RVChat - March 2008
by Lori Norris
Four years ago, in April of 2004, I was out of work recovering from minor foot surgery and in the midst of a major case of cabin fever. No RGs to be found, but Connecticut & Western Massachusetts Mensa was hosting a Leadership Development Workshop (“LDW”). At first the prospect of attending a leadership seminar left me cold. I had been active in Mensa for 14 years and was a former LocSec, Membership Officer, Proctor, etc. While in school for various degrees and at work for a former employer I had taken several seminars on leadership and change. Blah, blah, blah. Ron, who had previously attended a LOTS, talked me into it. (I think he said that if I didn’t like it, everyone would understand if I retreated to our room to take a nap, after all I was temporarily wheelchair-bound from the surgery.)
Much to my surprise I had a great time and made some good friends. Socializing was fun as it usually is at Mensa events and the primary topic was Mensa. And the sessions were interesting and fun. They were led by Mensans and National Office staff members. They were not the lectures that I expected but were more like discussion groups with all of the attendees participating and offering advice and suggestions. At the LDW I met then-chair Jean Becker and she encouraged me to become more involved and I did. I was appointed as a member of AMC’s Risk Management Committee and eventually I ran for RVC. The rest is now history. Several of the attendees from the 2004 LDW became more active at either the local or national level. The rest used the event to enhance their enjoyment of Mensa.
Now, in case you haven’t heard, Region 1 is having an LDW the first weekend of May hosted by Rhode Island Mensa. Do you want to take a more active role in Mensa? Do want to get the most from your membership? Are you a volunteer who wants to learn the “tricks” to make your job easier? Do you want to volunteer but want to know more before jumping in? Who should attend? Anyone, everyone, YOU! For more information and to register go to: http://www.rhodeisland.us.mensa.org. More on the LDW next month, including a brief outline of the scheduled sessions.
On a different note, everyone has heard that the most important benefit Mensa offers to me are the friends I’ve made, including my husband. One of the often-overlooked benefits is the existence of “instant friends” wherever you may be. Ron recently spent about two months at his parents’ home in New Jersey dealing with his father’s recent illness (the prognosis is good). After an e-mail to the local group, Ron was quickly invited to local events. I think that this socialization helped him through the tough times. Many thanks to the members of Central New Jersey Mensa for being there for us. While you are a member of your local group, you are always a member of American Mensa and will usually be very welcome at another group’s events.
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