Vol 2, Num 2 :: 2003.01.17 — 2003.01.30
The first ^camping is not optional event, which took place at Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania two years ago, could be considered a starting point of sorts for *culture is not optional. The camping event brought together people who hadn’t seen each other in a while as well as some who had never met before. Despite the brevity of the time together, those who did not know each other found that they had common goals, which proved to be a very strong linking point. Though the web site itself was not a major topic of conversation around the campfire, it became a topic of importance as everyone went their separate ways. With so many like-minded people living so far away, it became necessary to establish something that could keep people connected like this, something like *culture is not optional.
Now that the *cino website has become more than just an abstract notion, the original ^camping is not optional participants have not forgotten the importance of getting together at least once a year. Indeed, now that the web site has grown in membership and hits per week, the yearly camping event will most likely be full of new faces. At this year’s meeting, cryptic screen names will become actual faces; typed words on the discussion boards will finally match up to real voices.
In order to make this possible, however, we must be diligent in preparing for this summer. We must make decisions as a group about where, when and how we will meet for the third annual ^cino happening. Due to the wide geographical space that separates us, I am open to doing two camping events, possibly during back-to-back weekends. This year, Ohiopyle once again seems like an excellent location for those east of the Chicago area. For those out West, I am looking at the northern Arizona/southern Utah area or northwest Wyoming. These seem to be reasonable locations for people in California, Washington, British Columbia, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and maybe northwest Iowa (though Iowans are welcome to stay a night in Chicago on the way to Pennsylvania).
We will handle all these necessary decisions in phases. The first phase begins now and should continue for the next two weeks. This phase includes deciding on a general area and submitting potential dates for getting together. We will meet on a weekend, from Friday afternoon through Sunday anytime between mid-June and late August. If you are interested, you must post your preferences (1. weekend dates that will work for you this summer, 2. location preference) on the ^cino discussion section. Subsequent phases include: relatively concrete commitments (so I can know how many campsites to reserve), a check-off list of things to bring (far more organized this year), and specific instructions as to how and where to meet (campsite number and driving directions etc.). All questions and bright ideas can be posted in the designated ^cino section of the discussion board. If you have personal-type questions (related to camping), you can e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get out your calendars and maps and start posting!