When I started to get into photography more seriously as a hobby, I joined a group in Houston called "Assignment: Houston". Every month, there would be a new assignment. A color. A theme. An event. Everyone could submit up to 3 photos into the pool along those themes. There were newbies like me to outright professionals in the group. Everyone has a slightly different eye. I've learned so much from them.
When I knew I was moving to STL, I started researching St Louis flickr groups, and noticed there was nothing like Assignment: Houston in St. Louis. I asked permission from the founder of Assignment: Houston to borrow her idea and adapt it, and she gave me her blessing.
After participating in a meetup.com meetup at the Botanical Garden, I bounced the idea off my walking companions and they seemed into it. So I adapted the rules for St Louis and started the group. The initial invites were for three people.
Today, Assignment: St. Louis has 37 members, including me. We've had three assignments so far and I love what I'm seeing. I think we have varying levels of photographers in the pool and I love seeing St Louis through someone else's eyes. I haven't been able to participate in the themes since the first one, but I love seeing what the group comes up with. The response has been positive. I'm looking forward to it becoming a more active group/community with meet ups of our own and/or more interaction.