Soroptimist Governor Marti Crook’s theme for the 101st Region Conference was “Growing Stronger Together – Working as One” and her garden and flower theme was in full bloom throughout the whole weekend at Skamania Lodge.
Governor-Elect Kristi Puckett put her own spin on the theme with a special bingo game. She planted pictures of various flower varieties everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and it was fun watching all the ladies scamper around the grounds looking for clues.
Friday night 78 beautifully decorated Garden Hats were modeled and then set up around the conference center to be voted on. There are some extremely creative and talented Soroptimists in our region, for sure!
I attended the Dream It Be It session, and learned that more and more clubs are diving into this wonderful program. However, out of the 78 clubs only 9 had submitted their evaluation and report forms, and I was busting with pride when the list was displayed in the power point and there was La Grande. Way to go Fam and her wonderful team!
The DIBI Curriculum is being revised to include more technical training, not just focusing on college as the only goal for our young girls. They also encouraged us to open our DIBI session with an open discussion on confidentiality – that we are providing the girls with a judgment free space, even going so far as having everyone take a pledge to not judge anyone or anything they hear that day. Girls are encouraged to set their own guidelines. It’s still a mixed bag – some clubs prefer the one-day session, while others prefer the whole seven-week course.
I also attended the “How Does Your Garden Grow?” session led by Marti and Kristi. This dealt with basic essentials needed to help our clubs grow and survive. We discussed active listening techniques and qualities we need to nurture to become outstanding leaders.
The Live Your Dream Luncheon featured outstanding young women honored for their many accomplishments in overcoming
One of my favorite portions of each region conference is the Yellow Rose Ceremony which honors our members who have passed away. Club representatives walk in single-file holding a rose representing their lost member. It was so startling to see one member with five roses, and many others with two or three. They all place their roses in a single vase and then we all cry silent tears as the deceased members’ pictures and years’ of club service are displayed.
Attending district and/or region conference puts everything into perspective – helping us see the bigger picture and why we all work so hard on our local programs and fundraisers. I strongly encourage all of you to sign up to go to our next district conference which will be nearby at Wildhorse Resort in October. The next region conference will be at Lake Washington in April 2020, and our own Kristi Puckett will be installed as our next Region Governor at that time.