As a member of the Clan Gunn Society of North America (CGSNA) and avid participant in the tent at highland games in Florida, I've been asked many times what place it there for clans today? Well, most importantly its a way to preserve our culture and learn our history! You also gain new friends and family who share your interest and appreciation for Scottish arts and culture. Plus, you have the opportunity to be apart of the clan parades at highland games and group tours that many clans coordinate to visit Scotland.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -George Santayana
Your small yearly dues cover the cost of having a tent at games, administration costs, and displays to name a few but every officer position is a volunteer placement and they put much a good deal of their money and time into each event. As the Florida Branch Bagpiper for Clan Gunn, I volunteer my time to pipe events and it is a great benefit to have a shaded tent to rest and share in some good conversation!
Next time you go to a games, stop by a tent and chat them up and if you don't know what clan you're from you can find great resources! As a dues paying member of CGSNA, I can without question speak of the benefits of it. My wife and I have made great friends, learned much, and even imparted some knowledge to others. A great honor for clans at highland games is to earn he clan of the year prize and be an honored clan at games. This year at the Dunedin Highland Games, Clan Gunn won Clan of the year and will be the honored clan next year at Dunedin!
There are many highland games and celtic festivals around, so do some research and hit some up! It makes for a fun day and there are always many things to see and do. In a fast paced and ever changing society, I find a comfort in Scottish clan societies in the states as they ensure an important part of history isn't forgotten. Few places in the world haven't been affected by Scottish culture, near every former or current British colony has bagpipe bands, they brought there traditions and farming to the American Colonies, farmed and settle the Appalachian Mountains, and have served a vital part in the military.