Frequently Asked Questions about the SVGMS

  • What is the SVGMS?
    The Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society is a non-profit organization that seeks to bring together people interested in the rocks, minerals, and geology of our area, as well as those interested in the many aspects of rock-hounding, lapidary crafts, and other rock-related avocations. Our mission statement here gives our formal description of our club's purpose.
  • Does the club have a Facebook page?
    Yes - please click any of the Find Us On Facebook badges located on various pages on the site or follow this link. If you search Facebook for "Shenandoah Gem Mineral" you can also locate us in that fashion.

    The URL is:

    Please copy and paste into your browser's address bar if the embedded link does not work for you.
  • What are the benefits of membership?
    SVGMS members enjoy the opportunity to join other people from around the area to explore the world of rocks and minerals near and far. Our monthly meetings have an educational or fellowship basis. Members are invited to participate in field trips around the region and learn about the rocks in our area. The club maintains a lapidary facility and members are welcome to come and learn to use the tools of lapidary under the mentoring of experienced lapidarists. The club produces an annual show and members are welcome to display their collections for the enjoyment of others. Please see this page for additional information.
  • What is the cost of membership?
    The annual membership fee is $10 per family, due by the first meeting of the year in January.
  • Who can join?
    Membership is open to all interested individuals, although minor children will need the sponsorship of their parents if they are not joining with their family. Access to those with restricted movement is available at our meeting location. Our members are from all age groups and levels of interest and everyone's participation is welcome. Joining is easy!
  • What are some of the areas of interest of the members?
    They stretch across a wide spectrum. Some are mostly interested in collecting rocks from the region; many collect rocks by purchase and share these 'finds' with other members during "show and tell" sessions. There are people who are attracted to faceting gemstones or gold panning, and many who love to create shaped stones for jewelry or visual enjoyment. Microscopic specimens are the favorite topic for some, and fossils for others. Everyone has an opportunity to interact and discover just how far the enjoyment of rocks and minerals can lead them.
  • When are meetings?
    Meetings are held on the second Monday of every month, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm (approximately). The meeting location is generally open for informal fellowship at 7:00 pm on meeting nights.

    The club has a picnic in place of the July meeting and a Christmas dinner in place of the December meeting. More information is available here.
  • Where are meetings?
    In Waynesboro, VA at the Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, 364 Bridge Avenue. Map and directions are here.
  • What happens at meetings?
    There is generally informal fellowship and "rock talk" from ~7:00 pm and refreshments are served. We have a segment of club business beginning at 7:30, then have announcements and reports from those who went on recent field trips. Visitors are welcomed and are asked to say a few words about their connections to rocks and minerals. The majority of our time is given to a speaker to present a program of interest to the club membership. Occasionally, door prizes are drawn and we resume informal fellowship.
  • Are there lapidary facilities available to club members?
    Yes - on the Saturday immediately following the monthly meeting, members are welcome to come to an open session of our lapidary shop. All members from total beginners to experienced lapidarists are invited to share in the discovery of "what's in that rock?". More information is available on this page.
  • Do you have field trips?
    The SVGMS has field trips throughout the year to local and regional sites where rocks can be collected or enjoyed. Participation is limited to paid members only, and trips are announced by email to the membership mailing list. There are picture galleries here of past field trips, and our field trip coordinator is always on the lookout for new destinations.
  • Does the club hold a show or exhibition?
    Yes - for more than four decades, the club has had an annual show. This year, it will be the third weekend in September, and as always it will be bringing together our members' collections for display, regional retail vendors that specialize in rocks and minerals/arts and crafts, and activities for fun and education for all. Please look here for more details about our show. A photo gallery of the 2014 show is here.
  • What other events does the club have?
    We have a club picnic in place of our July monthly meeting, a December Christmas dinner to share good company during the holidays, and an occasional auction of donated materials during the year.
  • Are there any outreach programs to the community?
    Yes - the club provides a scholarship to a college geology student and has a set of traveling displays for loan to libraries and other organizations.
  • Are there programs for kids?
    No - not at this time. We are reviewing participation in a program offered by our parent organization. If this is of interest to you, please contact a club officer to express your interest.