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pcmonkey's avatar

What are some things to do during the first pet club meeting?

Asked by pcmonkey (424 points ) June 29th, 2012 from iPhone

I’m hosting my first pet club meeting in a few days and I need some ice breakers since not everyone will know each other. I was on an ice breaker game website and it was saying things like “You could play balloon games. They’re so fun, people will forget their even playing.”..However, the people in my club joined for a more serious cause like saving endangered species, stopping domestic animal violence, volunteering, etc. So, I need some ice breaker games that aren’t so miscellaneous. And also, since we aren’t planning on actually going anywhere for the FIRST meeting what are some other things we can do during meeting time? Thanks!

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5 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Good for you for identifying why you want to conduct an ice-breaker, and for wanting it to not be silly (a.k.a. a waste of valuable time).

Would you mind answering a few questions first?
1.) How many people are expected at the meeting?
2.) How long is the meeting?

ArizonaPancakes's avatar

Maybe you could discuss current issues dealing with endangered species. Look up some stuff and have it ready to read and talk about. Maybe this first meeeting could be a planning phase. You could get some suggestions from them on how the meeting should flow.

pcmonkey's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer
1) 5–10 girls all ranging from 12–14 years old.
2) Unless we are going on some sort of field trip, volunteer work, etc., the meetings will be an hour and a half long.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you for the additional information. Let’s say that the amount of time scheduled is 1½ hours for this initial meeting and there are 10 people in attendance. The ice-breaker is geared towards the new group getting to know one another and potentially on-topic.

How about asking them to introduce themselves, describe their own pet, and why they want to be a part of this group? Before they begin, use yourself as an example: “Hi. I am Pied. My pet is Bean, a grey kitten I found as a stray. I want to form this group to help…” By going first, you set the tone and provide an example of what is expected. It also helps to post these three bits on a flip chart so that the members have a visual reference in order to stay on topic. As each individual responds, thank them for their answer before moving on to the next person.

With this simple exercise, it provides introductions to the whole group, a bit of personal information that relates to the topic, and insightful information about why each person is there. If you go this route, estimate on ~two minutes per person attending. In some cases, it will be less; in others, it may take more. No one is going to complain if the meeting adjourns early.

If you think that you can pull this off, ask the volunteers to either bring in a picture of their pet or e-mail one to you before the meeting. They could then be used in an electronic presentation or printed out and held up when the members are introducing themselves. We used to do this when I ran a week-long training class. The photos were then posted on a bulletin board in our training room so that the members could reference back to them as the group got to know one another.

Yeahright's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Outstanding!
@pcmonkey
1. Have index cards or similar, pencil, and a box for suggestions or what members consider important for further meetings, outings, discussions, etc.
2. Prepare a handout with questions for them to answer before they leave. (For example, what are their expectations, what topics they would like to discuss, etc.)
3. For further meetings, assign each member to make a short presentation of a topic they consider relevant for the whole group.

…joined for a more serious cause… Although the cause is serious, the meetings don’t have to be stiff or too serious, especially considering the age group you are dealing with…so might reconsider an icebreaking game after all.

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