Being a New Member of APO is both a significant commitment of time and energy, and an incredibly rewarding experience. Aside from fulfilling the requirements of Midweeks, Saturday Projects, and meetings, the New Member class is also expected to organize, develop, fundraise for, and lead an all-day service project involving up to a hundred people.
Recent New Member projects have significantly improved the facilities of Gallastar Equine Center, Cedars Nursing Home, Albemarle Housing Improvement Program, Virginia Institute of Autism, and Camp Holiday Trails through building sheds, painting rooms, adding benches/doors, building garden structures, creating campfire areas, etc. The New Member project can be the most stressful part of the semester, but the most rewarding as well. To see the efforts of two months of work come to fruition on a Saturday is incredible.
The New Member semester is an incredibly fun time. New Members are put into families with older Members, who serve as guides and familiar faces through the New Member semester and beyond. Families typically have plans about once a week, ranging from a standard dinner and a movie night to events a little more thrilling, like sky diving.
Each New Member class develops into a close unit through the experiences shared during fundraising and planning for the New Member project that spills over into the social realm: New Member classes get together to have slumber parties, roadtrips, dinners - sometimes long after their New Member semester as well. In the end, the New Member Education process serves to introduce new members to both the social and service aspects of Theta Chapter.