On the forming of specialty groups and events

The Arizona Browncoats as a group have been around for 9 years. 12 years after the show and 9 years after the movie, we are still going strong. Phoenix Comicon was proof of that, with a great turnout to our booth, panels, and the Browncoat Jamboree. We have a wonderful population of Browncoats in Arizona, and there’s a ton of untapped potential in that.

I came to an epiphany talking to people during the Browncoat Jamboree. The way I see it, Browncoats come in 5 major classes, only one or two of which have interests and needs being met by our organization lately. Granted, none of these groups are mutually exclusive and we hope to see as many people as possible active in everything, but folks who may be interested in one thing may not be interested in others. I want to actively appeal to these groups with some specialty groups and targeted events.

  • Charity - One of the first big philosophies Browncoats adopted when they began to organize on a global level was that Browncoats were about giving back to our community. We volunteer, run charity events, and promote things we believe in. Our Arizona Browncoats, Inc. organization was formed with this in mind, and we’ve raised over $50,000 over the past 9 years for global and local charities. We’ll of course be continuing this, and Can’t Stop The Serenity charity screenings are coming in September for both Scottsdale and Tucson!

  • Social - The Arizona Browncoats were born on the official movie forum, and moved quickly to a super active Yahoo group. Lots of friendships have grown out of that group, including my wife of 5 years and our baby-to-be. We’ve had monthly shindigs for years now, mostly consisting of playing card and board games. They’ve fizzled in the past year or two however, and we’re looking for something new. We have been discussing finding new ways to get people out and social each month. Perhaps finding low cost activities on alternating sides of the city each month. We’ll get some discussion rolling in the upcoming weeks on what interests people.

  • Crafts and Parties - The Browncoat Ball last year brought in people we had never seen for previous events, likely because it tapped an interest in that hadn’t previously been appealed to. What I’d like to do is create a group and have some organized shindigs specifically for the sake of coming up with interesting crafts, sharing knowledge and skills, and ultimately making stuff both for your own enjoyment and to sell at our charity events. We have folks who know how to make Jayne hats, femoclay pendants, origami Serenitys, photography, drawing, buttons… just think what we could do if we organized those people!  Also, I’ve spoke with many people interested in more formal parties (rather than the casual shindigs and charity events we usually host). I think anyone involved in the planning of the Browncoat Ball will attest that we don't want to do anything like that again anytime soon, but a “Winter Formal” at an affordable venue could be a lot of fun for those who enjoy party planning and/or party attending.

  • Gaming - There are Browncoats who really love gaming… and there are some that really don’t. We want to have a way to match Browncoat gamers with other Browncoat gamers. Give that Firefly board game some love, brush off that old Margaret Weiss Serenity RPG or pull out the new Firefly RPG. See something awesome you wanna try out? I’m sure we’ve got others who want to play it as much as you do!

  • Costuming - For years I’ve been wanting a costumed crew to send off to events, but I’m not a costuming person so I’ve never felt suited to try to organize one. Then it occurred to me that maybe I didn’t have to. You guys have organized yourselves beautifully whenever you come across one another. I watched some great friendships form solely from Firefly cosplay at Comicon. You just need the venue and opportunities that we can provide!

So here’s what we’ll do. Here are some links to some new Facebook groups (and our Yahoo group, because why mess with a good thing… even if Yahoo Groups feels kind of like that unrenovated part of Downtown Tucson these days) to help bring together those of common interests. Join a group today and start making some friends. We'll get some events planned for you. You'll have the support of the Arizona Browncoats both in name and logistics. Please note however that while we can provide limited seed money if approved by the organization, all events must be self sufficient.

Costume Crew: https://www.facebook.com/groups/602797689818895/

Gamers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/673183322752881/

Crafts and Parties: https://www.facebook.com/groups/673183322752881/

Social Yahoo! Group: http://tv.groups.yahoo.com/group/AZ_Browncoats/

Arizona Browncoats, inc. for charity: http://azbrowncoats.org/Membership