Quick! What's the next Swarm!!??
A Swarm?! Sounds creepy!
It does, doesn't it?
But what do you suppose it sounds like when you get a dozen or two quilters who haven't seen each other in a year together in one room? Yup, that's the Buzz we talk about and, as they are all together in one room, that seems like a Swarm to us!
So, what's a Swarm?
It's a get-together somewhere in North America (we would consider outside NA too!) approximately once a year. We try to vary the location so that we are near to some other members. This is so that they can attend without much expense plus we hope they will get involved in the planning and setup details.
Usually the Swarm is Thursday through Sunday in the Fall. People normally try to arrive sometime during the day on Thursday and the afternoon is involved with getting reacquainted and meeting new people.
If it is possible we try to have a meeting room (secured) where people can set up their sewing machines and lay out their projects to work on and share with others.
Friday and Saturday are very loosely scheduled depending on what is of interest in the area. There will always be a group of people who will want to visit many of the local quilt shops so we plan on that as a major activity. We try to have arranged for transportation for the group for the "shop hops." Some members have brought husbands along strictly for the purpose of being chauffeurs! <- This is me!
If there is a quilt show or exhibit close by then we will definitely try to make time to take them in.
Sunday is usually "Goodbye day" as most members will travel that day back home. It always seems so short. But if there is a reason to stay over an extra day then that's always an option.
We don't have a Trademark on the term "Swarm," of course and there are other, notable examples of other sorts of swarms that we have collected. Enjoy!What else goes on?
Show-and-Tell of course!
At least one night we all get together and show off what we brought or bought!
As we have worked on projects throughout the year and shared stories and pictures of what we have worked on,
we love to bring them to a Swarm and give people the chance to see them up close and personal.
Door prizes are always popular!
As the arrangements are made with the local shops we usually try to elicit some free
goodies to give away.
Members will often bring items to add to the pile of goodies.
Snacks and goodies are usually in abundance.
Fellowship is what it's all about though, and we have that in great measure.What's the cost?
This is always an important question!
OQBeehive has not charged anything to attend the Swarms.
There are, of course, transportation and lodging costs that an individual might incur.
So far we have not had any additional costs from the hotels/inns that we have stayed at.
It is possible that we might have an extra cost for a meeting room or such but we would always
discuss it with the group before we committed to any additional costs.
If there were additional costs members would be asked to volunteer to help defray the expenses.
And we do mean volunteer!
Meals are not provided unless the hotel has something like breakfast
We do ask that each person pay individually for your meals when we dine as a group.
Dividing the total cost of a meal equally among the diners is unfair to those who are on a tight budget.
We will try to alert the server to provide separate checks, this has been very successful in recent outings.
And, while tipping is always optional, we do ask that people be respectful of the fact that wait
staff depend on tips as part of their "wage."
A group outing is not the place to make your personal political statement regarding tipping.
Everyone is encouraged to present ideas to the group.
Planning a Swarm is a lot more difficult than people might realize and it takes enthusiastic
volunteers to contact local lodging and quilt shops to make the arrangements.
By planning ahead we have been very successful in getting local shops to provide discounts and other goodies to the group members.
Just express your interest on the Buzz or Swarm groups or write to us, firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will get back to you shortly.