Lately I’ve been thinking about joining the local Junior League chapter. I’ve never been a part of Junior League but I love their mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities. And to be honest, I think it would be a great way to meet women my age. I haven’t exactly made a lot of friends here. It is really hard to move to a town without knowing anyone. The husband went to college here so he has friends….and I love them and their wives, but it would also be nice to meet some other people too.
So my question to all of you is what has been your experience with Junior League? What was the time commitment like? Do you love it?
Oh and another bonus….Betty Ford was a member of my local JL chapter…who could resist that?
Sara Elizabeth says
I'm in my provisional year, and I'm excited. Provisional year is a lot like pledgeship, but you learn a LOT.
Here are my provisional requirements:
-Community Bus Tour to visit agencies we work with and get an overview of what we do
-Birkman personality/leadership assessment test
-In-league service shift at headquarters
-Fund Development Requirement (sell cookbooks or service shift)
-Community meeting observation
-Provisional Committee meetings (6 out of 8 offered)
-General Membership/Group Meetings (7 out of 9 offered)
-20 hour provisional project
…so provisional year is more time consuming, but after that, you get to choose your placement (60 hours of volunteering required), and the meeting requirements drop down to 3, I believe. We have some interesting meetings coming up though. Our September general meeting is one of the family members of the family The Blideside is about… and in October, I'm going to a meeting about Girl Scouts and their transition to become more relevant.
My idea was similiar — to meet people and get invovled. My provisional class is close to 500 women, and the Junior League of Dallas has 5500 members — so it shouldn't be too hard.
There are also all sorts of special interest groups — book club, restaurant club, scrapbooking, moms of multiples, etc…. so you should be able to find friends with similar interests!
erin vancura says
i'm joining the one in LA!!!!!so i vote yes!
I haven't been in it but my classmate joined the Cincinnati one. She said it was very much like a sorority and that it seemed very fake. She chose to not go past one year. But I've heard that it all depends on the group. I know some people who have done it in other places and they loved it. I think it's VERY dependent on each chapter.
I don't know much about the JL but I really would love for you to have a chance to form a group of women friends.
I think the experience varies greatly from JL chapter to chapter, but here was my experience: I met some great women but ultimately only participated for two years. I joined to volunteer in the community and got the opportunity to do that very often in the first year. The second year I had an "internal" placement and felt like the volunteer opportunities were very limited. Because this was my primary reason for joining, rather than social, I was very frustrated. I felt like there were a lot of BS requirements and not enough focus on volunteering. So I quit. I am sure the better thing to do was to stick around and make it better. But I'm so busy with work and other organizations that I decided to quit.
The women I met were kind, well intentioned and were from diverse backgrounds. There wasn't much snobiness, which was great. But I felt it was too inefficient. There was just too much time devoted to making the organization run, rather than serving the community. 75% of the placements were internal, rather thane external service to the community. Seemed to me it should be the other way around.
I just love Junior League in DC. I would definitely recommend trying it. The provisional year can be tough if there are a lot of requirements which there were in DC. I have found other friends in other cities haven't had too many requirements. Try to make it to an open house and see for yourself.
After your provisional year, it is what you make it and you can either be very active or not so much.
Katie DePonty says
I say absolutely yes, join! My Mom and many of her friends were in JL in Seattle in their twenties and she speaks fondly of it. I wish we had a chapter in WW.
Also they always publish amazing cook books.
This is totally up your alley.
Hollywood Heather says
Never done Junior League so I have no clue, but I think you should do it. Sounds like a great way to meet ladies and Betty Ford come on
I've thought about joining a JL too! I don't think I have time just yet, as I started teaching just last year, but maybe in a year or two. Let me know what you find out about it…