Gail, Here in San Diego County, we have the San Diego County
Council. It is a quasi-umbrella organization, representing 13
In heyday times, each local club had the strength and support to
ably handle field trips and local shows. Local shows, before
commercial ventures realized the money making potentials, were
basically fund raisers that allowed clubs to maintain shops and
The general public, for the most part does not realize the
difference between local club shows, and the commercial ones. In
many cases the local club shows were squeezed/priced out of the
arenas the shows were held in, and replaced by the commercial
This became a problem for obvious reasons, and funds to maintain
the clubs somewhat dried up.
Another problem is the aging of the original club members, and
the adjunct loss of strength and energies.
The San Diego County Council has a rotating “Gemboree”. When
this show is scheduled, members of all the other clubs assist in
setting it up, bring in tables, skirting, etc. There is a fund
available to use as start up. Rental of the facility, etc. this
is repaid from the monies taken in.
Field Trips also have a cooperative bent. Instead of each club
struggling to offer monthly field trips, the Council arranges for
each club to set up one good field trip a year. They are
published 6 months in advance, and attendance is great.
I am the Internet Liason for the Council and just recently
opened a Web Site. It is still in the preliminary stages, but
anyone coming into the Southern California area can access it and
see what is going on in the area, club meetings, field trips, or
club shows. The Web address is
This is the closest we come to a guild, and it works for us.