparing. or ~ how about a guest cupcake or cookie baker? everyone would love to learn about fancy cupcake or cookie decorating.
- salad-days cook-off. host a gourmet salad “cook-off” and award prizes for the most inventive creations. if you supply the lettuce, ask the alum attendees to BYOT (bring your own toppings). or, offer a wide buffet of unique salad mixers. everyone enjoys the salads for lunch after the contest.
- crafting for philanthropy. think of an extra fun craft to make for your sorority philanthropy, or a local charity. this is especially appropriate for the holidays. make ornaments, decorations, stuffed toys, hand tied pillows, stuff shelter bags, treats for the troops, etc…
- shop till you drop. host a mini-market with guest vendors. invite a few local fashion shops, handbag and jewelry dealers to set up some tables and sell their goodies to all the members. fabulous for pre-holiday shopping.
- chapter fashion show. if you keep it in-house and partner with a couple of your favorite local fashion shops, this is a fun day for everyone. actives could model for alums, or the other way around, or both!
- guest speaker. think outside the box, and see if you can find an interesting speaker to entertain the group before or after lunch. topics to consider: women’s health, history of the area, women’s humor, inspirational, women in business, etc.
- chapter tribute. have your most creative members put together a special video of your chapter’s history. premier the video during your alumnae day. it’s sure to bring tears to all the alum’s eyes. add to this by asking your alums to come dressed as they did in college!
- shake it up. if you’ve always had a sit down luncheon, this year invite a cool food truck to provide the food! or host an outdoor picnic, or a grilling party. or make it a progressive meal around the campus. for example, appetizers on the lawn, lunch in the campus hall and dessert back at the chapter house.
- exchange day. make your event an exchange of some kind! an ornament exchange, a cookie exchange, a white elephant gift exchange, a handbag exchange, a book exchange, a recipe exchange, etc. make a game out of each guest picking & trading what they want to exchange.
i think all of these ideas can be tweaked to stay within a modest budget. tailor them to your group’s interests and have fun with your alums!!
while potential new members are trying to learn about the entire sorority, the active members are getting to know each PNM one by one. these are some great questions for actives to ask during recruitment to gain insight into the PNM’s personalities!
- What was your favorite food when you were a child?
- What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
- What is one of your favorite quotes?
- What is your favorite form of exercise?
- What is your favorite time of day?
- What sound do you love?
- What is one thing you really love that could be considered nerdy?
- If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like?
- If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?
- If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
- If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently?
- If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
- If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
- If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
- If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
- If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
- If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
- If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
- If you were reincarnated as an ice cream flavor, what would it be?
- If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
- Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
- What would you name the autobiography of your life?
- What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
- What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to?
- What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you laugh?
- What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
- What was your most amazing meal?
- What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever received?
- When was the last time you were nervous?
- What is something you learned during rush?
- What story does your family always tell about you?
✿ ✿ ✿