Regarding the Chicago Cactus and Succulent Society

karen715(z5 IL)March 23, 2006

MBT and Tootwisc (and anyone else interested):

If there is anyting we need to discuss, let's do it here. I am not going back to the other thread.


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I googled and found out they meet at 8PM on the second Wed(I think). I would love to attend a cactus and succulant meeting but that time would be really hard for me to make. BTW they were at navy pier. I wonder if there is a cactus and succulant meeting I Wisconsin? Did you guys have a plan to attend a meeting?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 11:24PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

yeah, we talked about one day showing up at a meeting and seeing how nice they'd be to some newbies. :0)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 12:38AM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

I went to two plant society meetings this week, the local gesneriad society (3rd Sunday, 1PM) and the cactus and succulent society (3rd Tuesday 7PM). I had a good time at both. But, I am lucky, in that, both of these local chapters (San Francisco) are great groups with great people, show and tell plants, programs, and plants to see or acquire at the meetings. I have no idea what the groups in Chicago are like (Except I have heard good things about their gesneriad society (Northern Illinois Gesneriad Society), from Nikki (where is she??).

The C&S society meets at 7, so that informal things can go on for about a half hour--plant sales, setting up the snack table and our immediate pouncing on same, animated informal chatting by very enthusiastic members, looking at show and tell plants, checking out books from the library etc. So, the meeting doesn't officially begin until 7:30 and it winds up a fast-paced two plus hours later. But, then people hang around and talk for another half hour. I bought plants, I brought show and tell plants, I saw lots of friends, including Alicia !!. I had a very good time.

Hopefully, the Chicago group is equally good. I predict you'll have a good time and wish you and done this long ago.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 3:44PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

One of the activities at our monthly meeting is the plant raffle - 6 tickets for $5, and the winning tickets got to choose from these plants:

I was feeling lucky, and if it wasn't the darnedest thing I won three times (for the sake of modesty, I gave the last winning ticket to someone who hadn't won). Here are my raffle plants:

Another activity is the Brag Table. Members bring in some of their pretty plants, all vying for the bragging rights on a monthly basis - the top finishers also receive a coupon redeemable for plant purchases. Some of those brag plants were:

My hopes for the Chicago group are as Jon's are. You fielded a championship baseball team, you have a grouped of uber-talented succulentists, you are privy to The Secrets of the YaYa Aloehood. You grow!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 4:00PM
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karen715(z5 IL)

Well, I'd love to make it a positive experience. As far as I can gather, the Chicago C & S society is quite small, and a trifle insular.

I went to their show last summer. It was small, but impressive. They also had quite an array of plants for sale. As I was purchasing a couple (Echeveria 'Arlie Wright' and Euphorbia tortirama) I asked a fellow, who I believe is actually the current president, about meetings. He was not the friendliest guy in the world, and didn't seem at all welcoming. (I was attributing this to my natural shyness and unease around strangers, but my husband, who was standing by listening, told me later that it sounded like the guy was actually trying to discourage me from attending.)

At any rate, I've decided not to be discouraged that easily, especially if I can get others to come along.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 5:07PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Karen,

Well I'm glad you're not going to let it discourage you!

As someone who's belonged to 2 societies for 10 yrs; now just one society (whose Board of Directors I'm also on) I'm horrified to see society members (much less a President) being discouraging/unwelcoming of potential new members, especially visitors. (Pls. pardon that run on sentence).

I always make a point to at least say hello when I see new faces at meetings, whether they're one time visitors or new members, I introduce myself & welcome them (& personally wish everyone did) & try to introduce them to others standing near me, perhaps even ask their plant interests if the time/activity allows.

Snooty-poos like him should be ashamed (yet they're often the very types who'll also complain abt the dwindling numbers of their society --- duhhhhh)!

Well, if you don't care for the group after visiting again, maybe you might consider starting a group of your own (you & who else, was it MBT?). Anyway, kudos to you for not allowing yourself to be put off by that snooty-poo!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 7:51PM
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jon_d(Northern Calif.)

The response of the guy you talked to sounds strange to me too. Every plant group I have been involved in has been very much open to new members and visitors. They are the life of a club. Don't hold back. Besides, these clubs often have a turn over that brings new life into them. You might need to become active in the club. That worked for me. When I joined the SF group, I was attending for about a year, when I had the dumb luck to be asked to join the board. Then a year later I found myself president. That was strange. When I first joined, the show and tell table (aka Jeff's brag table) was not much to look at. I really promoted it and got others to start bringing in lots of plants. In not that long a time, we had two 8' tables crammed with fascinating plants every month, usually with a theme succulent and a theme cactus, plus anything else that someone wanted to bring in for whatever reason. I think that having beautiful live plants to see and discuss really makes an interesting meeting. I led the plant discussion for many years, and people would tell me it was their favorite part of the meeting. Its always been my favorite part.

I finally quit the board after 12 years and since then the board has gone through quite a change, with only one person from when I was on it. There are a lot of new members and I am happy to let them run things :))).


    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 9:16PM
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karen715(z5 IL)

Well, they've finally got their website updated with the 2006 meeting & event schedule.

Is anyone interested in attending the meeting on this coming Wednesday evening (May 10)?

Here is a link that might be useful: Greater Chicago area C&S Society

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 4:49PM
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Is the meeting at 8PM

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 8:29PM
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karen715(z5 IL)

Yes, or at least that is what is listed as the usual meeting time. I haven't contacted them personally.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 10:25AM
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karen715(z5 IL)

Now that I've gone and posted this, my DH reminded me of a commitment we have this Wednesday evening.

I'm so sorry.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 2:14PM
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I know a couple of members of this group, I think, because they are also in my Northern Illinois Gesneriad Society group. One of them got us an "in" for our spring show and sale last month at Geimer's Greenhouse. I think the owner is a C&S fan. The guy who got us the in, I haven't seen for a while because he got engaged and has dropped plants for a bit, it looks like (lucky him!), but he was perfectly friendly, as are the rest of my club members. I'm not a big C&S person so won't go, but I encourage you to try going, next time if you're busy this time around. Some people may not be being mean, may just be socially awkward (ask me how I know). I'm sure the other members would love to have you.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 7:46PM
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karen715(z5 IL)

Hi Nikki:

You didn't happen to be at the Gesneriad show & sale, did you? If you were, I'm sorry I missed you. I didn't know the event was going on, but I just happened to visit Geimers that weekend. (I don't remember if it was Saturday or Sunday.) Anyway, I bought a nice little Kohleria.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 9:48PM
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