Chair’s Letter

The temperature outside is in the thirties, a veritable heat wave compared to the last month. It’s supposed to snow tomorrow, which is absurd. Punxatawny Phil not only saw his shadow back in February, but I think he just saw it again. Let’s face it, winter looks like it is never going to end.

And yet, there is hope. The First Sign of Spring has been seen. No, not a singing robin. Not the Good Humor man. The real First Sign of Spring happened on April 1 – Summer Institute registration is open

Hope is what this year’s Summer Institute is about. Hope that, together, we can defeat the climate change that is threatening the world. Our Theme Speaker, Dr. David Orr, will be talking about what we can do. Many of our workshops will deal with this threat. Of course, other workshops will deal with other serious issues, such as Restorative Justice, and the legalization of marijuana. And some of the workshops are just for fun.

Your Summer Institute Planning Council has worked hard for the last few months pulling all of this together. We’ll continue to work hard, up until Closing Ceremonies on July 14. We hope that you’ll join us in working hard, because otherwise, SI can’t come together.

The event is made up of a thousand little jobs, all of which must be done by volunteers. That seems easy enough, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Every time someone doesn’t make it to a work shift, there are problems. If the volunteer who runs the elevator at the dining hall doesn’t show up, then someone with mobility issues, who depends on that elevator, has trouble getting to where he or she is eating.

Then there are the newcomers. The SI experience can be confusing to someone who has never been here before. Old timers must step up and help them. And newcomers must be willing to ask for help if you need it. Everybody who attends SI must pull together, or it won’t work.

Excuse me, I think I was getting a little too serious there. Yes, SI is a group project, one that all of us, old timers and newbies alike, have to work at, but we should never lose sight of what the outcome of SI is supposed to be – SI is supposed to be fun!

So, have a great time, people.

Bruce Kent
SIPC 2018 Chair