Friday, May 23, 2014

Reflections: One Year Ago

Today is an exciting day for BWI of North Central Illinois!

It's our one year anniversary of being an official BWI Chapter!

It's been one heck of a year!  Filled with the excitement of organizing a new chapter, building a lending library, a huge membership drive the first month, walking in a parade, decorating a babywearing scarecrow, putting together raffles and giveaways, having an extremely successful International Babywearing Week, adding meeting locations, dealing with meeting cancellations because of the extremely cold weather, putting together yet another membership drive, an educational wrapping workshop, training new educators, working expos, making demo dolls and much much more!

Looking back, it's been a year full of wonderful memories!   I can't thank the leadership team enough!  With Rachel, Christi, Melissa and Jacquelyn by my side, it has been a lot of work, but so much fun!  From Rachel cutting up dolls, to me always taking selfies with them, having wine and cake to celebrate successes, to Christi picking us out hats for IBW.. I have enjoyed every minute and cherish the camaraderie we share.  We took our passion and put our heart and soul into building this chapter up.  It truly is an amazing thing for us to see it grow.

Thank you Sarah, Missy, and Justine for all the hard work you all have put into the ever growing chapter!  Whether it's donating your time to build a scarecrow, work an expo, teach at 4 meetings per month, all have shown that you are all extremely dedicated and passionate to spreading the knowledge and love of babywearing.  Thank you to our new VBEs,  Ali, Jennifer, Katy and Susan for joining the team, and dedicating your time to help caregivers learn the benefits of babywearing.  Thank you Katy and Rashada, as our new chapter librarians, we appreciate you volunteering and helping to keep the libraries running smoothly. 
If there was one word to describe this year...I would say it was Teamwork!

And thank you, to all of you for coming to the meetings, telling your friends and family about us, and spreading the love of babywearing!

We begin our second year as a chapter with almost 600 FB members, 12 very active VBEs, 7 monthly meeting locations, 3 fully stocked lending libraries, quarterly member workshops, a list of member benefits, regular BW 101s throughout the community and 95 BWI of NCIL memberships!

What does the next year have in store?  I'm sure more than we can even imagine right now!  But we plan to continue to grow our library, continue our outreach efforts, add some play dates, have some fundraisers, train more educators, and hope to serve the communities we are in as best as possible!

Here's to another great year!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Big Announcement!

We have an announcement! McHenry county will now be served by BWI of North Central Illinois. BWI of Chicagoland and BWI of North Central Illinois are sister chapters. We have decided together that this will be good for the residents of McHenry county. BWI of NCIL is well-prepared to help McHenry County babywearers. With an extensive library and two seasoned educators living in McHenry county, Tabitha Goins and Rachel Dreyer, we expect a smooth transition. McHenry county members will continue to receive excellent instruction from Susan Field and Jennifer Grant as they will now be educators for North Central Illinois. If you are a Chicagoland member from McHenry county, your membership will be transferred to North Central Illinois unless you request to remain with Chicagoland. You will have all of the member privileges offered by NCIL and will renew on the date that your membership expires. The Woodstock meetings will continue as scheduled and more meetings in McHenry county will likely be added in the future. We expect this move to be good for everyone. McHenry County, welcome to BWI of North Central Illinois!

If you are looking for what babywearing serves your area, this map shows where meeting are for the Chicagoland babywearing groups.

Happy Wearing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Our wrapping workshop was a huge success!

Our first member workshop was held on a Saturday in April.  We all had a blast!
These workshops will be held once a quarter and will  focus on different skills/carriers. They are perfect for broadening knowledge base on certain carriers and working on more advanced skills.  The workshops are open to members and non members. Members receive priority registration and free admission. Registration for non members are opened up as space allows and are $5 per person.

Our first workshop was a wrap intensive workshop.  It was an afternoon full of wrapping little ones! Whether the caregiver was a novice or an expert, they all learned new techniques and carries.

It was split up into different stations: Front carries, Hip Carries, Beginner Back Carries, Advanced Back Carries and another one that showed variations of ways to make the most of shorter wovens.  
At each station, our caregivers received one on one attention with one of our accredited educators.

Have fun looking at the photos and we hope to see you at the next workshop!

Christi teaching caregivers how to do a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry
looks like everyone is learning lots

Christie and Denise deep in conversation
learning new carries
we had lots of mirrors so everyone could see how the carries look

Jacquelyn teaching Danielle how to do her first back carry!
Sarah's explaining how to do Robin's hip carry

Jacquelyn helping Kim do her first back carry
Melissa teaching Christina's Ruckless

learning advanced back carries
Tabitha teaching how to do a slip knot

A happy ending to a wonderful workshop!

Feel free to leave us a comment or a picture of what you learned!  It was a lot of fun and we can't wait to do it again!