The idea for the Geese & Bear group (Pronounced Giessenbier), had been talked about among Shelton Jaycees members as far back as 2004. It was approved as a project of the chapter in 2012 and formal organizing meetings began in 2013.
Kate Jager, Jim Nissen, Val Sabetta, Eric Carasone, Jeff Dussetschleger & Wendy Holden worked to start a club that offered the same kinds of opportunities as the Jaycees, but without an age limit. The G&B group does not compete with the Jaycees for members, rather it works to support the Jaycees with fundraising, recruiting and training. It is an active club that runs its own independent events, but often works in partnership with the Shelton Jaycees chapter, increasing their impact on the community.
This sister organization is open to Past Presidents of the Shelton Jaycees (regardless of age) and any person of good character over age 40 who may have been a past Shelton Jaycees member, or who may have expressed an interest in the Shelton Jaycees but couldn’t join due to the Jaycees age limit.
The group was started for these two basic reasons. The best trainer is hands-on experience, and you’re never to old to learn.
Because you’re never too old to learn, and because the unique by design features of the Jaycees are not widely available in other organizations, it made sense that a sister group (without an age limit) be created to offer the same type of experience.
The Jaycees bylaws deliberately create an environment of constant change. Besides having a self imposed age limit, no officer can be elected to the same position 2 years in a row. This frequent changing of leadership, by design, leads to new ideas and new members, taking risks and developing new skills as individuals in the process.
Established by the Shelton Jaycees, the purpose of the Geese & Bear group is to: a) Support & promote local leadership training organizations for people of all ages, especially those in their 20s & 30s such as the Shelton Jaycees. And b)Â Provide opportunities for hands on leadership training through organizational & community involvement, creating & improving generations of community leaders for years to come.
Why the name Geese & Bear?
The answer is obvious to any past Jaycee. The very first Jaycees organization was founded by Henry Giessenbier. (pronounced Geese & Bear).