After confirmations and cancellations we ended up with a reservation for 15 people. Only FOUR people showed up (with the exception of two people who really did make a valiant effort to show up but had car trouble beyond their control). Seriously. Four people. I understand that things come up but it was disappointing to wait for 20 minutes for more people to show up with all of the tables put together and having to apologize to the waitstaff for us taking up unneeded space while we waited.
So this was a learning experience and from now on to avoid this awkward situation our member meetings will be first come first served. We will not make reservations and people can just come or not. I hope that in the future more people will actually come out to participate in the group. Our chapter has the potential to really be something spectacular and I know that the folks here have a lot to contribute. But we're nothing without our members.
OK, moving on. Here is a very long recap for those who weren't able to attend. It's long because it ended up being a very productive meeting and there was a ton of enthusiasm in the air. Also, our next meeting will be in May and I will announce date/time and location soon.
ZSC016 Chapter Member Meeting, April 15, 2012
We discussed ideas for skills/training we would like the group to have training access to. All agreed that CPR/First Aid would be a great introduction to have but also suggestions were made for CERT, medicinal/edible wild plant identification, and non-weaponry self-defense would be good, too.
Also discussed the idea of having a certified trainer teach skills classes to us as a group or even as a public meeting activity for new recruits. Thoughts on ZS016 hosting training classes for the public at discounted rates through CDC sponsorship and also possibly Dr.Jack (member). Need more information and money in treasury for this, though, so actions on this will be postponed.
Bayjove suggested an organization called Medshare as a great volunteer opportunity for ZS members. Read more about Medshare on their website. Volunteering entails a 3 hour shift where volunteers sort through donated medical supplies, separate into appropriate bins, and/or package orders for medical supplies into boxes before delivery to medical facilities in need all over the world and US. ZS members can volunteer either individually or as a group of 5 or more and hours are logged by the facility.
This is a great hands-on volunteering opportunity that is both immediately gratifying and educational in a manner going along with the ZS mission of preparedness because members, through sorting of supplies, will become more familiar with various medical supplies and their usage. Individuals can sign up for weekday or weekend shifts of 3 hours but for a group of 5 or more the waiting list for a weekend slot is full until about August. Query for interest will be posted on the forum and on FB and website shortly.
3. Charitable work
One thing that defines ZS is its commitment to serving our local communities in need. All in attendance agreed that though preparedness is a primary objective, charitable and volunteer work is a top priority as well. Therefore we hope to host or sponsor many charitable events throughout the year. Some suggestions for activities include:
a. Charitable walk such as March of Dimes or Relay for Life. ZS members would walk as representatives of ZS wearing something ZS identifying and also carrying our bug out bags for the walk. Like others participants, we would be raising money for the event through sponsorship. This is a good way to gain exposure for our organization and also doubles as a fitness exercise (Rule #1: Cardio) and an opportunity to test out the suitability of our bug out bags. We believe that both March of Dimes and Relay for Life have already been completed for the year and also we would need a stronger membership base to make this worthwhile so this activity in particular is to be postponed until later. However if there are any other charitable walks that members can suggest please let us know.
b. Cemetery clean up as zombies. Oakland Cemetery in particular welcomes groups to assist in grounds maintenance such as trash removal, weeding, etc. One thought is for us to coordinate a volunteer effort with participants dressed as zombies. Participants need not be ZS members but this would be a great socializing/networking event while also serving the community.
c. Participate in and/or coordinate charitable drives through various zombie pub crawls in Atlanta. The manager (owner) of Diesel where we held The Walking Dead viewing parties has invited us to participate and we also know of a zombie pub crawl out of Six Feet Under that goes to Oakland Cemetery. Our contribution as ZS could be to host a charitable drive in conjunction with these crawls. Also, of course, we could just participate as walkers to gain exposure.
d. Shooting for Charity: Bayjove brought up Gamerunner’s suggestion of having a shoot for charity event, potentially hosted at Quickshot Range in Atlanta. Trekker and Bayjove were recently there and requested meeting time with the owner to discuss some sort of partnership between them and ZS and we think that Gamerunner’s idea of a shooting benefit is fantastic. Unfortunately, though Gamerunner made a valiant effort to be at the meeting, he experienced car trouble and wasn’t able to make it so we are temporarily postponing this idea until we can speak further to him and get his input on suggested logistics to go over.
