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February 2006 RVC Column

(Written and posted 1/7/06)

Northwest Passages

RVC Column for February Newsletters in Region 8
by John Recht, Region 8 RVC

It's election season! Between last November and March of this year elections are taking place in each of the eleven local groups in Region 8.

So far this season we have three new LocSecs in the region: Judy Burdick of Monterey County Mensa, Robert McAllister of Northern Nevada Mensa, and Debra Reiger of Sacramento Regional Mensa. To each of you, and to all the new officers in the local groups of Region 8, I send my congratulations and warmest regards. And to every officer and volunteer, whether elected or appointed, I send my deepest thanks for your efforts on behalf of Mensa. We are all enriched in our lives and experiences as Mensa members because of what you do.

According to recent reports from the National Office, we have 5,200 Mensa members in Region 8 as of 12/31/05. Of these, 241 are serving in some capacity as local group officers. That leaves nearly 5,000 who aren't, or more than 95% of our membership in Region 8. Interestingly, that's about the same percentage of members who don't vote in local group elections.

If Mensa is to prosper in the years to come, clearly we need members to step up and take responsibility for activities at the local level. That's where you come in, whether you are in the 5% who are currently serving as volunteers, or the 95% who are not. I'd like each of you to think about what you can do to make Mensa a better society, and offer whatever that may be. Writing an article for your local newsletter, attending or hosting a local function, or voting in local group elections are all easy ways to take part, and much appreciated by your fellow members.

However, if you want to do more, and if you have the time and inclination to serve your local group in a key volunteer position, then I strongly encourage you to register for a Leadership Development Workshop (LDW). Debra Reiger is hosting an LDW in Sacramento from February 24-26 at the Ramada Limited. Registration is free, and it's an ideal opportunity to, in Debra's words, "learn more about how Mensa operates and acquire leadership tools and skills." For more information contact Debra at debra.reiger@earthlink.net or check the Sacramento Regional Mensa website at www.sacramento.us.mensa.org.

Finally, once again I ask you to join me in my home town of Portland, OR for two fabulous events in April. I have signed on as Co-Chair for the 2006 edition of Mind Games, from April 21-23. Mind Games is an incredible experience, and a unique opportunity for Mensans to play, judge, and critique games for an entire weekend, and finally to award the coveted Mensa Select seal to the top five. Registration is only $70, and you will find forms online through the National Website at www.us.mensa.org. Seats are limited, so please don't miss the chance to join in the fun. And if you can stay the week in between, Oregon Mensa will have various amusements leading up to their annual RG in downtown Portland, OR, from April 28-30. BeaveRG IX will be a very exciting opportunity to "Expose Yourself to Portland," and you will be a short walk away from Powell's City of Books. Need I say more? You can find out for yourself at the Oregon Mensa website at www.oregon.us.mensa.org. Hope to see you in April!