By Bill Magargal
Great News! During their retreat in San Diego the US Servas board accepted the conference committee's recommendations and approved a large subsidy to support the 2023 National Conference to be held in Upstate NY, October 6-8. This means that we can offer a low conference fee of only $149 for all attendees who register before September 1, ($199 thereafter). The fee includes six meals; dinner on Friday Oct.6, through lunch on Sunday the 8th, handouts, and all regular sessions. Two-night lodging costs will range from none to $85 per person, depending on the accommodation they choose, i.e., none, yurt, cabin, or lodge.
This change from previous policy reflects the board's desire to hold a well-attended, exciting, fun, and informative conference where members and potential members can gather to celebrate, meet other members, make new friends, and reenergize their commitment to Servas ideals. Perhaps board member, Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh, sums it up best with her comment during the meetings:
“I think when we are talking about the benefits of being a member- the ability of US Servas by being an all-volunteer run organization with less administrative expenses and therefore able to subsidize member's attendance at a national conference is a BIG Benefit!”
The conference team is now assembling a great program of speakers, workshops, breakout sessions, and entertainment including:
Chief Vincent Mann - Reassembling the Munsee Lunaape Nation.
Rabbi Chuck Diamond - Healing from the Antisemitic Terrorist Attack that killed eleven congregants at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue.
Screening of The Seeds of Vandanya Shiva followed by discussion.
Evening of folk music, ballads, and protest songs featuring local artists Little Sparrow, and US Servas member, Dave Lippman (see article).
Workshops include interviewer training, using the US Servas website, using the international Servas Online website, a mindful stitching gathering, and more.
Other activities in the planning stage include a Saturday evening contra dance, peace pole installation, and a workshop on gender identity. We are also hopeful that Chief Mann and the Frost Valley YMCA Camp can work out details for holding a regional powwow to coincide with our conference. We are well underway for a fabulous conference. The conference website should be up and running by mid-June.
Frost Valley - Dining Hall
Geyer Hall - Main Conference Room