Traveling Toastmaster

Written by Sheila Cameron

I joined Morningstars Toastmasters in September and only managed to attend a few meetings before heading off into the sunset (Tofino, BC) for two months and the sunshine (California and Arizona) for two months.

Since it is called Toastmasters “International”, I was inspired to make a few calls before I left the Sunshine Coast. I thought it would be fun to try out a few other clubs and I was pleased to make contact with clubs in Ucluelet, BC, Palm Desert, CA, and Tucson, AZ.

In Ucluelet

I had a blast at the Pacific Rim Toastmasters Club in Ucluelet. Their club meets weekly and is attended mainly by three very dedicated ladies. It was an absolute hoot watching the three of them as they shuffled and shared roles and responsibilities.

Imagine being Toastmaster, Inspirator, Evaluator AND Timer. Or TableTopics Master, Grammarian, AND Jokemaster.  Kudos to them for their dedication to the club as they try to increase membership and attendance. Besides myself, there was usually one other guest or “almost” member. During one of the meetings, they invited the Junior Rangers (age 12-19) so we had a big crowd of over twenty people.

Our Morningstars club president, PJ, asked me to look up his niece (in Tofino) and invite her out to a meeting. I met Jessica the evening that the Junior Rangers came out. She rode her very cool bike over to where I was staying and we drove together down to Ucluelet. She was lovely, and even made banana bread for my family. I wish the Pac Rim Club all the best and wish to express deep gratitude for their welcoming presence and the fun and warm laughs we shared. I also got a chance to do two speeches!

Next to the South

Unfortunately, I was not able to extricate myself from my family during either of our stays in Palm Desert or Tucson in order to attend a meeting. Drat! I was really looking forward to seeing how yet another club operates but it was not meant to be.

Hmmmmm…..perhaps it was in part because I got completely caught up in reading the memoir of our club member, Patricia Hetherington. The Winter Gardener was a bold and beautiful account of a little piece of Patricia’s history, a little piece of the garden/fabric of her life. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Even though I only made it to one other club during my absence, I would like to encourage others to take a chance at trying an International meeting the next time you are away. You can attend as a guest (anywhere?) in the world, meet new people, hear new ideas, and even participate.

I am home. It is cold and a bit rainy. But still, nothing beats home. I have the sunny smiles of the Morningstars to look forward to.

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