The group hunkers beside a rig to avoid a chilly Jan breeze. The afternoon session (WINners Circle)--usually at 4pm is for comraderie, sharing, reports, questions, skits, etc. Here is where the WINs (Wandering Individuals Network---- www.rvsingles.org) differ from many others. We arrange that our meetings have a FOCUS BRINGER ---someone to stand up front and FACILITATE. In this case me.
This is a Seminar given by Linda---reporting on what's new at the annual electronics show in Las Vegas.
The big Tent---a really big tent---a highlight of our Quartzsite visit. Hundreds of vendors with an incredible array of offers---new products---jobs etc. It stays for a week and disappears.
Ah but just outside the tent are hundreds more---and they will linger for about two months.
To make our time together interesting we have evolved a large repetoir of traditions. Show and tell (in several versions) is one of our favorites. For example we will show and tell the oddest thing that we carry around in our rigs. We are pretty good at creating skits about our lifestyle. One day we arranged an open rig event (for the willing) to let others see inside our units.
Here is another favorite: Volunteers--In this case our President---Sharon--tell us--in 2 minutes something about themselves. (that we likely didn't know)
This day we are preparing for a biggie----We gathered up a bit of money---bought a lot of ice cream---Invited all the other singles clubs over for an ice cream social.
We decide to invent a new social thing----to create a way for about 150 strangers to get up close and
personal WITH EVERY OTHER PERSON -----IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES. And we did it!!!!
Here we are in the act of inventing it. We practice like a high school band for the halftime show.
And here it is ----We formed a giant circle---partnered up and did what square dancers call a right and left grand---as half the folks went one way and half the other---alternately clasping left then right hands passing each other----AND---- smiling and greeting and commenting as we made our way around the circle. It was a hit---we loved it. The ice cream was appreciated also.
And then one day we came together to mourn the loss of three of our members---sharing our memories--celebrating the good times we have shared. I show you this particular moment when remembering our beloved Pete Bonine---an extraordinarily--skilled and helpful member for 20 odd years of travel with us. I asked for a show of hands of those whom Pete had personally helped over the years. Can you see that about 2/3rds of the hands are raised?
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Hosting this gathering was a pleasant and easy job---because we have polished our system for 20 years. Scores of people stand ready to volunteer for whatever needs to be done. This was a classic example of THE BONUS OF HUMAN ASSOCIATION---wherein an individual can put in one unit of effort for the group and get back as much as 100 units of benefit.
Humans survived these million years by clustering tribally and I think we yearn for some elements of it today. I know I do---and that is why some friends and I are experimenting with a scaled down version of a tribe for the summer.
QUEST FOR COMMUNITY CARAVAN UPDATE: Currently, we are 8 and are converging on New Mexico. Some are already there waiting for us. Wish us well as we attempt a new and creative version of community.