Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Learning Creativity

I'm the coordinator and secretary of a floral judging school. No talent here, just organizational skills.
We have 2 principals and 19 students and as of today, completed the fourth, two-day session.  Starting in 2012, we've had a session in spring and one in fall, and will complete the course with the spring session of 2014.
Our school is under the Ontario Horticultural Association to provide horticultural societies,  garden clubs and agricultural groups in areas north of Toronto, judges for their flower and vegetable shows.
Have a look at some of our students learning to judge designs and specimens.
They compete against each other and an accredited judge evaluates everything first, then they mark the entries as well.  The judge gives her remarks about the procedure afterwards.
Letty is one of our principals teaching an underwater design. Both principals are accredited judges themselves and teach most of the curriculum.  But, we also have guest lecturers that specialize in specific plants or  techniques.
Celia was hired to teach interpretive design and she is a well known, award winning designer.  This is 'Windswept'.
Celia's designs for 'Halloween', 'Fireworks' and 'Tapestry.
Volunteering to help run the judging school project has enriched my life, especially when the students walk into the classroom each morning of a session and the air is charged with anticipation.
The local Royal Canadian Legion Branch is where we hold the school as they have the required 2 rooms we need for classroom and flower shows.  Unfortunately for photos there is a lot of things in the background and on walls.
The students and principals gathered for a group photo.  They come from all corners of our county and are members of a garden club in our district.
Do you volunteer for any service groups or clubs in your community? We are finding with aging members the numbers are dwindling and it is difficult to attract new and younger people. Any ideas would be most welcome.


  1. Judith, it is a common problem in many groups I think. I belong to a Quilting Guild, we used to have 145 members, now we're down to about 75 (for various reasons - several new Guilds in the area, members aging, many now travel alot, etc.) We are finding it harder each year to get people to take on "positions" of responsibility. It seems the same people do the work each year... Lots of people like to come and "warm a seat", and enjoy the program, but don't want to help out ... It's hard to attract new younger members. Seems the younger generation are a bit selfish and not too keen on volunteering their time. Some are community minded, but those ones are hard to find...

  2. I'm thinking it's very rewarding and a worthwhile effort. Love that "Windswept" design.

  3. I find that very often people just need to be invited. Sometimes it's hard for them to think of inserting themselves into and established group and sometimes it's just a lack of knowledge of what's out there waiting to be explored. Have you thought of taking part in an information fair or volunteer fair? They're usually held in malls.

  4. Wow..I see so many creative uses of things on display. They are wonderful looking..

  5. This looks like fun, as most volunteering is. I think many of the younger generation are absorbed in careers and family raising. Maybe as their time frees up they will volunteer as we do .... maybe ever older generation wonders who will take over ... does it "ebb and flow?" I agree with Pondside about invitations.

  6. That is a very interesting group to volunteer with. Right now I'm not involved in any volunteer programs. It seems when I worked and when I was younger I did so much volunteering that I now need a break from it all. But one of these days I'm sure I'll be active again.

  7. Good for you Judith,
    Do you get a chance to learn about the judging side of it o or is it all work and no play?
    The school is a great idea - prevents bias having a firm criteria!

  8. I think it's great for those that get together for things like this. I don't do it, but it's a matter of finding time with my other interests.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  9. Always wondered how people learned to make those fabulous arrangements. Neat..I learned something today.

  10. Some serious teaching and judging going on there! Keep up the good work. Flowers are always a pleasure to work with.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  11. Again,hello, Judith!
    How wonderful to see people get together for things like this. It must be precious time for them.I always appreciate one volunteer woman. She regularly invites my mother and other some senior members in her house, for tea and painting. My mother 91, is very happy with them now.

    Thank you for your comment.Yes, those square and round nets are traps for cuttlefish, I heard.

    Hope you have a good weekend.

  12. No, but I don't believe we have anything like this in my community. As for the doers getting older...we had entire church close for that reason. Hope that someone will come up with some recruitment ideas!

  13. Dearest Judith what a fabulous group to be part of. It is sad that the younger generations are not embracing community learning events. happy Sunday..xo C. (HHL)

  14. How very interesting...this is something I think I would love to attend and learn more about...I will have to be on the look out in my area as I retire.


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