Baltimore Singles Network
Your Club - Past and Future
In this letter, I will describe what we have done in the past, where we stand at the present, and where we may be headed in the future. I hope this will inspire comments, positive or negative, from members and friends of the club, and also perhaps generate renewed interest and enthusiasm, which will help fulfill our needs as single people.
In the ten years that I have spent working with this organization, we have gone through several changes. The club I inherited, Single Professionals' Network, was at that time a fairly small group with a few activities listed on a simple postcard. Membership was free, and required only continued participation and referral of friends. We changed the name after a few years to better reflect the diversity of members.
The most popular activity was the house party, and we had many members who seemed to enjoy hosting them. For a while, we had several people who served as a house party committee, and took care of supplies, set-up and cleanup. We also had members who took care of publicity, scheduling of activities, and publication of the newsletter. However, most of these people have moved on to other organizations or interests, and I have had to take over most of this workload. Now, as I have a greater commitment to other obligations, I cannot spend as much time as I could previously, and this results in diminished activities and delays in publishing the newsletter and sending press releases to the media.
There seems to be a growing lack of response and interest in activities. I have tried to present a wide range of things to do, but there has been little or no attendance at many of these. We have been forced to cancel several house parties because of poor response. There were a number of activities that could have been a lot of fun with even a few people, but only one or two people showed up, or none. Many of these sparsely attended events, however, were actually very enjoyable, and thus successful.
In early March, two of us enjoyed a very pleasant and inexpensive trip to San Diego, and we had fun exploring the area, including Torrey Pines, La Jolla Cove, Balboa Park, Old Town, and even a brief visit to Tecate, in Mexico.
On Easter Sunday, three of us attended a nice sunrise service at Rocks Park, followed by an invigorating hike and breakfast.
For the full moon hike May 3, several people showed up at the wrong parking lot, but I went for a solo hike, and then met another member afterward, and we enjoyed a wonderful half-price dinner at the grand opening of a Japanese restaurant.
For the first weekend in June, three of us went to the Western Maryland Blues Festival in Hagerstown. The KOA Kabin was comfortable, the weather was perfect, and the music was great. It was an inexpensive and fun weekend.
On June 16, four of us went to the Perry Point Veterans Hospital, and I played the guitar and we all sang and interacted with about 15 of the patients. Most of them are starved for human contact and really responded well to the music and caring.
On June 30, four of us went to Harpers Ferry where we enjoyed a variety of live music, followed by an impressive fireworks display. Two of us stayed overnight at the nearby hostel, and on Sunday morning we had a fine buffet breakfast at the scenic Hilltop House, and then went on a moderate hike along the Appalachian Trail and the C&O Canal towpath.
As you can see, these activities provided fun and adventure, even though only a few people were fortunate enough to experience them. There was certainly room for more participants, but there is also an advantage to smaller groups.
One of the main problems I see with singles activities is that people are too much concerned with meeting a compatible and attractive partner with potential to become a "significant other". Thus the larger activities become competitive "meet markets", and those that are sparsely attended are perceived as a waste of time. People become so concerned with their selfish goals finding someone to eradicate their loneliness and frustration that they forget to "stop and smell the roses". Organizations with central focus on strong interests, such as hiking, skiing, and volleyball, tend to be more successful than those where the only common theme is singleness. It is for this reason that I have been steering this club toward highly participatory and healthy activities, which also hopefully weeds out those who are "desperately seeking someone".
Many of the activities listed for this summer, such as the free concerts, are what I would call "do it yourself", where there is no assigned leader and no specific organization. You may meet at the usual parking lot and arrange a carpool, or just show up at the site. We may be able to find each other there and sit together. There is a wide variety of things to do, and many of them involve little commitment. There are also some more ambitious activities which require advanced planning, but these also have the greatest potential for adventure and lasting memories.
We would also be happy to have more traditional singles events like house parties and dances, but we need more people, such as yourself, to step forward and volunteer to host or help with them. It is really a great way to meet other people, and it is good to have a variety of events and new leaders with fresh ideas and strong motivation. Good feelings are contagious, and we can work together to build a fun club full of people who are friendly and attractive in the most important respect - positive attitude.
Please contact me with feedback on these issues. I want you to consider this your club, and I encourage you to get involved and experience the satisfaction of making a positive contribution to the singles community.
Paul E. Schoen