The following post was written by guest blogger Sarah Elfers, Alpha Lambda–The Ohio State University.

This year’s Alpha Gam Academy for Collegiate Officers was a blast! My chapter sisters and I arrived and ate dinner on Friday night, then listened to a presentation by Tina VanSteenbergen on how to be better sisters, friends and women who support each other in the world. An Alpha Gam herself, Tina was a captivating speaker. Every time I saw her name on the schedule after Friday night, I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say!

Throughout the weekend, we participated in breakout sessions. Officers holding the same positions met to get to know one another, set goals and ask questions. I found it extremely helpful to have knowledgeable facilitators in the room to ask questions and receive immediate and accurate answers on things chapters have been trying to figure out themselves. I also enjoyed talking to members of other chapters and learning what they do for new member retreats, sister-mothers and how they keep retention at its highest.

On Saturday evening, each chapter participated in a goal-setting activity. It was helpful to bring the new ideas we got from our breakout sessions and come up with a plan to make our chapter the best it can be in the coming years. We got to the root of our problems and came up with goals to transform them into strengths.

Tina also led a general session on recruitment. We sat with our chapters and discussed strengths and weaknesses of recruitment and talked about ways to improve. We also discussed the importance of keeping recruitment focused on potential new members, not active members. It is easy to let this happen, but I think Alpha Gam does a good job of making sure protentional new members feel welcomed and loved when they come into our chapter houses.

This weekend reminded me that joining Alpha Gamma Delta was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. It felt great to be a part of a room full of strong, driven, intelligent and caring women who also chose to dedicate such a big part of their life to Alpha Gam. Being a member of Alpha Gamma Delta is a special experience and being surrounded by women from across North America who genuinely care about me was empowering.

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