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  #1  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:09 AM
Blondie Blondie is offline
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Default Letter to AOS

Hello, folks! I am curious. How many "young people" do you know in orchiding? Are we all young here? I know a lot of people don't like to disclose their ages, but I'll go ahead and tell you I'm 30. I was reading the last issue of Orchids, and I saw the article about attracting young people to the orchid hobby. I decided to write an open letter to AOS on my blog. I'd like to know what you think about attracting younger folks to the hobby. I spelled out some ideas in my letter. If you care the join that particular conversation, see here:

Tales From Clark Street: An Open Letter to the American Orchid Society

But otherwise, we can just talk about it right here on my favorite orchid board. What kind of outreach is in your local areas for young orchid lovers? Cause there's not much around here. Even when I was living in Chicago, I found it difficult to find groups that met in person.
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:41 AM
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I posted my comment!

Great letter, wonderful ideas...and a few plugs for Orchidboard!

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  #3  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:44 AM
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I'm 30. I love gardening too. I think it may have a lot to do with patience. Were you patient enough to wait a year or more for a bloom when you were in high school or college. I wasn't. I agree with your sentiment, but it may be up to us, as younger orchidophiles, to spread the joy of this rewarding hobby.

Have you thought about creating your own affiliated society? How about a committee within an existing society? Lowe's bums me out too.
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:50 AM
moonieromance moonieromance is offline
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Letter to AOS Female
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I'm 26, but I've been growing orchids since age 23. I also like other hobbies such as cross stitching and scrapbooking. I tend to get a lot of flak and negative comments (ie, "that's for old people!") for cross stitching.

My hobbies are all about the "journey" and patience. Quite different from my friends who want things "right away." Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:52 AM
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Orchidophile Orchidophile is offline
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Default Great job!

You are right, there is a lack of young people mainly because it is somewhat embarrassing to a young person. I started gardening in junior high but was afraid to tell anybody because of what they might think of me especially being a guy that plays around with flowers. Throughout high school I found only one person who was interested in orchids.
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  #6  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:52 AM
Blondie Blondie is offline
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I have thought about trying to start a new society closer to where I live, but I currently live in a Very Small Iowa Town. Hee hee. But perhaps I will look into it as I'm now getting more involved.

I agree that patience is key. Which is why starting with something that blooms often, like phals or something, might help attract younger people. I felt really sad when I read the article about many of the orchid greats aging and not knowing how to connect to younger people. No, you are correct, I probably wouldn't have been too patient as a younger person, but the 30s-40s need to get more involved, too. We have the patience, and the cash (well, my friends do ) to take it to the next level and create events and information opportunities.

This board rocks my world. And it's so easy and accessible. I think AOS can get there too. It just takes a little innovation.
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  #7  
Old 04-10-2008, 10:58 AM
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We have a few very young and very knowledgeable folks among our friends here at Orchidboard.

The key is to get more of them involved in the hands-on activities of local clubs and such.

Now...how do we do that? We ask the AOS for their assistance I'm looking forward to seeing what the outcome of the letter to them is going to be. Wouldn't it be great to see Blondie's letter published in the mag?
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  #8  
Old 04-10-2008, 11:01 AM
Blondie Blondie is offline
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Hahahaha. Well, I did copy the link and send it in an email to a couple of the people who work there, so I am interested to see how they respond.

But we shouldn't focus too much on the teens. That might be pushing it. I still consider myself YOUNG (coughs) at 30 and my best friends are women in their early 40s who are always looking for something new to entertain them. They are totally surprised when I tell them they don't have to spend $90 at the flower shop for an orchid. I've gotten coworkers and friends involved just by writing on my blog about my babies. There just need to be more prominent faces that aren't in their 70s to pull some new groups in. Then the people in their 70s can share all of that fantastic life-long information with us and we can regenerate. Like little kikis hanging onto the wise ones.
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  #9  
Old 04-10-2008, 11:07 AM
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The obstacle I had when I was really young was money. I didn't have any of it growing up, well at least not any for plants. If I had had some money, I would probably started growing plants at 16ish. All my life I played around with my Mom's plants, which weren't many and my Grandmother's plants which were tons of tropicals in a tropical country. So, I've always been willing, just not able. It wasn't till I turned 25 that I realized I was actually able to afford and keep orchids alive. I consider that a late start when you compare to other members here. Marco is my age, Mahon is a teen and knows more about orchids than I ever will, and in the last 3 years or so I have met tons of members here my age or younger. So the amount of people who are willing I would say is still good. All we need now is to expose them to plants and let them know that ya, they are actually easy to keep.
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  #10  
Old 04-10-2008, 11:11 AM
Blondie Blondie is offline
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Exactly. Exposure. Like I once wrote a post on my blog that made a bunch of my friends go buy orchids. Let's see if I can find it...

Here it is: Easy, fun, simple exposure:

Tales From Clark Street: Making Yourself Happy: A How To
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