FAQs about GCWA

  • General Info on the Club
  • Hands On Workshops
  • Website Use
  • Annual Retreat
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  • 1. How do I join the club?

    You join the club by completing the GCWA MEMBERSHIP FORM and bringing a $25 payment to one of our monthly club meetings.  We have a table setup to the left of the stage each month.

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  • 2. When and where does the club meet?

    In general, the club meets at 9:00 AM the third Saturday of each month and the Trini Mendenhall Community Center. However, both the location and start time can vary over the course of the year, as we have special events, so please always check the Calendar.

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  • 3. How large is the GCWA?

    We have approximately 200 active members, and a number of future members who participate but have not yet officially joined.

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  • 1. How do I sign up for a hands-on workshop?

    You can sign up for a hands on workshop by either hand delivering or mailing a check for the class registration fee to the HOW coordinator, currently George Kabacinsky. The registration fees will vary based on the club's cost for the instructor, and how many days the class lasts.

    Most classes also have a small materials fee associated as well, but that is handled on the day of the class. Correct change in cash is appreciated.

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  • 2. How do I volunteer to teach a HOW class?

    If you have a topic you'd be willing to teach as a HOW Class, please contact the current HOW coordinator, which is shown on our Club Leadership page, in the Club Assistants section.

    And, thank you!

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  • 3. How are the topics for the Hands-On Workshop classes determined?

    There are a variety of ways in which a class topic can be determined.  A few of most common ones include:

    • A club member brings a topic of interest to the HOW coordinator, who then works to find an instructor to teach it.
    • A club member offers to teach a class on a topic they have found interesting, and believes there would be a demand for within the club.
    • A past topic was popular and demand exceeded the class capacity, so the topic is repeated either later that year or in a subsequent year.
    • A regional or national turner is invited to the club, and agrees to teach one or more classes of topics of their choosing or from a set list of options.
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  • 1. How do I change my password once my user id has been created?

    In order to be able to change your password, you must first login to the site.  If you have forgotten your password, you'll need to send us a note through the Contact Us page to request a reset.

    Once you are logged in, on the top menu, if you hover your mouse over Forum, you'll see a secondary menu option appear called 'User Profile'.  Click on that link and it will load the page that will allow you to alter all of your Profile and Account information, including your password.

    If you are not logged into the site, that link does not appear.

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  • 1. If you miss the deadline for early registration, can you register at the Retreat itself?

    Yes.  While we encourage early registration, not everyone has the flexibility to register in advance.  You can register at the door.  However, the on-site registration is $60, instead of the pre-registration rate of $50.

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  • 2. I can only attend one day of the Retreat. Is there a single day registration option?

    No, we are not able to provide a one day registration.  The registration fee for the event is held to a low number and we do not currently have the flexibility to handle one day registrations.  However, you can still register for the event and only attend one day, and it is still a great bargain compared to classes offered elsewhere.

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  • 3. I sent in my Registration Form. How do I know what I classes I’m slated to attend from my selections?

    Very good question. About a week prior to the event and after the close of preregistration we will post and/or send out all the class rosters.  This will provide you with the information of what
    classes you are registered to participate in.

    If we have not already done so, we will also post all of the information pertaining to what tools to bring for each class, and what materials fee is required for each class, so you can bring these with you to the retreat.

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  • 4. How do I know what tools to bring to the Retreat?

    When the class rosters are provided you will know what classes you are set to participate in. We will also be posting/sending a list of all the classes, tool requirements, and any material fees. This will be posted and/or sent out as soon as possible but no later than the class roster communication.

    Note, any material fee is paid directly to the instructor at the class itself, and correct change is always appreciated.

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  • 5. My spouse/child/significant other doesn’t turn, can he/she/they attend the retreat too?

    Yes. We provide for a non-turner registration of $30 for family members. That does not include any classes, but they can watch the various Demo's if they'd like.

    The fee does, however, include both catered lunches.

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  • 6. What is the food situation during the retreat?


    Well, typically we do have a lot of goodies on the food table throughout the event. Participants may bring things to share like cookies, cakes, pies, fruit, nuts, candy, whatever.

    We ask that large items like cakes and pies be sliced, if practical. It is also a great idea to bring a covered container for your goodies since this is at a fair ground which always has an abundance of …. flies.

    Please label any and all utensils, dishes, etc. that you want back at the end of the event, as things can get moved around over the course of the event.


    Both Saturday and Sunday lunches are catered (it’s the only paying job of the entire event!). Saturday will be BBQ and all the fixins’ and Sunday will be our tradition on catfish fried on-site.

    Both are great meals. However, we know some folks require special diets. Unfortunately, with our limited budget and all volunteer staff we are not able to accommodate special meal plans. If that is the case for you please plan to bring your own food to supplement what you might find in the catered meals.

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  • 7. I live a good distance from Conroe is there lodging available?

    There are a number of options available:

    • Self-contained campers/RVs – Some of our members have parked their units near the Exhibit Buildings and have spent the night in comfort.
    • Hotels – there are a wide variety of hotels in and around Conroe ranging from budget price to higher end lodging.
    • Staying on-site – there are some members who stay the weekend in the Exhibit Buildings. Around closing time on Friday and Saturday they set their vans, trucks, tents, cots, or whatever right there in the building.  It’s what you make of it. The nearest restrooms are only a few feet from the front door but are, um, rustic and there are no showers. It’s a pretty quick weekend and some don’t mind the inconvenience and the price can’t be beat.

    There is no formal organization around lodging, however.

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  • 8. Should I plan to bring my lathe?

    Yes, please!  We can have nearly 100 lathes turning at one time, so we can't do this event without equipment from our members to help.

    If you are able to bring a lathe, please contact the equipment coordinator (for 2017, this is Dave Greenawalt) and let him/her know what you able to bring.

    We request that equipment be brought up on Friday afternoon/evening so that it can be staged in a class area and be ready for class to begin bright and early Saturday morning. If that’s not possible, or you need assistance, please talk with the coordinator as early as possible.

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