Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mischief Managed

We had a great first planning meeting! We had three youth members and four adults, including Erin Millar, a member of the Harry Potter Alliance staff. Special thanks to Erin for joining us on such short notice, especially while busy getting ready for Leakycon this week!

Here's a few notes on some of the things we discussed:

Our Name: We had many great ideas and seemed to especially like words having to do with the enlightening spell "Lumos!", and one of Hagrid's favorite magical creatures, the Hippogriff. Therefore, we decided our chapter will be called The Enlightened Hippogriffs! Personally I love this name, as the "Enlightened" part conjures not only our intelligence and higher thinking, but also our partnership with First UU, whose symbol is the chalice, a vessel for light. Also, I just looked up Hippogriffs on Wikipedia and I noticed how appropriate this actually is for a group like ours, considering this tidbit:

The reason for its great rarity is that griffins regard horses as prey. It has been suggested this idea was strong enough in medieval times to produce an expression, "to mate griffins with horses", which meant about the same as the modern expression, "When pigs fly". The hippogriff was therefore a symbol of impossibility and love.

So we are all about being enlightened, doing the impossible, with love. How much more perfect is that? These kids are brilliant, I'm telling you.

Our chapter's structure, rules, and areas of focus: since we had a fairly small group this time, we decided to table further discussion of these details for the Fall, when we will elect members to different leadership roles and hash out our chapter's official constitution. We did agree on the following though:

- Membership: Our chapter is open to ALL. This means all ages, and all Columbus-area people who have an interest in being a part of our group. We are not exclusive to First UU Church members. We are very grateful to First UU however for the use of church meeting space, publicity and resources and will be looking to partner with them on upcoming Justice Sunday and First Friday activities.

- Meeting days/times: Sundays after First UU church services are good, as they don't interfere with weekday after school activities. During the regular church year (i.e. not summer) services are 9 and 11 a.m., so we're talking after the 11 a.m. service. I will check with the church about what other groups are on the meeting schedule and see if we can do something like the 1st and 3rd Sunday, or just one Sunday/month, etc. I'll communicate about this via email and here on the blog.

- Leadership: I'll be the official adult advisor for our chapter. We agreed it was also important to have youth leadership in the form of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. We'll elect these in the Fall.

- Committees: We decided that we need to determine how big our membership is before we can decide whether it's feasible to have committees, but we definitely like the idea of a Communication group (lots of interest in the potential theatrics of this group, including owl messaging in costume!) and a Social/Fun group that might organize something like movie screenings. We'll also need a way to raise funds but we'll wait till we have more members to get into the details of that. Erin is going to check with another chapter organizer in Colorado that she knows who is just starting out like we are to see what other committees we might want to consider.

- Logistics: all agree on the importance of snacks at our future meetings! And a few ground rules:
1. No Harry Potter book spoilers. Especially considering we are all ages, and some of our members may not be reading yet, let alone have read all the books, we agreed to be careful what we say in meetings so that we don't spoil the fun of the books for anyone.
2. Treat all members with respect. This means listening without interruption, raising your hand when you want to speak, and in short following the same type of rules we follow in school and church. For First UU members, this means keeping the Seven Principles in mind:
3. No breaking the rules!

- Areas of focus: We talked about some of the HPA's recent campaigns, including the seven Deathly Hallows focus areas and especially the Climate Crisis Horcrux. Please visit the links on the right to the HPA site for details. Our group is interested in the environment and social justice, including the DREAM act and gay rights. Erin told us about the Imagine Better contest where members can submit ideas or art having to do with the Climate Crisis and be entered to win $1,000 through Splashlife. We are already brainstorming ideas for that! Erin also told us that in years past, the HPA has been involved in Presidential elections through a campaign called Wizard Wrock the Vote, and she's expecting next year's election to be no exception, so that can be something we might consider as well.

We also agreed that we would try to keep our focus local - meaning we will consider campaigns presented by the HPA and think of ways we can implement them here in central Ohio. For instance, the Climate Crisis affects our rivers and wildlife right here (not just polar bears, for whom we nevertheless spent a few minutes of meeting time expressing our adoration.)

Next Steps: Our next big step is to schedule our first official chapter meeting in the Fall, which requires confirmation on the church meeting schedule with First UU. Then we'll see about publicizing it as widely as we can. This is where that owl costume will come in handy! We'll also promote it with flyers in libraries, maybe book stores and other meeting places, and of course here on the blog.

Finally, Erin told us about Portkey, a great project that she is busy working on. This week at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida there will be a giant Harry Potter convention called LeakyCon. Activities will include speakers, Wizard Rock bands, games, and a midnight showing of the final movie, among other things. Fortunately for those of us who weren't able to get a ticket, there will be a virtual version of LeakyCon where we'll all be able to participate through livestreams and other activities on the internet! This is Portkey, happening this coming Wednesday through Sunday. Please visit the Facebook page for Portkey and stay tuned here for more information coming soon!

Thanks everyone for joining us today and please let me know if I've missed anything from our discussion. And if you weren't able to join us but are interested in helping with the Enlightened Hippogriffs, please feel free to send me an owl anytime! Happy HP7 week!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for inviting me! I really did have a great time with all of you. Hopefully, I'll be able to make it to many more meetings once they start up in the fall!