Standard Practices of Wheaton Garden Club

Transition of Leadership

  1. Outgoing Officers should meet with the incoming Officer in their position between their installation in April and June 30th to review the responsibilities of the job, and the files and records that will be transferred to them.
  2. A shadowing of the outgoing Officers by the incoming Officers during the April through June period is recommended. 
  3. Committee chairs should be determined by May of the year preceding the beginning of their term.


  1. Other than for specified meetings where the program dictates an exception, members should dress in a business casual style. Jeans are not considered appropriate attire.
  2. No outside speakers should be scheduled for the September meeting.
  3. A program is not required for the September meeting, but if one is scheduled, it should be short, in order to allow for sufficient time for budget presentation, discussion and vote.
  4. In Flower Show years a program on floral design for flower shows is encouraged at the September meeting or at another prearranged time prior to the Flower Show.
  5. In Flower Show years the October meeting should include a Flower Show recap and no other program.
  6. In order to facilitate set-up, it is encouraged for a Christmas Project Chair to host the Christmas Project meeting.
  7. No hard copy invitations are sent for the April Annual Meeting and Installation Luncheon, except when a member has no email. Typically, a handwritten note is sent to the Associate members.
  8. Associate members have an open invitation to all meetings and events, including the April Annual Meeting and Installation Luncheon. Associate members need to RSVP if attending.
  9. It is the responsibility of the Social Chair to solicit food allergy information from members and communicate this information to hostesses and co-hostesses. It is also the responsibility of the members with allergies to self-advocate.
  10. It is the responsibility of the hostess for the following month to ensure that name tags are transferred from the prior month’s location to the subsequent month’s location.
  11. Co-hostesses should coordinate arrival time with the hostess and plan to arrive at the meeting location at least 30 minutes before the meeting time.
  12. The theme of a meeting is the mutual responsibility of the hostess and co-hostesses and should be decided together.
  13. The President is not required to host or co-host a meeting during her term.


  1. A mix of programs including field trips, hands on activities, programs on floral design and programs on gardening should be included each year.
  2. Due to the lead time required for many programs, programs should be planned a year in advance. Thus, the current program chairs will plan programs for the following fiscal year.
  3. Club members are encouraged to give program presentations, with a gift (purchased by the Programs chair) given as a token of appreciation. Members who are professionals in the field will be paid according to their published fee schedules.

Member Expectations

  1. Each member is expected to participate in Civic Projects, such as providing flowers for the library and planting seasonal containers for Metropolitan Family Services.
  2. Each member is expected to participate in the biennial Flower Show by providing an entry in the Design category, by providing at least one entry in the Horticulture category and by volunteering to help staff the Flower Show in some capacity.
  3. Each member is expected to host a meeting every other year and co-host in alternate years.
  4. Each member who attends the annual Club meeting and luncheon in April is expected to contribute an item to that luncheon.
  5. Each member is expected to help staff the annual Plant Sale.
  6. Accommodations will be made for age, infirmity and special circumstances.

Prospective Members

For each prospective member, the following process occurs:

  1. If the prospective member is unknown to any member of the Club, at least 3 members of the Club (including the 2nd VP) meet with her to introduce her to the Club, communicate expectations of membership and answer her questions. This is done prior to inviting her to a meeting. If the prospective member is referred by a current member, this step is not required.
  2. Each prospective member must attend two meetings of the Club. The April and December meetings are not open to prospective members.

Member Support and Recognition

  1. When a member is ill or experiences a close personal loss, the Sunshine Chair should be informed, so that she can send a card and express the appropriate level of concern on behalf of the Club.
  2. When a member passes away, they should be honored with a book of remembrance at the Wheaton Public Library and with a donation to GCI’s Illinois Book of Remembrance.
  3. After 25 years of membership, members should be honored for their longevity with the club by awarding them a VIP pin from GCI.

Hostess and Co-hostess Expectations

General expectations for meetings other than those specified separately below:

  1. There shall be one hostess and at least two co-hostesses for each meeting.
  2. The hostess and co-hostesses shall work together to determine the theme of the meeting.
  3. The hostess shall provide the venue and sufficient seating for the meeting, except for those cases where the program dictates a different location.
  4. The hostess shall provide beverages, table setting and the centerpiece for the meeting.
  5. Co-hostesses shall provide food for the meetings.
  6. Co-hostesses shall arrive at the meeting location at the time coordinated with the hostess, at least half an hour before the members are expected to begin arriving.
  7. Co-hostesses shall answer the door, greet members, take and store coats and direct members to the name tags.
  8. Co-hostesses shall serve the food and beverages provided.
  9. Co-hostesses shall assist in the clean up after the meeting.

For the Christmas Luncheon in December:

  1. The hostess shall be responsible for coordinating the venue.
  2. There shall be three co-hostesses for this meeting.
  3. Co-hostesses shall be responsible for the invitations and collection of any member portion of the cost.
  4. Co-hostesses shall be responsible for the centerpieces and candies and nuts for the tables.

For the Annual Meeting and Installation Luncheon in April:

  1. The hostess shall be responsible for the table settings, centerpieces and beverages.
  2. There shall be three co-hostesses for this meeting.
  3. The co-hostesses shall help the set-up of tables for the meeting and help provide table settings, as needed.
  4. The co-hostesses shall coordinate arrival time and set up with the hostess.
  5. The co-hostesses shall be responsible for arranging the food provided by members.
  6. The co-hostesses shall assist the hostess with cleaning up.

For field trips:

  1. The hostess shall be responsible for beverages and paper goods.
  2. Co-hostesses shall be responsible for providing the food.

Drafted April 2020