Thoughts on the weekend? Very broad question. I had a great time! Lots of laughs with old friends and guys I had met before, and really nice connections with new guys. Everyone was open and friendly. That is a testimony to the vibe that has been created over the years and the group that has come together.
I can’t lay my hands on the Mission Statement, but I know what you had in mind, Gordon, and I think the weekend met the goals pretty well. I am trying to imagine what it would have been like for me if I were not so connected and busy. If I knew no one, would I have had a good time or would I have felt lonely and isolated? There are still a few, I fear, who were left with periods of empty time while groups of old friends went off to clubs or shopping or whatever. There was a real effort by some to include the newbies, but we all get swept up in having a good time. Friday night could have been a better time for bonding if a few things had been a little different.
I don’t know if we really had to clear out of the restaurant space, but that was the impression when clean up started. If we could have hung out there longer instead of splitting up and going off to clubs and such, it would have been a more inclusive time. The games were potentially fun, but it got a little chaotic and so damn noisy I could not really participate. An extended time of hanging out, snacking, voluntary games if desired, and table hopping would have been really nice. Some of us did retire to the little house for cards and alcohol abuse. That was great fun. I wish more would have known they could have joined us.
My left field idea is that more work/participation would be good. There were a lot of volunteers prepping and schlepping food. But if this and other set up were really designed as a cooperative group effort for everyone, it could be great for making connections. Organizing such an effort would not be easy, but it is something to think about.