With 2013 upon us, many of us are thinking about positive changes we’d like to make in the new year. Whether it’s a promise to eat healthier, exercise more, start volunteering or quit a bad habit, most resolutions revolve around personal development — so why not resolve to join the Royal Oak Jaycees?
When I joined two years ago, I had no idea just how much I would gain from being a part of this great organization. Admittedly, I don’t always follow through on some of my resolutions, but there are a few that I’ve been able to stick to as a Jaycees member:
Resolution #1 — Become more involved in the community
The Royal Oak Jaycees — open to young adults ages 21-40 — is, first and foremost, a community service organization, and we have lots of projects to get involved in year-round. Each winter, our members brave the cold for a night to raise awareness of homelessness during the Jaycee Freeze, a benefit for the South Oakland Shelter. In the spring, we partner with the Royal Oak Kiwanis for their Pitch, Hit and Run event. In the early summer, we get a team together for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Then, in the fall, we wrap up the year with the Royal Oak Chili Cook-Off, which benefits the Royal Oak Animal Shelter and Boys & Girls Club of South Oakland County.
But that’s not all. Over the last year, our members have also volunteered with the Miracle League of Michigan, helped out at the Easter Seals walk at the Detroit Zoo, served beverages at Arts, Beats & Eats, decorated Christmas cookies with kids at the South Oakland Shelter and even modeled in a fashion show to benefit Lighthouse of Oakland County.
In short, our chapter does a lot of good things in the community and has a ton of fun along the way.
Resolution #2 — Meet new people
With more than 40 members from Royal Oak and the surrounding area, the Jaycees offer plenty of opportunities to meet someone new. Attending one of our chapter’s social events or joining a committee for an upcoming project are great ways to get to know our members. When I joined the Jaycees, I walked into my first meeting not knowing a single person. Taking that first step was a little intimidating, but I was relieved to find a welcoming group of great people. I’ve made so many new connections over the past two years, and I’m happy to call many of my fellow Jaycees friends.
Resolution #3 — Try a new activity or learn a new skill
In addition to community projects, the Royal Oak Jaycees offer individual and international development activities for a wide range of interests, from museum trips and game nights to bike tours and rock climbing. Chances are, there will be an opportunity to try something you’ve never done before. I’ve sampled new cuisine at our international dinners, explored my creative side at Painting with a Twist, and tried roller skating for the first time since I was 12. We also have a book club, a trivia group, a summer volleyball team and more.
And if there’s something you’d like to try that’s not already on our schedule, you can always plan your own project. We’re always looking for new ideas, and by chairing an event, you can hone your project management, event planning and public speaking skills. One of the Jaycees’ mottos is “We Build Leaders” – and it’s true.
So, what are you waiting for? Come see what we’re all about at our next general membership meeting at 7 p.m. Jan 17 at the Salter Center, located at 1545 E. Lincoln in Royal Oak. You can also visit www.royaloakjaycees.org or join our Royal Oak Jaycees Facebook group. I can’t wait to see some new faces in 2013!