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RVC Chat - August 2012
by Andrew Heffernan

Recently, I asked my local group what events they would like to see. The overwhelming response involved two common threads: Outdoor activities, and volunteering. In Mensa, we eat, we listen to lectures, we debate, we ponder, we laugh, and we play. And we also go on outdoor adventures and help our communities.

Do you enjoy the outdoors? Contact your local group today and offer to share this joy with the group. We have several avid hikers in Mensa of Northeastern New York and in the last couple of months they have led several hikes. Some were organized through the group, others were impromptu, and organized at dining events just a couple of days prior. Some members are starting their journey to climbing every Adirondack Peak. Others have lower aspirations, but just as noble.... to stay fit, and live a full life. Exploring at every opportunity.

Many members also enjoy running. Last summer several of us started running more and ran our first races. I started running just 5-10 second bursts. And after joining a "Couch to 5k" program I found myself returning to the program and mentoring others. Mentors and mentees alike, we ran races from 3 miles to half marathons. Other races took us off-road, and through trails of mud, and trees, fire and mountains. One member ran a 50 kilometer race. Another completed a half-Ironman, and she has her eye on a full one next year. Coming up in September, a member of Boston Mensa is hosting a yearly hike in North Conway, NH. Always an exciting time.

Mensans volunteer every day. Some volunteer for their local Mensa group and edit the newsletter, contact new members, proctor tests, cook food for gatherings, host dinner and lectures, and much more. Many more members volunteer in their own communities. From food banks, to radio station fund drives, to after-school programs, church activities, adopt-a-highway, Make-a-Wish, Cancer Society, the Mensa Scholarship Foundation and many many more. Locally, my favorite opportunities to volunteer include Odyssey of the Mind, a kids creativity program, and my local National Public Radio Station. And of course, all things Mensa. I look forward to finding new ways to help my local members connect with volunteering opportunities in the local community.

Speaking of volunteering... You can host similar events with your local group, too. Contact them today to offer to host a Saturday morning run, a nature tour, a food bank volunteer day, or bake sale at your local Regional Gathering to support the scholarship and Mensa Foundation. The scholarship program is always looking for people interested in reading entries each year. This year we are also looking for a new Regional Scholarship Chair. If you would like to learn more about this great opportunity to help, contact me today.

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