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September 2006 RVC Column

(Written 8/10/06, posted 8/14/06)

Northwest Passages

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

As I write this on August 10, we are in the midst of the World Gathering (WG) in Orlando. "We" in this case are about 2,300 Mensans and their guests, and in a word, it's...fabulous. Luckily, no hurricanes are threatening this year, but at the moment we are all on alert about possible terrorists, and whether we will be able to travel home with our shampoo.

The Disney Coronado has ample space for all of us, and although the snacks and drinks in hospitality are rather sparse, the hospitality room itself is lively, warm and comfortable. It's a great place for meeting and mixing. The computer I am using to file this column is provided free on one side of the room, and all about the rest of the room are Mensans doing what they love to do: having a wonderful time together. There's a lot of laughter, a constant buzz of conversation, and some group singing going on on one side of the room. A lot more is going on down the halls in the conference rooms and in various rooms and suites scattered about the resort, and the excitement and energy of the whole gathering is so thick and intoxicating that you can almost float on it.

Each of my days so far has been crammed with meetings and events, and I have been very pleased with the results. The American Mensa Committee finished in record time, and we once again accomplished what we set out to do in a very collegial and businesslike fashion. The Leadership Development Workshop sessions that I volunteered to take part in were both successful as well, and gave me new perspectives on how our fellow Mensa members in other parts of the world approach their gatherings. The highlight of the WG for me has to be the people: both the old friends that I enjoy being with once again, and the new friends I have made. By the time you read this, I will have filed a dispatch on my blog on www.johnrecht.com, and I invite you to check it out for more of what I experienced here at the WG.

Before I go back to the party, there are a few things that I would like you to keep in mind as September rolls around again. First, this is a terrific time to think about your scholarship program in your local groups: I would like to know that each local group is doing everything they can to support their scholarship chair in raising funds for next year's scholarships, in getting the word out to schools and potential scholarship applicants, and in volunteering to be one of the scholarship judges. Second, let's work to make Mensa Testing Day in 2006 the best ever: I strongly encourage every local group in Region 8 to get the word out, to get as many testing sites as you can staffed and ready to go, and to see if we can't be one of the top regions in the country once again for testing, as we were last year. And finally, let's support the terrific RGs we have coming up in Sacramento on October 20-22 and in San Francisco on November 24-26: they are wonderful opportunities for Mensa fun, and as always, I look forward to seeing you there! Now, back to the WG....