My mother was always on my case when I had friends over to the house. She would make sure I offered them something to eat and drink in addition to showing them where the restroom was located. I was a servant to their needs.
My mom doubled down on the intensity when I had friends spend the night. She made sure I gave them a towel, bar of soap, washcloth, and any bedding they needed. In my pea-brain, I thought it was rude to give them a towel and soap, as if I was inferring they smelled bad and really needed a shower. Looking back, I now know that my mom wanted to make sure guests were treated right and given all the comforts of home, when they came over. Additionally, after spending a day running around in the woods, my friends and I probably did smell like death in dire need of a shower.
Becoming a skilled host is a necessary skill to hone. From hosting a brunch to having a guest spend the weekend, you need to put yourself in the guests place and try and think of any reason they may not be completely comfortable. As a member of Chi Psi, you’ll have many opportunities to practice hosting, such as with guests at your social functions and recruitment events, with Brothers from other Alphas, or each year when your Alpha Visitor shows up. You want them to look back at their stay in positive light.
You’ll also be a guest in settings where you can learn from some of the best hosts out there. Over the last year, a couple of my hosts, John Austell and Cliff Massa, stand out for going above and beyond when I visited. Both of these men made sure to show me around their house, provide sleeping accommodations, ask about my morning routine, and made sure I had everything that I needed. At the same time, they also made sure to include me in the household happenings. Brother Massa made sure to assign all of his guests small duties to assist with dinner, such as setting the table, mixing a dish, or in one case, staying out of the way. Brother Austell was nice enough to let former Beta #1, Paul Tegan, and me lay a brick barrier between the lawn and his extensive garden. In both of these instances, Br. Massa and Br. Austell both made sure we wanted to help out and had all of the tools to do so. It was a great opportunity as a guest to thank them for the hospitality.
When you’re acting as host in your own Alpha, you want to be sure your guests have a point of contact they can reach at any time. Remember, when you take them downtown, they might not know how exactly to get back to the Lodge. There are only a handful of things you need to remember to provide top-notch accommodations for guests.
- Plan ahead of time to make sure you have confirmed the dates, cleaned up the house, and asked the guests if they need any special accommodations (rides, allergies, ect).
- Make sure to welcome your guests, show them around the Lodge, and introduce them to anyone they may not know.
- Offer them food and drink and let them know you can get anything else they need.
- From here, be sure that they are comfortable and know where to go or who to ask if they need anything. Keep guests included in activities or conversation.
Being able to open your doors for others is a wonderful thing. We have all been guests and experienced the extremes of great and not so great hosts. As you reflect on these past experiences, think about how you were treated and who you are more likely to compliment when talking to friends.
How will you be remembered when a guest visits your Lodge?