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July 2006 RVC Column

(Written and posted 6/7/06)

Northwest Passages

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

It must be in the air. I had already decided to focus this month on the need for volunteers in our local groups in Region 8, when I received my copy of the June issue of the Mensa Bulletin, and saw that Russ Bakke was on top of that in his Chairman's column. So, then, this is a follow-up to what Russ has identified as an ongoing need in our groups.

If you have been around Mensa for awhile, you know that LocSecs are perennially asking for volunteers for any number of tasks. These jobs might be short-term, with fairly few responsibilities, such as serving on the Elections Committee, or they might last longer and be more demanding, such as helping to put on a Regional Gathering (RG). Some of the most important jobs require a good deal of time and effort, including many of the elected and appointed positions in the group. It's the LocSec's job to make sure that all necessary positions are filled, and to assure that successors are trained so that there will be continuity of leadership.

It would be ideal if your LocSec could speak with you individually, find out what you can do and would like to do, and ask you to do it. Given that they just can't get to everyone in that way, I would appreciate it if you would come to them, instead. If you have time and energy to offer on behalf of your local group, call your LocSec, or send him or her an email. Every local group newsletter prints contact information for the LocSec in each issue, partly for this reason. If you tell your LocSec of your availability to help, I am certain that there will be something that he or she would be delighted to have you help with.

You don't have to have been a Mensa member for a long time in order to get involved. One of our newer members, Amy Wachspress of Redwood Empire Mensa (REM), started wheels turning when she recognized that Mensa members would be happy to help her restock the library in the Hopland Elementary School, after the school lost thousands of books due to flooding earlier this year. REM LocSec Walt Bodley and Project Inkslinger Coordinator Michael Beetham jumped in to help as soon as they heard from Amy, and books have already arrived from all over the region. If you would like to help, you may send donations of books developmentally appropriate for children from ages 4 to 11 to:

Hopland School/Warehouse
130 Fircrest Ave
Ukiah, CA 95482

Even the most willing volunteers need training to be effective, and Mensa has always offered that. Here in Region 8 we have had Leadership Development Workshops (LDWs) in Seattle and Sacramento during the past couple of years, and we are planning another for Portland next February. However, you don't have to wait until then to find out more about what it takes to be a leader in Mensa; at the World Gathering in Orlando this August, there are a total of 48 leadership workshops planned, on as many different subjects. There are thousands of reasons to attend the most fantastic Mensa event ever, and the LDW track is just one of them. Please go to http://wg06.us.mensa.org to find out what's in store, and if you haven't already registered, now is the time! Hope to see you there....