Monday, 3 March 2014

Beta Sigma Phi

5 years ago I joined a sorority. It's not your typical sorority. Think less drunken-frat-party and more women's social group. The sorority I belong to is called Beta Sigma Phi. I grew up with this sorority in my life because my mom has been a member for over 25 years.  Twice a month my mom would go out to sorority, and I remember being forced to stay upstairs with my sister and dad whenever it was my mom's turn to host her group. We moved around a lot while I was growing up, always because of my dad's job. Each time we moved, my mom would find the local Beta Sigma Phi chapter and instantly be surrounded and supported by new friends, new sisters.  Now that I have joined a Toronto chapter, I completely understand why this was, and is still, so important to my mom. I have met some women through this chapter that are now my closest friends, and some are even more than just friends, they really are sisters to me. They are the ones I text when I have exciting new to share, or the ones that surround me with love during dark days. I honestly don't know what I would do without them. 

With my sorority sister/cousin Marlene.

My cousin is also a member and when she blogged about our group, she did a great job of describing how it works, so rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought I'd just share with you what she says about Beta Sigma Phi. "The Coles Notes version is that its structured like a sorority, we have rituals, we have chapters, we even have a secret handshake, but we aren’t affiliated with a school, and we skip out on the hazing. We meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. We call our first meeting “the business meeting” We discuss any new updates or city council announcements and than the hostess (we rotate homes every month) comes up with a program. The program is usually a fun craft or a presentation to teach us something new. Our second meeting is “the social” and the hostess that month comes up with a social outing in the city.  The sorority motto is life, learning and friendship and although sometimes I giggle at how cheesy some of the traditions are, hanging out with with my sorority sisters is always a fun time."

Here are a couple of the programs we've done recently:

Making our own gratitude journal Adding our favourite quotes to mugs

And our most recent social outing was to Skyzone!

A couple of times a year we hold city-wide events where we meet up and mingle with the women from other chapters in the city. This can be interesting because many of the women in the other chapters in Toronto are quite a bit older than me, so it's fun to hear their stories and memories. Some of these women have been in sorority and are still best friends longer than I've even been alive.

One other part of sorority, one of my favourite parts actually, are the secret sisters. At the beginning of each year, we are assigned a 'secret sister' and it's pretty much a secret santa that runs all year long. Rather than feeling you need to get birthday gifts or Christmas gifts for each sorority sister, you just take care of your secret sister and then at the end of the year we try and guess who had our name. My secret sister knows me well because these were my Valentine's Day treats from her.

So tomorrow night is sorority night, and I'm looking forward to it as always. It forces me to take a break from my list of things to do and spend a couple of hours with my girls, which is so good for my mental health.

If you are interested in learning more about Beta Sigma Phi in your area (there are about 200 000 members worldwide) then you can contact the International organization here, or you can also contact me if you have any questions!

PS - Here's me and my mama when she was received recognition for her 25 year commitment to sorority. She is also one of my sorority sisters :) Thank you mom, for passing this wonderful gift onto me. xoxox

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