Also, ZombieStan suggested the possibility of sponsoring a gun safety seminar at Quickshot where Quickshot employees can teach a one-time course on basic gun safety for the public. This is just one idea we would like to discuss with the owner and get his feedback on. One thing for sure is that Quickshot would make a great promotional outpost for ZSC016 and we would like to find some way to have a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
4. Meeting ideas
We discussed some great ideas for activities for member meetings, including a weekend camping trip, bug out bag critique, urban mock bug out where we start at one location and navigate to a determined location using a compass and paper map, mock bug out route where members meet at pre-determined locations to practice our escape routes to safe zones, and above mentioned training sessions. Of course there are many other ideas that have circulated, but these were just some discussed at this meeting.
5. Promotional Events
The following are events that we can actively begin preparing for now. The primary focus is recruiting new members and exposure of ZS016 but some can get the added bonus of teaching some disaster preparedness to the community.
a. Zombie Trivia – not sure if this will be a regular event but basically we host a trivia night somewhere and promote it as zombie trivia. Questions will be zombie pop culture related with preparedness questions thrown in as well. Prizes will be Zombie Squad swag and first aid kits/bug out gear.
b. Zombie Fashion Show – A local big event promoter with a VERY large crowd draw has approached us about collaborating on an event and we think this would be perfect. We would like to collaborate with him on a Zombie Fashion Show of both zombies and hunters alike showing what they’ve got. In addition, we will have a ZS informational table set up to distribute literature and possibly sell merchandise for chapter fundraising and also ZS will host a clothing drive as part of the event. Bayjove will be plugging this idea to the promoter in the next day or two so this is not a go yet. However if he likes the idea, we will update everyone on its status as it’s developed.
c. Zombie Prom – Basically it’s an old school prom with a live oldies band where participants come as zombies (and possibly zombie makeup will be provided at the door for a fee). We will have zombie prom king and queen contest and a prom photo staged area where couples can pay for a professional photo. We can use this opportunity as a can food drive or other charitable event but money raised from photos and makeup will be used to help fund costs for the local chapter. Essentially we have no treasury right now so all materials are being paid for by officers. We do need to have some fundraising activities to help us with things like printing costs, merchandise up-front costs, and paying for guest speakers or group training.
d. Zombie Movie Night – we will make contact with a couple of specialized mom and pop theaters in the Atlanta area to do a zombie themed movie marathon. At this event ZS will have an informational table set up and we can have breaks where ZS members speak to the audience a bit about our organization with some basic preparedness info mixed in.
e. Zombie Treasure Hunt – to span metro Atlanta. Hints will be left at locations that will require knowledge of zombies or preparedness to figure out next location. Small prizes will be left at locations for the first team to show up. Winners will have bragging rights and a main prize to be determined. This is just a preliminary idea and will need further development.
6. Final stuff
a. We have a website ready to go but are waiting for OK from HQ to buy domain name and make it live on our hosting.
b. We have flyers in development but are waiting on above so that we can list the web address.
c. We want to order ZSC016 merchandise (t-shirts, decals/stickers, patches, magnets, key chains) but we don’t have any funds at the moment for this. We will rely on members either pre-ordering these items or raising the money through fundraising such as the Zombie Prom.
d. Our immediate focus is on:
- i. Zombie Fashion Show
ii. Zombie Trivia
iii. Zombie Prom
iv. Medshare volunteering
v. Coming up with more promotional ideas
vi. Recruitment, recruitment, recruitment
And that’s it. Despite our small turnout, this meeting was very productive and it was really awesome to have so much enthusiasm in the room. Hopefully more people will come to our next meeting and let their voices be heard!
edit: forgot to add link to Medshare website