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After reading my friend Jen's blog recap of state conference, I realized there is definitely a lack of stuff out there on the internet about DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) in general, especially in a day and age where technology is so important. I think that it is even more important for growing and maintaining junior membership in the organization. I must admit... as a Gilmore Girls fan my first impressions of DAR were Emily Gilmore. Good thing I love Kelly Bishop!
|I cropped this photo so the under-18 pages would not be pictured.|
This is a group of the pages with our State Regent.
So, despite my past hesitancy to talk publicly here about DAR, I'm ready to talk. I have only been a member for just over a year now, and I do not pretend to represent the organization. I am also only using photos that the official conference photographer took (or that my blogger friends knew would be shared) to respect the privacy of the ladies. But I think it's important as a Junior Member to talk to others about it, especially since I know my readership is mostly women like myself.
To join the DAR, you have to prove your lineal, blood line descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence. I did this on my father's side by collecting documents such as death certificates and marriage certificates to prove my line. Once you are a member, you are authorized to purchase and wear insignia, then add to your insignia over time based on your qualifications. Yes, you have to be qualified and verified for your pins! My favorite is my DAR Serving the Nation pin for my military service. There is an order of precedence for pins, just like awards in the military.
|Photo of me wearing my insignia|
As an under-35 member, you are considered a Junior in the organization. And as a Junior, you may choose to serve as a Page, acting as hostesses, errand-runners, personal assistants, and flag-bearers at state and national events. This year, at my second state conference, I chose to serve as a page. I was selected to be a personal page, and I had a fantastic (and exhausting) weekend serving.
Learn more after the jump!
Learn more after the jump!
I must admit, being a personal page, or a page in general, is a lot like being an aide or adjutant working on military events and ceremonies. You have a lot to remember (who are the VIPs, what order is the processional?), you're thinking on your feet, and you have to be professional and courteous at all times. You have to anticipate the needs of the lady you are serving! I had on-hand Shout wipes, breathmints, a sewing kit, bandaids, and more just in case. (Thankfully, there are handbooks for pages, and Page Chairmen to assist you all along the way.) The Page Room is your sanctuary, a place you can finally get off your feet or have other pages assist you with big tasks. You can expect to be on your feet 14 hours a day.
|Fellow bloggers Krista, Jen, and me...|
I did splurge a little on that Rebecca Minkoff purse.
The other part of being a Page is dressing in white. You are in white apparel virtually the entire time you serve. It helps identify you as a page, simply put. For me, that meant starting early to get good deals on clothing. I found a white suit (jacket, blouse, skirt, and pants) during a Limited sale online, a white formal gown from JCPenney and another from a Chinese website, and shoes from Payless. I got such good deals, I spent more on hemming my formal dresses than on the dresses themselves! Some girls wear their wedding dresses. I also purchased white gloves on Amazon, as marching bands and JROTCs often wear the same basic gloves you need for evening Page duties. It's hard to find items at first, but if you start planning ahead you can get them for a bargain. Also consider it an investment; I'll be wearing those same formal gowns hopefully for years to come.
|Cheesy formal photo.|
The best part about being a Page is twofold. One, you get to learn the ins and outs of the organization from a very fascinating perspective. My first conference, I attended two events and didn't really meet new people. This time, I attended nearly all of them (at no cost), met all the VIPs, and got the DAR education of a lifetime. Two, you get to become friends with other Pages. I was thrilled to see girls I met at last fall's Junior Retreat, and I'm proud to say that I have real-life friends across Tennessee even as a transplant to the area. We all keep in touch via Facebook.
Why do I enjoy DAR? I not only get to be part of one of the oldest women's organizations in the nation, but one of the most selfless. My work in DAR supports active duty military women, as well as veterans. I'm able to focus my efforts and charity on causes I believe in, all while part of a true non-profit, non-partisan organization.
In addition, the ladies of Tennessee's DAR have embraced me as a family member. They don't care that I wasn't born and raised here, and they are fiercely proud of my military service. They make me feel like a native Tennesseean, and I couldn't be happier to know them.
So if you're interested in DAR, or even just curious, feel free to ask questions. It's not your grandmother's DAR anymore.