As 2013 drew to a close, I was beginning to sense that my Creative & Crafty Mums group (the original Meetup group I organised in early 2012) had come full circle and had reached all its highest achievements. After 2 years, almost 250 events, and just over 200 members, the group had accomplished so much and plenty of good strong friendships had been forged, but I felt it had lost its momentum.
I had a choice between closing down the C&C Mums group, or rolling it over into a fresh new group, and because I recognised its legacy, I decided to hit the reset button in January and create a new group I dubbed the Creative Mums Circle.
Streamlined membership numbers (approval required), a yearly $10 membership fee, and encouragement for every member to host/post at least one event of their own - these are the differences that I hope will strengthen and diversify the new Meetup group. And so far, the measures (and new name) have brought in new energy and new life, and a host of really fun activities for mums and bubs both.
We kicked off January with a bookbinding workshop, Saturday Sewing Club, Lifeline Bookfest, A Day Out With Thomas (at the Workshops Rail Museum), and the beginning of a kids' 'busy book' swap project.
February's activities included a Teddy Bear's Picnic, Valentines Day heart art at the park, crocheting at a playground, a morning tea perusing craft books, and a day of bean-y activities (planting bean seeds, bean craft, 'Jack and the Beanstalk' reading).
And March featured fun events like sandcastle building, modelling clay craft, a day at Lone Pine, op shopping, potato stamping, and bushwalking. While April looks like it is filling up quick with Easter craft, watercolours, and two Swap Meets!
I'm really pleased that I decided to start over again with the new name (and didn't just abandon Meetup in disillusionment), and especially that many of the most active members of the previous group were inspired to come over to the new Circle and then began to enthusuiastically contribute event ideas of their own. Not only has it lessened the pressure on me in terms of ideas and time, but the biggest advantage to sharing the load is that it allows others to feel a sense of ownership and dedication to the group that merely participating might not offer.
So it seems that the Circle works best with the contribution of many...and sometimes we need these "phoenix moments" to remind us of a life lesson or two...