I am finally a fully-initiated member of Lambda Chi Alpha! The process of learning and preparing is over and now I can bask in the glory of now being one of the brothers. But it was a long, challenging process that I’m really grateful to have been able to take part in. One of the really important things I was able to do during my time as an Associate Member was to work on my big brother’s paddle.
For Lambda Chi Alpha as well as most other Greek organizations that exchange paddles, they’re seen as a huge sign of respect to your big brother/sister/etc. and even though you’re not required at all to work on it, it really means a lot to present a finished paddle. The paddle-making stretched for the last 10 weeks from the time they handed me my blank paddle to the time I finished it.
It was a pretty labor-intensive process too. I remember a lot of the guys from my class would meet up and diligently work on our paddles well into the early hours of the morning. First, I had to sand it down and even out the rough wood.
After the paddle was smooth and silky, I stained it a light brown finish. Now the creative parts comes in; after the stain has fully dried, I painted on our crest as well as a few other meaningful symbols both the fraternity and my big brother.
After that, I added the signatures I had gotten from having talks with associate members, actives, and alumni. Once all of the signatures were all neatly transferred on the paddle, I added some final touches and I was done! It was a really good feeling to have been able to finish my paddle to have given it to my big brother.
The paddle is seen as a gift to big brothers by their littles as a sign of respect, appreciation, and dedication and I hope one day my little brother does the same for me.