Roger welcomed those present and introduced the Board of Directors.
Mick reminded us that camp policies are published in short form in all event programs and in their entirety in the Members’ Handbook. He recommended that everyone take the time to look through the Handbook and become familiar with the policies, since each one exists for the safety of the Land and those upon it.
Mick also provided an update on ongoing construction projects. Volunteers are always welcome to help with construction, cleanup, maintenance, etc., especially in preparation for events. Members are also encouraged to help during Work Weekends, the next one scheduled for May 17-19.
Roger mentioned the Wheel of the Year calendar, and that it was late because of a new process and new personnel. The Calendar Committee will begin work much earlier for the 2013 edition! Members commented that they appreciated the quality of the calendar.
Much appreciation was expressed for the new aluminum stairs at Hemlock Hole, and thanks expressed to Sophia for heading up the fundraising effort.
Sophia spoke about the fundraising encore; the next goal is to purchase more curbstones for the Labyrinth. Kathryn Gavin donated a set of 6 stained glass candle holders, to be raffled off this season. Raffle tickets are currently available for $1.00 each, or 5 tickets for $4.00. The raffle drawing for the set will be at Stones Rising. Also, Sophia is donating her line of Standing Stones greeting cards and all income generated by them. They can be purchased from her for $15 a set.
Carrie gave a construction update on the Labyrinth. Several donations have been made as a direct result of the Labyrinth’s page in the Wheel of the Year calendar. Another way to donate is to “sponsor” a donor curbstone for $20; the location of donor stones is recorded in the Labyrinth map book, so donors can proudly point to their exact stones. The Labyrinth is currently 27% complete, with about 900 feet to go! The next work session is Samhain, October 27; additional sessions may be planned. Check the website for updates.
Roger asked first-time attendees how they heard about Four Quarters; the most frequent responses were the calendar, and being invited by friends.
Kate noted that word-of-mouth is by far the best form of advertising, but it is limited in scope. She and Sophia have taken on the task of advertising Four Quarters to a larger audience by taking marketing materials to other events, such as the Maryland Fairy Festival, which allows non-profits to have display booths—look for Four Quarters’ booth, complete with calendars, brochures, and coffee! Four Quarters mead will also be available at the Fairy Festival.
Suggestions were made for other modes of outreach, e.g., Yelp, TripAdvisor. Kate and Sophia will investigate.
Sam asked whether posters would be available for members to display on bulletin boards they have access to, such as at universities. More marketing materials will be available as they are developed.
Roger informed the members that the Four Quarters web site has been undergoing a major technological revision, and is close to launch. The new site will be more user friendly, with more capabilities.
The Four Quarters Winery recently signed a contract with a distributor for Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Our wine will now be marketed to a far broader base of retailers than we could reach through our own efforts. Wine will continue to be available in the Church office.
Orren provided a financial report, which consisted of encouraging attendance at the evening’s ceremony for a “Special Announcement.”
Memberships are back up to the level of 2008, before the nationwide recession affected so many households.
Four Quarters has banked in Hancock, MD for 17 years; because “our” bank has changed hands 5 times in the past 7 years, Four Quarters is in the process of moving all funds and assets to a small local bank.
Orren also explained the Community of Service, that certain adult residents have made a formal commitment to live as Wards of the church, sharing a common treasury. The income that supports this comes from three sources: the Winery, Orren’s engineering consultancy, and the newly-named Sideling Hill Machine Shop.
Roger spoke about upcoming events.
The Age of Limits is a new event, with a lineup of expert presenters on topics relevant to our current economic and ecological forecasts.
All Four Quarters events are now operated by member planning committees, and most committees are in need of volunteers. Wicker Man was specifically mentioned as needing help; this event may not continue in 2013 unless volunteers step up to organize it.
The Big Dub Candy Mountain electronic music event will take place again during 2012, with arrangements in place to monitor and control volume. This information was met with approval from the membership.
Pam announced a fundraiser for Bardic Circle; currently there are two benches, both very unstable. Pam asked the membership to help support the choir and bards, who will perform requests for donations.
Roger went on to talk about benches in general. The Board has been researching commercial benches for various locations in the camp, and they are not cheap! The Board has identified a possible candidate; we are purchasing one to evaluate. More information to follow as it becomes available.
Sage asked about the possibility of allowing small children to be first in meal lines, with one adult. The Board will discuss this suggestion and make a decision.
A member asked whether The Age of Limits event is included in a promoting membership; this is a Four Quarters event, so membership privileges apply.
Claudia expressed thanks and commendations to the Board “for all you do.”
Kate announced that she, Chelsea, and Tonya would immerse themselves in the creek at 9:30 Sunday morning for donations. Cash was immediately forthcoming (the venture netted $411!).
Circe asked whether any events have child care. Orren responded that there currently are no arrangements in place, but if a member volunteers to organize child care, Four Quarters would assist with infrastructure.
Kailin reminded the group about the Seed Stone Rising on Sunday morning.
Roger reminded members to sign up to lead moon services, and to enroll in the pledge program.
Dessert arrived, and the meeting was adjourned.