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Town Meeting Notes August 2013

Town Meeting Notes August 2013

It was a pleasant but cloudy late summer evening, a little cooler perhaps than one would expect for August 19, but quite nice just the same. And, as usual, Council members were in good spirits as they arrived at the hall and greeted the recreation staff.

The Camp Venture Council of Advocate met on August 19, 2013 in the Coleman Gromack Auditorium of the Venture Center. Present was the president, Meagan, Jen the VP, Lee, the Treasurer and Theresa P, the Secretary. Julie Langdon acted as the group’s Facilitator and Dan Lukens took notes.

The president called the meeting to order at around 6:50 PM though many of the members had not arrived yet. By 7:05 or so there would be 70 voting members of the Council on hand.

After passing on an opening statement, Meagan offered the floor to Dan Lukens for an announcement.

“2013 is an election year,” Lukens said. “If you intend to run please submit a letter of intent to Barbara Voellinger in Administration.”

The president then opened the regular session of the Town Meeting and the floor to speakers from the membership at large.

Mike C. was the first speaker. “ I had a good weekend,” Mike announced. “Friday I went with my family to Dave and Busters and Saturday we went food shopping.We watched the Yankees and it was great.”

Mike S. was a bit less upbeat as he announced the Giants defeat to the Colts. “I am looking forward to the Yankees though and I hope they win.”

Tom B. told the group that this year he marked 32 years as an employee of Macy’s. After updating the group on the progress of the new Nanuet Mall, Tom explained that he was an experienced receiving person at the store and said that his job was important. “When the store needs me I come in,” Tom said.

Tom also asked about a pool party at camp which opened the floor to Julie Langdon to respond.

Julie indicated that none was scheduled, at least not in August.

Susie T. opened with an endorsement of the sitting president. “We want Meagan for President but we also want Marie, my staff from the workshop,” she said. Susie explained that she would like to be in Marie’s group at the workshop because she is a good person and a good boss. She also praised her house staff and said she liked that they did her nails.

“I have good news,” Marie P. said beaming with a grin from ear to ear. “I got a great paycheck this week from the workshop. I am doing my job and working hard.”

The group offered a a round of applause for Marie.

Peter S, looking rather stern, talked about the weekend ball games and a trip to 7-Eleven. “I clean the house, mop the floor and work hard at the workshop and at home. I help the nice people,” Peter asserted.

Again the group clapped for Peter.

Jeff K. bounded to the front of the room and faced his audience with his characteristic boyish exuberance. “Yesterday we went to the movies and we had a great time.” he said. “I am working hard at the workshop and doing well. Thank You!”

After a cordial introduction Quinton said: “I have to tell you one thing, I had one of the best times at Wendy’s. We came here and we tie-dyed t-shirts. It was great. I love you guys.”

The room rose in applause for Quinton. A member of the Tanglewood house family, his very kind words were apparently deeply appreciated as evidenced by the very warm applause he received from the group..

After mentioning a visit to his sister-in-law’s, Dave L. said that he would like to visit the Main Office for the holidays.

Peter K, likening himself to Rocky Balboa as he talked about his bowling fetes. He said that he had stopped over at Venture West, where he used to live to see everyone. Sniffling a bit, Pete mentioned that he was getting over a cold but said that he felt pretty well nonetheless. He talked about the workshop and offered a few kind words for his friend Marie P. whom he said was a good worker.

Patrick M. offered the group a rousing oration on the life and times of Thomas House. And, though a bit of what he had to say was not completely clear, his passion inspired a rousing ovation from his peers as he yielded the floor.

Roger said that his house was getting a new van.

Jack S. said that he was working hard at the ARC workshop. “I am trying to do a good job,” he said and the group responded with applause.

Ryan approached the front of room and took the podium with his usual dramatic flair. “With regard to the election, I have my note announcing my candidacy for president already prepared for Barbara V. and it is right here,” he said as he carefully unfolded a yellow piece of paper.

