Visitors are always welcome at our meetings. Every member was a visitor at one time and we were all beginners at some point. All visitors are urged to sign the guest book, be introduced, and will receive a copy of the next newsletter, The "Rockhounder".
Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month, September to June, at the Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. We start gathering at 7:30 P.M. to chat,and admire the displays on the "Showtable". You may order a book from the Club Library. In order to accommodate junior members we start the meeting at 7:45 P.M. An educational program, dealing with some aspect of our interests, runs for about an hour starting at 8:00 PM. The business meeting, which we try to keep brief, follows, ending no later than 10:00 P.M. when we must vacate the building. With a curtailed business meeting, our December meeting is set aside for a Holiday party with refreshments served. Periodically, swap sessions, sales or auctions are held.
Come to a meeting. Obtain a membership application form from our Membership Chairperson. Fill it in, and return it with the appropriate dues payment. Society members must approve your application. No applicant will be denied for reason of race, color, sex, creed, or national origin.
Dues are payable annually, on September 1st. Two adults and any children under 18 years of age living in the same household constitute a Family membership, at $20.00. Single memberships are available at $15.00. For those paying after April 1st, the amount is half. New members are expected to purchase engraved name badges for about $6.00.
Members of our society are available to speak to school groups, boy scouts, girl scouts and other organizations about any of our interests.
For more information, please email us at email@example.com.
At each meeting members are encouraged to bring minerals, fossils, or lapidary items for display. They may be gifts, purchased, swapped, self-collected, or self-made. Often, members bring something pertaining to the topic of that nights program or something collected on recent field trips. Perhaps they are simply something of beauty to be shared with others. We have three drawings for prizes: One, simply for attendance, another only for those members or guests with something on the Show Table, and the last one for juniors only.
The Society maintains a library of over 250 books, pamphlets, and videos dealing with many aspects of our hobby. These may be made available by request to the club Librarian, for perusal or reference. Items may be checked out by members until the following meeting. Click here for the catalog. Order items from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Field trips are open to members only, and planned for all but the hottest and coldest months. Some quarries or mines do not allow visitors under age 18 but we try to plan some trips where they may attend too. Recent trips have included the Medford, Pinesburg, and Rockville quarries in MD, Codorus, and the Meckley quarries in PA. Fossil collecting excursions have included the Lee Creek Mine at Aurora NC, and the shores of Chesapeake Bay in MD. Access may be gained to some localities unavailable to the public. The picnic and Rock Swap at Lake Anna VA is an annual event of the Eastern Federation we enjoy.
Juniors are encouraged to attend meetings and take part in Society activities. Our junior group, focused on ages 10 to 15, meets in the Sunroom of the Rockville Senior Center from 7:45pm to 9pm on the same nights as the monthly society meetings. Like the monthly society meetings, the group does not meet if Montgomery County Public Schools are closed due to weather. See the junior group's reports in The "Rockhounder" to find out what they are currently doing.
The "Rockhounder" is published monthly, except July/August, a combined issue. It contains notices, regular and Board of Director's meeting minutes, educational articles, and other items of interest concerning our hobby.
Meetings are held as needed, usually the third Monday of the month at the home of a member. We take care of as much business as possible at these meetings in order to give more time to programs and fun at the general meetings.
Our one show per year, held since 1965, is customarily the third weekend of March, at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. The show is organized and operated by an all-volunteer committee of Society members. Members and others enter showcases to display minerals, fossils, jewelry they have made, cabochons or faceted stones they have cut and polished, and educational exhibits. In our workshop, guests polish a cabochon gemstone assisted by club members. Demonstrations usually include fluorescent minerals, beading, jewelry making, faceting gems, minerals under the microscope, fossil recovery, and flint knapping. About 20 dealers from several states sell unique gifts, jewelry, findings, beads, rough and cut gems, new age and crystal items, minerals, fossils, books, carvings, slabs, and some equipment. Free specimens and a mini-mine are available for juniors. Hourly door prizes and a raffle are featured. Lunch and snack foods are available. All members are asked to help make the show a success by entering a case and helping in some other way. Income from the show supports scholarships for college students in earth sciences, awards to earth science winners at the Montgomery Area Science Fair, the Eastern Federation Fund (endowment) and specimens for the Gem and Mineral Hall at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.