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How to Find a Group, or Find Members for Your Group
So you’ve thought about it long and hard and have decided to seek out others and join an existing group. Perhaps you have an interest in starting your own group with the preference of building it according to your own set of values. There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind to save yourself a lot of grief and misery down the trail.
First, decide what you want from this endeavor. You may begin to notice that much of this process involves soul searching and there is a reason for it. Think of it as marriage, with a survival twist; but in this case, if it goes bad the spurned lover and possibly his or her friends will take all of your stuff (not just half!). With this in mind it is wise to vet everyone carefully before they gain important knowledge about your plans and supplies. This is known as OPSEC (operational security). This doesn’t mean that you become that creepy person who never speaks; just don’t share any specific details that could compromise your safety later on.
Practice etiquette when speaking with prospective friends:
- Begin with small talk to get a feel for their views
- Don’t ask questions you wouldn’t want to answer yourself
- And never, ever say you are going to their house if the SHTF
Where does one even begin to look for like-minded friends?
That is the big money question. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times but begin close to home, that’s where you are likely to need them the most.
Some ideas to meet others:
- Join a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT team)
- Frequent a local farmers market
- Take classes in self reliance such as gardening, bee keeping, homesteading
- Join an active local online meetup.com group that does things self reliance
Now that you know how and where to find others you’ll want to make sure you are what they’re looking for. To be a strong candidate you will need to offer something useful to the group. Some people think they can just buy their way into a group by way of money and equipment then just bask in the protections of others while having no discernible skills. That is a recipe for disaster.
What are some useful skills to a group?
- Tactical ops
- Tool making
- Metal working
- Power generation
- Animal husbandry
Ok now we know where to look, how to have a conversation and how to be of value to others. Let’s say you do find a prospective group. Before you commit to anything, attempt to participate in some of their meetings or team building events and try to meet as many of their members as possible.
The reason for this is to get an overall feel for how things work, who is in charge and what personalities stand out. Once you become comfortable, slowly ease in and show your willingness to participate as an equal by offering your skills and knowledge at events.
With a few careful moves, you should be able to develop some good friendships and create great experiences while surrounding yourself with people who’ll be there for each other if blue skies turn gray.