As the New Year begins, it’s a good time to reflect on ways to build meaningful connections that will help see you through whatever comes this year. One way to do that is through joining a club of like-minded people who just may become good friends. All you need is an idea, a location, and a couple of people who might be interested.
Your club will probably start small and that’s OK. Just encourage people to invite others they feel would be a good fit. Set aside a night or an afternoon, even early morning if that’s what works best for you. Choose a location that is easy for everyone to get to and meet in. It can be a private home, a community hall, or a meeting room at your local library.
Choosing the type of club you want is often the hardest part. While a book club is a great option for many people, others need something a bit out of the ordinary. Here are three clubs you can start or join that aren’t book clubs.
If you love good food and good conversation, a cooking club is an excellent idea. You can organize the club so that everyone cooks together then eats together, or simply have everyone bring a dish they’ve made and spend the evening eating, visiting, and sipping a glass or three of wine.
Choose a venue that has a spacious kitchen and dining area, and enough dishes for everyone to cook in and eat from. Make sure everyone takes turns washing up so no one gets stuck doing dishes every week.
Discuss each night’s theme with the group. You could choose a cookbook that everyone cooks a dish from, choose a culture to focus on such as Moroccan or Indonesian, or focus on one or two ingredients that everyone must use — and be amazed at the creativity.
For those who don’t like to cook, they can be the designated wine-bringers.
Produce Swap Club
If cooking isn’t your thing, perhaps gardening is. You and your friends may always find yourself with a surplus of zucchini, a bumper crop of tomatoes, or more apples than you know what to do with. A produce swap club is a great way to trade your bounty for someone else’s and end up with a wider variety of foods to eat and plants to grow.
Consider a monthly meet-up where everyone gathers at someone’s garden. Encourage people to bring seedlings, cuttings, potting mix, and any extra produce they have on hand. Don’t limit yourself to gardening items either. Welcome contributions of home-baked goods and delicious preserved jams, chutneys, and jellies.
If you’re a crafty sort of person, a craft club could be a fun way to connect with other like-minded crafters. Meeting together regularly is an excellent opportunity to tackle all those projects gathering dust in the closet, and a great way to learn new skills and inspiration.
By the way, yes: coloring is a craft and a coloring club would be a superb idea.
No matter what club you choose, a little planning can help ensure a happy, convivial club for many years to come. Consider signing up for the Plum Deluxe tea of the month club, so each month you can enjoy fresh tea with your club companions alongside your chosen activity.
All photos courtesy of author except first, by Neslihan Gunaydin