Chapter Bonding On A Budget

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Is your chapter lacking the budget for brotherhood and sisterhood events? 

Not to worry! We came up with a list of fun, budget-conscious events that would be great for any chapter. The best chapter bonding events are the most simple, and the most simple events always turn out to be the most rewarding! 

REMAKE OF A GAME SHOW

Watching game shows like Minute to Win It or Family Feud is exciting, but re-enacting them with your best friends is even better and a cheap option! 

For Minute to Win It, research the different games that are shown on the show and narrow it down to five that you want to plan. Try to narrow it down to games that could be completed by a group. Buy the necessary items at the store and assign all of your members in a group and get playing! 

If you’re want to play a version of Family Feud, consider creating your questions based on your chapter’s history, current members or even facts about your school. Keep in mind that these questions need to be answerable by anyone in your chapter. Have a prize for the winning team to keep the competition alive! 

EXERCISE CLASS 

There are so many possibilities for an exercise event; indoor cycling, yoga, zumba, kickboxing, indoor rock climbing or hiking! Check out the local businesses around your college town or even plan a private event through your campus recreation services. 

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If the weather is nice, consider doing yoga or a Zumba class outside on your central campus. The views will be beautiful and the weather would make the event that much better. 

Most college town exercise businesses will even give school organizations a discount and recreation services are usually free of expense! These events are perfect for bonding - mentally and physically and cheaper than most. 

MOVIE NIGHT

Who doesn’t love a good movie night? Grab some movie snacks from Dollar Tree for everyone and pop in a must-see movie for your members to laugh, cry or even scream over. To decide on a movie, make a poll on Facebook asking your members what movie they’re wanting to see! 

Have a chapter facility? Have the movie be played in the TV room or chapter room where all of your members can fit comfortably. If the weather is nice outside, consider getting a bed sheet and placing it on the outside wall of the house and project the movie using a projector! 

Don’t have a chapter facility? Contact your local movie theater to discuss renting out a theater for a movie of your choice or reserve a lecture hall space at your university and watch the movie there! 

VOLUNTEER TOGETHER 

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Whether it’s a homeless shelter, local church, food pantry or even for a large event in your college town, volunteering is something fun, rewarding and usually free of expense. Doing your research on what businesses need volunteers and for what event is how you will be able to find these! Some events that will need help are the local farmer’s market, charity fun run or even a blood drive. 

Have you ever thought about having a conjoined volunteering event with another sorority or fraternity on campus? Host a private packaging event with Meals From the Heartland, work on a project for Habitat for Humanity or even volunteer at an athletic event at your school! 

SELF-DEFENSE CLASS

Contact your on-campus police department to set up a self-defense related class. These classes could be informational or could offer step-by-step defense skills. Make sure you hold this class in a space large enough for all of your members! 

HOLIDAY THEMED IDEAS

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Around Valentine’s Day, a fun idea is to make Valentine’s Day cards for your chapter’s philanthropic partner or an organization in your college town. For example, many Chi Omega chapters make Valentine’s Day cards for their philanthropic partner, Make-A-Wish. They then mail these cards to the closet Make-A-Wish location! Consider proving snacks like an ice cream bar, pizza or even make sugar cookies to make the event even more appealing! 

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During October/November, going to a local pumpkin patch is a an fun way to get everyone excited for the fall season. Have your members carpool will help reduce costs for everyone! If your planning on having the chapter pay for the event, don’t forget to ask for a group, school organization discount. If you’re having your members pay for the patch, make sure they tell the admission desk they are students!

In the winter months, plan a Winter Holiday Event and have all of your members exchange a $5 gift! Consider having everyone dress up in fun winter pajamas and have a pajama contest! Then exchange your gifts by playing the various games like Secret Santa, White Elephant, Hot Potato or Left & Right. Other ideas that would make this event great is having a hot chocolate bar, holiday music playing and even have some cookie decorating!  

Overall, when it comes to planning budget-conscious events, staying simple will help you succeeded! Think about events that haven’t been done before and it will be perfect for everyone in your chapter! 

— HANNAH QUIMBY, STUDENT AT IOWA STATE AND UNIVERSITY TEES LIVE SALES COORDINATOR

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