Sunday, September 18, 2011

Continental Congress - See you there!

Every year, thousands of daughters from around the world travel to 1776 D Street NW in Washington, DC for what I consider to be one of the best weeks of the year – Continental Congress.  It is a week-long celebration of the DAR’s annual accomplishments and positive impact we had upon our communities.  It is held at the DAR complex that takes up an entire city block.  There are workshops, forums, luncheons, and dinners that one may attend to learn more about committees and awards.  Each state regent gives inspiring reports of her state’s highlights of the last year.  Every committee chairman also gives a report, praising members, awarding prizes, and urging daughters to ‘do more’ in the coming days.  It is truly a learning experience that motivates all of us to aspire to do greater good through our chapters.

At our most recent chapter meeting, Continental Congress was discussed.  Having attending this event for the past five years in a row, I urged my chapter members to make plans for 2012.  The more members that attend, the more active our chapter will become.  The DAR reserves rooms at the JW Marriott Hotel, only a few blocks away from the DAR building, for a low DAR rate.  They then open up the rooms to the members on October 23, 2011, at 4:00PM for reservations…and they sell out fast!  Only an hour or so later, and you may be staying at another hotel nearby, away from all the action. 

The JW Marriott is bustling with DAR ladies attending dinners and events.

The DAR owns an entire city block, just a few blocks from the White House.  In fact, if you walk from the hotel to the hall, you walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, taking photos along your way.  Inside this historical landmark, is a plethora of unique rooms and hallways.  History is everywhere, on the walls and in every nook.  You should choose to visit the award winning DAR Museum and the 31 Period Rooms, showcasing American furnishings and decorative arts prior to 1830.  Be sure to make a trip to the Americana Room, displaying early American manuscripts and imprints.  Many Daughters spend countless hours in the DAR Library, one of the largest genealogical research centers in the United States.

The DAR Library is a great place to find your lineage. 
I took this photo during Continental Congress two years ago.

The DAR Library houses over 25,000 compiled and published family histories on several floors.

When you aren’t doing research or touring the building, many women find time to shop and learn.  There are many booths set up for our enjoyment to purchase patriotic items, support the President General’s Project, and learn more about the DAR Schools. 

Some of the items for sale are almost irresitable.

The majority of your time will likely be spent attending the official meetings in Constitution Hall.  There is no way to describe the intense patriotic feeling one gets when “Stars and Stripes” is played for opening ceremonies and the hall is full of excitement!!!  I know women who have been attending for decades and it still sends chills through them.  The evening sessions are formal, so the glitz and glamor is quite a sight!   

The historic Constitution Hall was built in 1929.  This photo is during one of the day sessions.

I have made plans already to attend Continental Congress June 25-July 1, 2012.  In fact, I believe that we may have a total of seven women from our chapter attend.  This includes three ‘first-timers’ and three pages.  Can you imagine the motivation our chapter will have upon the return of these leaders?  The possibilities are endless.

So, the time is now to make your decision.  Are you IN or are you OUT?  To really get the fullness of the experience, you need to start making your plans today.  I suggest that you volunteer for something while you are there.  Perhaps you want to serve during the day on the House Committee, helping the ladies outside the main hall find what they need.  Another option is to serve inside the hall in tiers, seating everyone for the events.  During the formal processions, daughters are needed to line the hallways as a corridor hostess, sealing off the processional line.  Make plans to attend the Junior Luncheon, the largest attended meal, or the Overseas Luncheon with their international bazaar.  Don’t forget…if you are under 41 years of age, you can page.  That is another experience in itself that is wonderful!!!!!!!!  You make lifelong friends.  If you are in this age category, ask your regent for more information (and I will see you there...I page, too!) 

If you have any questions whether you should attend or not, feel free to contact me: . 

Everyone should plan to go at least once.  It is an experience that you won’t want to miss and might just change your life and ultimately, the lives of those in your community.

Feel free to share this blog with anyone you may think is interested in attending Continental Congress.  I really hope to see you there!

To look at photos inside DAR Headquarters, visit:

To take a virtual tour of parts of DAR headquarters, visit:

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