The Traveling Gavel
What / Why
The District 31 tradition of the Traveling Gavel was established November 4, 1995 by Karen Purple. The purpose was to encourage clubs to visit each other, share talents and knowledge of communications and leadership, and extend the fellowship of the Toastmasters organization. This tradition has become a fun and rewarding experience for both the host and capturing clubs. Since the creation of the Traveling Gavel, it has graced more than 30 Toastmasters Clubs
A qualified capture of the gavel is made when three (or more) club members from a “raiding” club visit the current Gavel Host Club. The capture team should participate in the Host Club’s meeting in some way – coordinate ahead to get on the agenda. The gavel can also change hands at a joint meeting between the current gavel host club and another qualified District 31 club. The visiting Toastmasters “Capture” the Traveling Gavel at the end of the meeting; taking their prize home to celebrate at their own next club meeting.
- Only members in good standing of clubs in good standing that meet at least twice a month are eligible to capture the gavel.
- The gavel can only be captured when at least 3 qualified members (for in person only, see Note below on Hybrid and Virtual) of a raiding club announce their intention and travel to the host club to lay claim to the gavel.
- If attending Virtual or Hybrid, 2 online members = 1 in person member. (This is a new rule as things have changed over the past few years)
- Clubs are entitled to have the gavel for one at least one full meeting after the gavel has been captured before another club can attempt a capture. This allows the club to celebrate their capture together and record their capture in the travel log.
- If two or more qualified clubs attempt to capture the gavel on the same meeting, the gavel goes to the club whose meeting location is furthest.
- If visiting clubs are equidistant, the gavel goes to the club sending more members.
- If there is still a tie, the gavel is given to a club that has not previously held it.
- If necessary, a coin toss or drawing may be used to identify a winning captor club.
- It is not necessary for the host club to tell potential captors that other clubs will also be attempting a capture. This only adds to the urgency to plan your own raiding party.
A Travel Log is part of the gavel package. Host clubs are encouraged to use one page in the book to document the capture including the date and the list of “captors”. It is also nice for host club to add comments about their experiences while in possession of the gavel. All entries must be dated, signed with the name of the club listed. The Travel Log is a history of this treasure, the District 31 Traveling Gavel.
Make Your Story Known!
Once a Traveling Gavel is captured, the visiting Toastmasters must announce the new home for the Traveling Gavel by emailing the Webmaster and PR Manager (within 1 day, please). The new location (Club Name, Area) will be posted on the District website so that other Toastmaster Clubs can develop their plan to capture the coveted Traveling Gavel. An image or two of the capture will help the District advertise your club’s accomplishment.
Where and When the Gavel Has Traveled
- Sep 20, 2023: Island Foghorns Club
- Mar 23, 2023: Framingham/Natick Toastmasters
- Feb 13, 2023: Fall River Innovators
- Mar 9, 2020: Alcott Toastmasters
- Nov 21, 2019: ToastWizards
- Nov 5, 2019: Metrowest Toastmasters
- May 2, 2019: Articulators
- Apr 11, 2019: Renissance Advanced Toastmasters
- May 21, 2018: Curious Toasters
- Jun 5, 2017: ToastWizards
- May 8, 2017: Isaac Davis Club
- Jan 11, 2017: Alcott Toastmasters
- Nov 10, 2016: Sales & Marketing Club
- May 25, 2016: FM Global Norwood Toastmasters Club
- Dec 9, 2015: Clean Harbors Toastmasters
- Dec 5, 2015: Humor and Drama Toastmasters
- Nov 27, 2015: Tuesday Toastmasters at MIT Club
- Oct 26, 2015: Toastmasters@MIT
- Aug 31, 2015: ToastWizards
- Nov 12, 2014: Hanover Toastmasters
- Aug 18, 2014: Spirited Speakers
- Aug 13, 2014 RI Advanced Toastmasters
- Jul 15, 2014: Talk of the Town
- Jul 2014: Advanced Access
- Feb 8, 2014: FM Global Glossophobes Club
- Nov 21, 2013: Saturday Brunch Bunch
- Sep 25, 2013 FM Global Glossophobes Club
- Sep 3, 2013: SMMA club in Cambridge
- May 1, 2013: Somerville Toastmasters
- Mar 20, 2013 Framingham-Natick Toastmasters (first club with the new gavel)
- The trail of the lost Gavel grows cold in these times…
- Mar 22, 2010: Constant Communicators
- Feb 24, 2010: Lakesiders
- Jan 11, 2010: Boston Speech Party Toastmasters club
- Mar 17, 2009: Quincy Toastmasters