Here’s what’s up in the Spooniverse, according to our members.

How to Get to Know Your New Spoon Team Members

Welcome Spoon newbies!

Last year, when I joined Spoon, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Sitting around a table with only a few familiar faces, I was really nervous to get to know everyone. I was intimidated by the older members, but I was also excited because they seemed to get along really well with each other. I never expected to feel so connected and comfortable working with a group of people.

Now, a year later, I can't believe that I am one of the leaders that is in charge of making sure our new members feel welcomed to our chapter. 

But how do we get to know new members?

candy, chocolate, sweet, cake, sprinkles, goody, cream, sweetmeat, pastry
Susanna Tuan

There is no ~magic~ recipe or specific way you should go about getting to know your new members. There have been some awkward silences and a few unread messages, but I can truly say that it's worth putting your best efforts forward. You won't be disappointed with the results. 

1. Give 'Em Swag

cake, candy
Luna Zhang

Spoon has awesome advertising—laptop stickers get compliments left and right and cute pins get thrown onto all sorts of bags. The spoon logo is well-known and giving new members the coolest swag will help them feel like they are a part of the team.

Recently, one of my new team members told me she noticed all of the leaders had Spoon stickers on their laptop and she couldn't wait to get one herself. The next meeting we started by giving out Spoon stickers to all the new members.

I felt silly for not thinking of this sooner, but hey, now I know what to do for next time! Being able to give all the new team members stickers gave our group a lot of energy and made everyone excited to be working together on Spoon. We've also started working on designing sweatshirts together in our meetings!

2. Plan a Team Bonding Activity

cake, beer
Spoon University

Planning a team bonding activity will inspire old members to meet new members by doing something together. After your chapter has completed recruitment, maybe check out a local farmers markets, go apple picking, or have a potluck together.

When I joined last year, the chapter was small enough to grab dinner all together. I never thought that my involvement in Spoon would help strengthen my new friendships at college. I wasn't alone joining this club; instead, I had my friend's backs and my new team members to help make me feel included and valuable. I want to be able to give the same opportunity to my new members and hope they feel the same way I did.

My team and I are planning on going apple picking together soon to enjoy the fall weather and be able to hang out for a few hours off-campus together. I've found that it's really difficult to just rely on messaging to plan big activities like this. However, I really like the site When2meet to help plan events and make sure I'm including as many people as possible.

3. Have Meaningful Ice Breakers at the Beginnings of Meetings

cake, chocolate, cupcake
Spoon University

No one really likes ice breakers, but I promise there are some that are actually fun! At our very first team meeting together this semester, my team and I sat together in a big circle to play a writing/drawing game. The rules are simple: everyone starts with a blank piece of paper and writes a sentence about food. You pass the paper to the person next to you and they draw a picture about the sentence you just wrote. They fold the paper over the sentence and the next person has to write a sentence about the picture.

This game keeps going until you can't fold the paper over anymore and honestly—the results are always hilarious. We ended up getting some pretty wacky sentences about floating pizzas and laughing over our shitty child-like drawings. This interactive game was a really great way for all of us to connect and laugh together without feeling like we were putting anyone on the spot.

4. Work on Goals Together

salad, feast
Makaya Pratt

Focusing on team and individual goals will help team leaders have an idea of what goals to focus on for the semester or year. I always make an effort to let new team members know that they can reach out to me individually to work on any projects or ideas they have. I am always so surprised by what new members have to offer. One of our new photographers has her own website already! I never would have known this if we hadn't reached out to each other to talk about Spoon.

I've also found that after meetings, my friends and I in the club will offer to do homework together or go grab coffee afterwards and usually, more people are down to chill. I have really gotten to know team members through casual conversations even if it is not directly about Spoon, but has helped me get a sense of how their personality will play into their Spoon role. Also, I think it has helped me be a more approachable person by showing others that I am always willing to be there for them.

5. Eat Meals Together

tea, sweet, cake
Caitie Veech

Spoon is all about talking about food and sharing stories, ideas, and brainstorming together. Talking and eating over a shared meal is the perfect way to communicate and get to know one another. After a meeting last week, a group of first-years who are new team members grabbed hot chocolate together afterwards. This put a huge smile on my friends' faces and my own because it reminded us of ourselves last year. Words can't describe how awesome it is to see other team members take initiative to reach out to each other.

This has also helped me realize how important it is to reach out to people to let them know you are there for them, even if it is as simple as asking to eat with them. Some of the best meals I've had on campus are with my fellow Spoon members after we decided to make dinner all together.

beer, pizza, wine, coffee
Colin Martin

Getting to know new team members is crucial for your team's ability to function and execute tasks effectively. You want new members to feel included—no one wants to feel left out of the loop. Most importantly though, I am lucky enough to work with my closest friends. Being able to have the opportunity to work with my friends, make new friends, and share Spoon opportunities with so many of my friends and acquaintances on campus is something I never expected.