Thursday, April 8, 2010

Deployment Question #2 Update

I totally agreed with everyone's responses.

Here's the latest from the FRG front...

My friend wrote:

Due to "overwhelming responses" the BN cancelled the contest, lol. I wonder what else they will think of for us to do next!

I saw some of the women asking abut if the CO knew, etc, and yes they did in fact know because my husband asked me about it this morning. He said that we should pool our money together to get an "exotic dancer" for one of the lonely joe's over there, lol! He wondered if THAT would be put in the paper.
I can't wait to hear the next idea they come up with to make money.  

How do your FRG's make money?  Ours have always been non-existent, so I don't have any suggestions.  

Do you "do" FRG's?  What do you think makes them successful?

What's your best or worst FRG story?  Maybe if there are enough good stories, I'll venture out to the dark side and check ours out, as I hear that there is another new leader.  


MG said...

I believe FRGs are important, and if nothing else, are a good way to stay "in the loop." Sadly, like all things in life, some are better than others, so just because one was bad doesn't mean the next one will be.

I LOVED my very first FRG, there were few ladies who participated, but we became very close. Seeing that I was newly married, and my husband was deployed it made a huge difference in my life.

Anonymous said...

My first FRG experience was with the national guard before hubs went active, they didn't do much. Granted the guys weren't deployed overseas either, just stationed stateside for 2 years (away from family).

2nd FRG: Carson, the CO's wife and the 1SGT's wife were the leaders and they made all the decisions. No fundraisers, no meetings really. The monthly gatherings were signing bday cards to send to the guys and lots of cliques going on. I really felt like an outsider. And if the guys were home then it was mandatory for them to attend and the CO was a pompous butt! And made people to feel stupid (including wives).

3rd FRG: Hood, here I stepped up to be the co-leader with another spouse. She is dumb. She doesn't understand the army and keeps making all these suggestions about what we could do and not do and she is so wrong! But our 1st fundraiser we did was a civilian dress fundraiser. The guys (I say guys because there are NO females in my hubs troop) paid their rank to wear civilian clothes all day (EX: E1=$1, O1=$11), we made $500 which paid for pizza and 1/2 of the cost to go to Boulders and go wall rock climbing. It was a blast! Our next fundraiser is a bake/lunch sale at the rail head while the guys load up their stuff for NTC. So far it is going pretty good here. When we first got here, there was pretty much no FRG so I am happy that I am a part of what is changing it and hopefully it continues on the good path!

Erin said...

Oh and another thing....that has got to be against FRG rules for fundrasing or something!

Our FRG is so weird. Everyone in the unit is doing different things and deploying at different times, so it sometimes seems ridiculous to have an FRG.

USNchic said...

It is nearly impossible to read your post with the gray font on the gray background. Just FYI :)

I'm the VP of my husband's command's FRG. They're currently deployed, so we've been very active. Here's a blog post I did on FRG Fundraising:

We are currently doing a cookbook fundraiser. When it is completed I will blog about the results. I think it will be a big success!

We also sell command pride t-shirts online to raise funds. We sold command ornaments at Christmas time.

I love being a part of the FRG. It's a great way to make friends and be a part of the command. Not all FRGs are created equal, so even if you've had a bad experience in the past, don't let it discourage you from trying them out in the future.

Julie the Army Wife said...

Cookbooks and bake sales have been pretty much what I have seen.

FRGs are like boxes of chocolate. You never know what you are going to

I have been in good ones and then ones that just felt very unfriendly and weird. The best thing an FRG has done was have a weekly coffee during the deployment. It was such a great way to get through things together.

I hope you are able to have fun with this FRG :)

Amy said...

The first FRG I had experience with (during DH's 1st deployment) was excellent! The FRG leader was very into it, and she got others excited as well.

Second wasn't bad. I came back during the middle of the deployment and got involved then. Other than a sourpuss newsletter editor, the leadership team was pretty good, very informative, and we usually had a good number (I consider more than 10 a good of people show up. Usually around 15-20.

