It’s no secret that we’ve been outgrowing the space at Cygnus for the monthly morning meeting in Mundelein. As our group has grown we’ve been evaluating options for the Mundelein Meeting. This is a good problem to have, but a problem none the less. The meetings have gotten so busy that it has become overwhelming for some of us as leaders, so we can only imagine how overwhelming it can be for new parents!
(Now, granted, this ring sling photo isn’t the best (the rings could be down lower and the shoulder a little farther out) but the photo shows from one end of the Cygnus meeting space to the other. I think I put my younger boy up to show how you could still wear a 3 year old in a ring sling. This was my handy dandy Sleeping Baby Productions (SBP) ring sling wrap conversion made from BB Slen Passion Fruit….)
We love the space and kind accommodations at Cygnus. Jeanne has hosted our meeting since long before the Lake County Babywearers and Slingers merged almost 2 years ago. It’s a free, available space, with toys and close restrooms. Jeanne, thanks SO MUCH for letting us meet at your spot.
Scheduling through libraries is actually a little bit of work that adds up all year round… figuring out schedules, not having a consistent time, asking and waiting for the ok, only being able to schedule 2-3 months in advance, needing someone with a card (and at some locations that person has to open/close the room), and constantly updating our group info with new events. Having a standing meeting is REALLY convenient for leaders. To try and keep that convenience and better meet the needs of new parents, we’re going to make some changes.
Trying something new
We have an early afternoon meeting in Gurnee, and an evening meeting in Grayslake, and both of these locations are pretty close to the Mundelein meeting. Hopefully, if the Mundelein changes don’t work with your schedule, one of the other two might be a good substitute.
The standing meeting at Cygnus the SECOND friday morning of every month will continue, but it will become more of a “Babywearing 101” meeting. The library will be available, and we will focus on more of the basics, safety, different types of carriers, general questions. We want parents to bring the carriers they have, and we will help them get more comfortable. This “101” meeting is targeted for new parents or parents who are just learning about baby carriers and are looking for basic information or help with a carrier they own. It may be helpful to come to the more basic 101 meeting a few times before moving to the playdate based meeting.
The hope for this “101” meeting is that it will be a little calmer, a little *teeny* bit quieter, and a better environment for new parents that won’t be quite so overwhelming. This meeting will be 1.5 hours, to accommodate leader schedules.
A few parents from meetings at Cygnus, who were still early on in their babywearing journey, who would have benefitted from this new format:
(Sakura Bloom, Moby Wrap, Gypsymama Breeze, and Angelpack SSC featured here)
We are going to add a second Mundelein meeting for the THIRD Friday of every month. This meeting will be more playdate based, and targeted for folks who have already been to a meeting, and heard the general info at LEAST once, but preferably a number of times. The hope for this meeting, is that it will be more playdate based, more peer-to-peer learning, and less “talking” from leaders.
Let’s be honest, some of the regulars who have come to a year or two of meetings really don’t need or want to hear about an open airway for the 25th time. Unless they want to step up into a leadership position… but we’ll talk more about that in a post in the near future.
The playdate based meeting will probably be a better option for folks who don’t get scared off by excited toddlers and preschoolers, and want to revel in some babywearing geekery. We will start off having this at Cygnus. If we outgrow Cygnus we will look for an alternate location.