When you are ready to start your chapter, click on your name in the top right corner of the website. Under Chapters, click on Create Chapter. Fill in the request completely and click on Request Chapter Creation. You will be contacted by Hatquarters staff. Advice: The name of your chapter may reflect your location, personalities or interests of the group. Have fun with this!
Starting Your Chapter
Your First Get-Together
The goal of your first get-together is to kick off the start of your new chapter and to identify those ladies interested in being part of the adventure. First:
Your Role as Queen
- The woman who starts the chapter is the Queen as long as the chapter is in good-standing and until she wishes to step down to turn it over to a new Queen. (Queen changes are done by RHS Hatquarters.)
- You are the chapter’s only administrator. Use the RHS website to manage the chapter records, communicate with your members, and help keep their memberships current.
- You have permission to post multi-chapter events on the RHS Online Event Calendar.
- You may appoint a Vice Queen (or two!) to assist you.
- Responding to messages – You will receive messages from women through the RHS website who are RHS members asking to join your chapter (or to invite you to an event or just to get to know you.) Responding promptly to member messages is an important part of your role as an RHS Queen. When someone reaches out to you, please answer promptly. If they request to join your chapter; email, call, meet in person or invite her to your next event. Let her know the personality of your chapter including when you meet, etc. You’ll both decide together if it is a good fit.
- Invite interested women you meet to come visit.
Topics to discuss as a chapter:
- What is your chapter’s personality? The most active and successful chapters gather members together who have fun in the same way. Do your ladies love to travel, dance, do lunch or are they a crafty bunch? It’s okay to be yourselves.
- How large do you want to grow the chapter? Experience tells us that about twenty members is just the right size for most venues, but it’s up to you to decide.
- When will you gather and how often? Most chapters meet at least once per month but many meet much more often with their own chapters and other chapters, too. Will you gather on the weekends? Every Tuesday for lunch?
- Where and what do you want to do together as a chapter? Suggest making a wish list of the kinds of future events you like to attend, or to hold, have a member for each month pick an event to hostess. Smart Queens share the responsibility for events; less real work for you and more fun for them.
- Public demeaner. When donning RHS regalia in public, you are representing the RHS. Coach your members to be kind, polite and tip accordingly.
- Choose Royal Nick Names. Let them start thinking about choosing royal nick names to bestow upon themselves.
- Does a new member need a hat? Arrange a group online shopping party (and save on shipping!) or an excursion to a local store to buy the perfect hat and purple top to get her started. Red Hat Society Store (10% members discount), Red Hat Society Marketplace, and Royal Splendor.
- Trading cards that include their pictures is always fun to pass out to interested women.
- The Red Hat Society is a membership organization. All members pay dues to RHS Hatquarters. Women become members of the society and are automatically added to the Official Red Hat Society chapter. Immediately, they belong. Then, they may align with a chapter, if available, in their area.
- Decide in advance how the chapter possessions will be handled if there are changes within the chapter. For example, who gets the banner used in parades (I know, fun, huh?!), or the chapter scrapbook?
- Another way to grow your chapter is to suggest that your members invite someone who they think will enhance the group dynamics and who has fun the same way the group does.
One of your best resources to tap into when starting and maintaining your chapter is OTHER QUEENS. We have collectively over 100,000 years’ worth of red and pink hat Queen wisdom ready and at your disposal. Meet the Queens on the RHS website Official Queen Group.
Good luck and happy hatting!