Then DH got a new company CO who decided to take control of the FRG, basically told the leader she didn't know squat and that the FRG wasn't for families but for soldiers. She began leading some meetings which were very soldier-oriented, particularly single soldiers, and families were turned off big time. Then a few months into this mess, she and the FRG leader had a screaming match after a meeting in which the leader resigned. Apparently MY name was thrown into the argument by the CO because I helped with the FRG and was therefore part of the leader's "little circle of friends". Anyone who helped or even showed up to the meetings was part of the "little circle of friends" according to the CO.

The FRG fell apart. A new leader was chosen immediately (the other leader knew the CO would do this and was friends with the other lady, so she'd been prepping her). Unfortunately the new leader didn't have great leadership skills so things struggled along until mid-way through the 3rd deployment last summer. The wives who kept attending weren't happy with how she did things (she micromanaged, changed things at the last minute, didn't give info out when needed, etc). She resigned and another spouse, my husband's section CO's wife actually, stepped up and pulled it together. It got much better but many spouses had been turned off by the company CO's attitude and the failure of the prior FRG leader so they stayed away. It was much better after the new leader but stayed small thanks to the Company CO. We did have a LOT of fun at the section level though! Heh.

There's a new FRG leader now since the other one is PCSing but I'm not really getting involved. We're supposed to PCS in a few months.

Oh! Fund raisers.. we've done t-shirts, those metal bake that have lids and you have them engraved (not a huge hit), candles (not a huge hit either), bake sales, cookbook sales, magnets, ornaments, gift wrapping, and a car wash or two.

Anonymous said...

Noobie here...

What is the difference between the spouses clubs and the FRG? I was told that I couldn't join either because my husband is technically a student (not permanent party) and that I could only join the student spouses group? Help!?

Laura said...

Being a parent our FRG experience is a bit different.

#1 Son's first deployment, we didn't know anything, didn't hear from anyone, except 1 month after he left in the form of a news letter. When he redeployed we bought airline tickets, reserved a hotel and kept our fingers crossed, we got the official call they would be home 2 hrs before hand...did I mention he was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii?!
His Second deployment out of Ft. Hood they had an FRG and the wife in charge sent out emails weekly or when ever she heard from her husband. She notified us of all activities even though we weren't in Texas. I think one of their fundraisers was ordering "welcome home" banners for the redeployment and we were able to participate in that. She kept us informed about where we could go to see pictures of the guys in Iraq and when her husband was injured and returned home she even had another wife ready to take her place, and she did a good job too.
I guess if you can get someone in charge that really wants to do it right and doesn't have an ego issue they can be a great help!
Good Luck to all of you :)

USNchic said...

@ the Anonymous noobie: Students' families are typically kept separate from instructors' to avoid fraternization issues. It's a conflict of interest for both parties. It's not meant to make you feel bad or anything. :)

Kasey said...

When we were at Ft. Hood, our best fundraiser was PT buyout. If you give those guys a chance to not have to do PT, they will pay any amount of money! It was usually just $5, but it always got a great response.

Mrs. Bierschenk said...

Ok so I'm a total FRG virgin. I've been to 1, it was during TRADOC so it wasn't normal by any means.

I liked having something to do with people that had something in common with me. That being said it would be just as easy to join another group that I had something in common with.

I didn't like certain group dynamics that always come out. Some people aren't nice (no other way to put that!), some people are too nice (you know what I'm talking about), and some people were the ones who didn't delegate so you felt left out of stuff.

That being said I have my first "real" FRG coffee this weekend and I"m excited, and nervous!

The Mrs. said...

we dont "do" frgs ours are key wives and our key wives are stupid.

their last fundraiser effort was to ask for uniforms to cut up and make purses. you know my view on THAT one.

Anonymous said...

My husband suggested a PT buyout! He said he much rather pay to not have to do PT than wear civies all day!

@The. Mrs, my daughter saw somebody with an uniform purse the other day and was asking why the lady was using an uniform as a bag. I don't think she liked it too much, my daughter.

USNchic said...

Check with your base legal before doing PT buyouts. This is from the FRG Handbook:

"FRGs will not hold military leave or pass auctions or sell tickets for fundraising that allow Sailors to wear civilian clothes on duty or be absent from physical training. COs are prohibited from offering military benefits (i.e., passes, training holidays, or authorized wear of civilian clothes during the duty day) to Sailors involved in fundraising as an incentive or reward for their participation or donation to the fundraiser."