“It will be a great honor to serve my fellow council members but also the values that would make this a better world. Hope, peace and equality, these are the watchwords of my campaign, my oath and my creed. On this Earth I believe we are here for a common purpose which is to do good and to act for the sake of kindness, honor and justice. I have a dream and in it all of us are there standing together, shoulder to shoulder, as we forge ahead into the light of a new day.

Ryan talked about his campaign ideas and said that he would ask Micheal S, and Robert H. to serve on his cabinet.

“I realize that in the world today that you should have a true understanding of the needs of the people and the courage and ideas to serve them. I am ready to serve,” he said to the applause of the group.

Harvey introduced himself and offered kind words for each of the ladies of Venture North who swooned in turn at the mention of their names. He acknowledged the recreation staff and Dan Lukens whom he offered his hand.

Lukens shook it warmly and room rose in applause.

“I got a raise,” Bernie announced beaming with pride. “I do a good job and I work very hard. I make big bucks and I am going on a Sprout trip to Florida. I like working and helping out at the house making dinner and doing chores,” she said as the group clapped for her.

Judy spoke in a small voice about her house, staff and a recent dinner outing.

Kevin said that he had spoken with his dad the day before and said that his family was well.

Richard used his time to profess his love for Marie. Marie’s response seemed a bit tepid but, ah, that’s love.

“The Yankees won yesterday 9 to 6, John said emphatically. A-Rod hit a homer, he said in a manner to suggest that his support for the troubled Third Baseman remained unscathed even in the light of recent controversy. “Bernie, Sandy, Angela and I are going on a Sprout trip! Go Yankees!” he exclaimed to the applause of the room.

Susie S. told the group that she was leaving Wednesday for a trip to lake George.

“I work hard at the workshop,” Emerson said. “I like my job and seeing my friends.”

Eileen took the floor and stood with hands on hips for a long moment. “Excuse me,” she said indignantly. “Tell everyone to be quiet,” she said in the manner of a command to Dan Lukens.

Lukens reminded Eileen that Julie Langdon, the Facilitator, was there to act as Sergeant-at-arms.

Julie asked the group to assume proper deportment and Eileen resumed her statement.

“I am going on a Sprout trip,” she said. “It will be fun.”

Peter introduced himself as a Past President and Special Advisor to the Executive Director. “I hope you all had a nice summer,” he said. “I would suggest that we have cans put around so that people can give to the poor. These things are important especially in hard times.”

The group applauded for Peter and his idea.

Ann Marie offered a very friendly “hello” to all.

James told the group that he was going on vacation the next day.

Kelly Ann announced that the previous week was her birthday. “I’m 27.”

The room responded with warm applause.

Angel recounted the Giants loss the day before but without lament.  “I went to North Carolina. I got sneakers and a new dress. And, I’m going on vacation.” she said smiling.

Kara used her time to sing a little song and then to offer warm greetings to all. “I like my house and my staff,” she said.

With the conclusion of Kara’s statement at around 7:40, there were no other speakers. The president called the regular session of the Town meeting and took the floor to make an announcement.

“ I am running for President,” she said and then said that she was offering the floor to members of her cabinet.

“Good evening,” Lee said. I am doing really well. Work is okay but just okay and I am not really satisfied, I saw my sister. Every day gets better. Kathleen, my girlfriend is not good and I am concerned about my mom.”

“Hi everyone,” Jen said. After talking a little about her family who were off to Myrtle beach the following week and her nephew’s birthday, she announced that she too would be running for president.

Theresa also announced that she would be running as well.

The president closed the Town meeting at around 7:50PM.

Four candidates, Ryan, Jen, Theresa and Meagan, the sitting President, had stepped forward and tossed their hats in the ring. An election was coming but for now, vacations and the fun days of Summer were apparently what was on everyone’s mind. It was an early close and no one seemed to mind as the group filed from the Center and into the fading light of this mild summer night. There were but a few weeks left before Labor Day and the task of self-advocacy and self-governance would still be there after the long days and the good weather had gone. For now, it was all about fun.

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