Here is a forwarded message regarding this year's West Coast Regional by Dwight "Whytefeather"

Howdy Folks.

Well after just getting back from a whirlwind "Circle Tour" from Arcata to SF up thru Shasta, on to Ashland, and back down to Brookings and Arcata, it's still late Winter as Phyl the Groundhog predicted. The Shasta-Weed area still looked more like the Tibetan Region at this time of year. However, Imbolc has passed as has Fat Tuesday and so we are now at that point of Winter moving into Spring and you know that means for Rainbow Family. Of course if you have not yet heard, National Gathering this year will be in one of the Eastern States somewhere in an Appalachian Trail state that has National Forest (except NY for some reason). While there will be plenty going on back there, it's always been a tradition of fairness, reunion, collaboration, planning for travels, and just plain "Being Family" that we have always had an ALL West Coast Regional sometime in the Spring when National travels to the opposite side of the country.

To start planning even BEFORE a Scouting/Planning Council is called, one of the first steps I want to point out is to start brainstorming, and come up with a list, probably a spreadsheet format of all possible sites for BOTH a Scouting Council as well as the large Regional Gathering itself. After all these years of regionals and of course scouting from 2000 - 2004 for what was called the "Great Basin National" but we all think of as "The 2004 California Gathering in Modoc" there were many sites put on the table and looked at. Unfortunately Sailor is no longer with us, as he has gone to the "Great Family Reunion" on the other side, along with a number of others in passing on in the last few years. However, he, joined with folks like Dia, came up with a number of sites and visited them all. Plus there are a few more that we have also looked at for smaller Camp-outs, local regionals, and potential scouting rendezvous sites. So all of that should get listed and put down in one of our moderated YahooGroups as well as onto paper from when we actually meet in person.

Along with sites, it's also good to start discussing refreshing everyone's memory, as well as teaching new Family about all the details that go into Gathering, and the details of planning involved. After all it's been a while, and while we know there are those who CAN do it, Family Tradition is also to pass on the knowledge and share so that all who come after us have something to go on.

If you were not around back then, or for those who were perhaps you will recall, in addition to the scouting, we met several times before that. I believe the initial Council was called by Karin Zirk up at a Forest Service Campground on the back side of Big Sur, in the Los Padres National Forest near the Tassajara Buddhist Retreat further down that remote road. Then all of Nor Cal Rainbow Family came together for an afternoon at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco at Ocean Beach, followed by a round-table Oriental dinner at the nearby restaurant (BTW - Gung Hoy Fat Choy!!! Best Wishes for Healthy, Prosperous Lunar New Year, and New Decade!). Then as we moved into more detailed planning there was a weekend Planning Gathering called in Chico on a private estate where several NorCal Rainbow Family folks lived. There we brought maps, discussed logistics of food, MASH-CALM, etc. Following that one of the last steps before the actual scouting were two camp-outs up above Chico in the forest and in the tiny town of Concow. Of course that was all for the BIG 2004 National.

So let's start this Vision to start growing, discussing, and planning for where we might first come together for camp-outs. No one is suggesting anyone do this alone, which is why I'm calling on opening up communications from a winter hibernation and get us all working together again.

Peace,Love, Light and Ecology,
- Dwight "Whytefeather"

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