It takes a dynamic, energetic leader to start a new group and Mary Eileen Schoen is one incredibly dynamic leader. Five years ago she wrote to me and said she’d like to start a New Jersey chapter of the GaGa Sisterhood. She was a full-time teacher and had two little granddaughters. She was also active in her church and belonged to several book clubs.
Mary Eileen invited five grandmas to her house and proposed the idea. They loved it and the New Jersey chapter of the GaGa Sisterhood was born.
The group decided to meet every other month and rotate their meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. They began by informally getting to know each other and talking about the activities they enjoyed doing with their grandchildren. After several meetings, Mary Eileen suggested they read my book, When Being a Grandma Isn’t So Grand: 4 Keys to L.O.V.E. Your Grandchild’s Parents, and answer the journal questions at the end of each chapter.
Many of the questions inspired them to better understand their adult children:
- How does your parenting style compare to your children’s?
- What did your parents or in-laws do that bugged you as a young parent?
- What was the last behavior you observed in the parents that you disagreed with?
- What are your dreams for your grandchild?
The group has grown over the years by celebrating chapter anniversaries, having holiday lunches, inviting speakers to talk about child safety, and hosting new grandma showers when a new member joins the group. They’ve all become friends and bonded over their shared experiences of being in the same stage of life.
How to Start a Chapter
Do you have a group of grandma friends who’d like to bond, brag and benefit in a GaGa Sisterhood meeting?
- Join the GaGa Sisterhood as a “Zoom” member for a $60 annual membership fee
- Recruit 5 other grandmas to join your chapter for a $30 annual membership fee
- Decide what you want to call your chapter