Building Real Star Trek Fellowship

Diverse group of Star Trek fans, some in costume

“Its time get your pencil and paper,” Mom would say to all us subsets when it was time for Star Trek re-runs when I was at the age where I was just learning English. She wanted us to write down words we did not understand, and you gotta know I had to have lots of paper! This is how we built our vocabulary. Then we had to give our own introspective opinions about what message the episode we were watching was trying to bring forth. This is how we also learned about morals, integrity, respect for others, being smart, and strong leadership attributes.

So, I guess you can conclude Star Trek was a major force in my upbringing, and its characters were weekly guests in my home. Its power impacted my imagination, English composition, perception of the world around me. As I grew into a young geeky trekkie adult, I so desired the companionship of other trekkers, to enhance this obsession.

So about six years ago when I took over one of New York’s longest running star trek social groups, my mission was to create real face time opportunities for trek fans to connect, discuss, share, and adventure together into all quadrants of our imagination where all things star trek exists.  I became admin for the NYC Star Trek Meetup in 2015 and a few months after that, I created my own Space Station group, Starbase Centaur 42-10, in 2016.  The meetup is apart of a social network called meetup.com, and everyday trekkers meetup every month for discussion, dinner and healthy exchange. My Space Station is for those who like both a civilian and Starfleet protocol cosplay flavor, where you can obtain rank and be given assignments and duties.

diverse group of Trek fans posing for a group photo with a Spock cardboard cutout

Creating your own Trek space!

So how can you too create real Trek fellowship? First, it starts with summoning others like you. That you can do via social media, word of mouth, posting flyers in libraries, beauty/barber shops, bars, Halloween and geek stores, etc.letting folks know you are looking for fellow Trek lovers! 

Have ideas in mind for activities, and places to meet up, and don’t be concerned about starting small. Have a way for folks to connect and keep up with your events. Even if you are shy and an introvert you’d be surprised how easy it is to enjoy true Trek camaraderie, once you meet folks and start a conversation.

Now what kinds of activities would be fun? I love themed screenings, like for Valentine’s Day, (when we show hot episodes where Starfleet members pursue each other and alien love interests), Halloween (where we watch scary Trek episodes and yes, there are many), and we always decorate our joint based on whatever theme we are doing. This is something anyone can do. Just find a place that has a projector and serves food/drink and you’re doing a screening! In house quarters work too! I assure you there is nothing like watching Star Trek episodes with Star Trek fans, even if you’ve seen them a thousand times.

Other adventures can include after work meetups in bars/museums, rooftop lounges, attending cons together, movies, even space/science festivals and other nerd events! And for those who love community giving, you can involve yourselves in charity work like feeding the homeless, story reading to children, painting the elder center, or toy drives for Christmas. My cosplayers and I also visit children in hospitals, shelters, and orphanages. We’ve hosted our own movie/TV series premiere parties, such as the one we hosted for the first episode of Discovery with another group where over 100 trek drones attended!

Trek fans, most in "Disco" shirts

True Trek Fam!

These are general ideas of how to start your journey toward creating your own Trek community right where you live. There are many online Trek communities, but nothing beats real face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact with another avid Star Trek fan! I have formed friendships that have spanned two decades with fans I’ve met through my gatherings and attending the yearly con in Vegas! I hope the info in this article will help you explore your own pagh, as the Bajoran priests would say. and formulate your strategy to be that communication beacon whose signal others will intercept. And together, you all will explore all the wonders your hearts and hands can hold!

 

  6 comments for “Building Real Star Trek Fellowship

  1. KS Langley
    February 26, 2019 at 10:30 am

    I hooked up with organized ST fandom some 46 years ago, and it opened up a whole new world of interaction for me– through “pen pal” correspondence, letterzines, cons . . .

    All of my oldest and closest friendships–35+ years, 40+ years, all started with Star Trek.

    These friendships went beyond Star Trek, of course, and even beyond fandom altogether (we have many shared fandoms), to encompass work, family, other leisure interests and, well, just life in general. For a period of time we all lived in the same area, so we were able to spend lots of time hanging out and being fannish together.

    When we had to separate geographically, we did not lose a beat, thanks to phone calls and visits (and email, when it came along).

    Along the way, Star Trek (and other fandoms) has provided me with a wealth of other friends, acquaintances, and opportunities to interact (nowadays through social media, and email–cons being largely out of the picture for me these days, due to budget and scheduling).

    Fandom has been good to me!

    • Darlena Marie
      February 28, 2019 at 11:27 am

      Yes it has been extremely beneficial to me mentally and emotionally! I love my group and the friendships in general I’ve formed having met some wonderful folks in the fandom community.

  2. Chris Sham
    February 28, 2019 at 10:42 am

    I was very happy with formal organised fandom for a few years, when I joined my local chapter of STARFLEET International. It all fell apart when the guy in charge turned out to be a massive turd. I watched the group who’d been involved just before me almost all peel away, shortly after I joined. Written records of the chapter indicated that they’d been preceded by a totally different group, none of whom I ever met. And then the people who’d all joined up around the same time as me also all ran away from the chapter within the space of a year or so, all very unhappy with the guy in charge. I gather we were replaced by a fresh batch, and the only constant through all of this was the one guy gripping the reins tightly, pushing anyone who disagreed with him away. Worst of all, I lost touch with lots of interesting people, because nobody wanted to be reminded of the mess they’d escaped.

    It was really frustrating and disappointing. So I guess the moral of the story is that good, responsible governance within your group is probably also key to making this work. It shouldn’t be one person’s sovereign domain, it should be a genuine shared community.

  3. Darlena Marie
    February 28, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Sorry you had that experience and so did I until I found the meetup! We all work together and constantly encourage imput. When you’re in it for genuine reasons you’ll enjoy creating community with others!

  4. March 1, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Wonderful piece! I am the DCO of the Crimson Knight Fleet – a branch of the Klingon Assault Group in Ontario, Canada. I joined the organization 4 years ago, founding a ship in the northern wastelands of Timmins. This week we were in the news as the Klingon flag was raised at city hall to celebrate KAG’s 30th anniversary. The local club we’ve built is fantastic, community driven, and active. This was my final act as a member of this ship, as I am moving to a new region. I’ll be looking to catch lightning in a bottle again in Whitby, ON in the coming months. This article was perfectly timed and is encouraging me as I set out on this new adventure.

    • Darlena Marie
      March 1, 2019 at 9:46 am

      Oh how awesome! And thank you for all you’ve given to fandom and I’m sure you will go on to do even greater things! If you ever find your way to new york or vegas hit us up!

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