What is the name of your dad’s group?
Triangle Stay At Home Dads
What cities or area do you serve?
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill (Triangle) and metro area cities; Apex, Cary, Pittsboro, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale.
How many active members do you have?
230+ online members, 20-30 active
How long have you been a group?
Early adopters since 2008, resurrected in 2011 and going strong
Who are the organizers of your group?
Two Coorganizers, Austin Dowd and James Kline, but we’ve grown so much that we created a leadership team to lead regional meetups. Included are Ian Worthington, Sandy Rose and Chad Guthrie
What was your most successful event?
We have two, a behind the scenes trip to a local fire station was a big hit, bringing out dads who have been lurking for years….and some new members that day…nearly 20 in total. Fall Family event brings in the largest number (30+), due to the interest from mom’s to meet each other and the kids/dads they hear about every day.
How many events do you suggest per month to keep members interested and active?
I would suggest weekly at the least…and offer options for afternoon and morning to acoomodate all ages of children and schedules.
Do you offer playgroup meet ups? How many times a week do you have playgroup?
Between the regions of the “Triangle”, various age groups and wealth of culture, we have at least one event every day of the workweek. Monthly Sunday brunches have become more popular as well as two family picnics and seasonal/holiday events each year.
How did you get the word out about your group to your community?
A lot of “word of mouth”. I worked with local media channels like magazines, two newspapers and local NBC variety show. We always have an expose on us in June (Father’s day) Local businesses and pediatricians have been effective marketing outlets . Business cards are not even out yet.
Do you offer Dad’s Night Out Events? Where do you go?
Absolutely…in fact, some dads only attend those…as an outlet. We are a resource for new members of the community, relocated for mom’s job…so they aren’t stuck at home all day. We help provide references for realtors, bankers, dentists, doctors, schools and events. Not a bad idea to get integrated into the “new arrival” or welcoming committee in some smaller towns.
What is the age range of the children in your group?
75% are under 5, with a steady stream of newborns. We have some members that periodically show up with school age children as they track-out or off for holidays and summer.
Do you meet in a common place in your community or at members’ homes?
Events are usually held at parks, museums or indoor playhouses during inclement weather. The General Aviation Terminal at the international airport provides a lot entertainment for kids. We try to avoid private homes due to the size of the group.
What advice would you give dads who want to start their own group?
It is invaluable…for both father and children. Start with a local baby store….and ask if there is an existing group. Look online for meetup.com groups or other events. If nothing convenient, start your own. Pick an easily accessible location and make sure you are there when advertized. There may be days that you’re all alone…but worst case, you’re still out of the house with your kid(s). Persistence is paramount…new members are easily spooked by no-shows.
What is special or unique about your group that sets you apart from other dad’s groups?
We find that most of our members have “chosen” this role in the family, not victims of layoffs or man-session. We are rich with a variety of talents from all walks of life, spanning cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and eduction. Everyone has their unique story, but in the end we all love our kids.