23 - Firesides, Then and Now

Firesides has been an opportunity for collegians and alumnae to come together to discuss important topics, receive crucial training, and connect with Sisters across the country for decades. Beginning as a true fireside chat, this event has transformed into a large-scale program with delegates attending one of two weekends hosted in Memphis, Tennessee, every biennial.

In 1935 Firesides were held for the first time during the summer of the off-year of Conventions. The locations selected during that year were conference centers, camps, and three chapter houses scattered around the country. Beta Beta/Washington State, Epsilon Alpha/Oklahoma, and Mu Alpha/New Hampshire each hosted in their respective regions.

Northwestern Firesides, 1935

Northwestern Firesides, 1935

Southwestern Firesides, 1935

Southwestern Firesides, 1935

Northeast Firesides, 1935

As seen in this picture from 1941, often the setting of early Firesides was indeed around a campfire!

Firesides 1941

Leaders and delegates at Firesides 1941

This year, 84 years after the first Firesides were held, Firesides 2019 took place in Memphis, Tennessee. Programming focused on the topic of Her Welfare Ever at Heart, a nod to one of our favorite lines in The Symphony.  Each delegation was made up of the G.H., Personnel Chair, and Personnel Advisor, and the first weekend also hosted House Corporation members.

The topic of discussion at Firesides 2019 was focused on our knowledge that Sisterhood is our core competency and deep, true Sisterhood is a protective factor in well-being, social connectedness, and positive decision-making. At this meeting delegates explored what it means to be a Sister on purpose. They walked away from the weekend equipped with tactical, applicable tools to identify, address, and begin to resolve concerns within their chapter. Facilitators ensured that our chapter leaders understand the skills, competencies, and experiences honed during their years as a collegian have the power to transform the collegiate and chapter experience and can inform how we approach the rest of our lives.

Firesides has served as a consistent avenue for educating our collegians and alumnae since 1935. Over the course of time Chi Omega’s dedication to educating and supporting our Sisters has only grown more deeply rooted with every year that passes.

All Firesides 2019 photos by Katherine Mendieta Photography