The Rainbow Family Thanksgiving Council does not speak for the Rainbow Family or for the Rainbow Family Tribal Council. No one individual or group of individuals, can speak for the family as a whole. The Rainbow Family Tribal Council, our collective family voice, meets on the land July 1-7, and can speak only for itself.

Please note that, this is based on notes scribed at the time and fleshed out with the glue of memory. It is brought to you with the love of more than one scribe, in the spirit of a combined and cooperative effort.

Discussion on Friday was about heartsongs, visions and items for an agenda, on Saturday. Folks in the circle agreed to hold any items for consensus until Saturday, when the most folks would be present. Council continued all day Saturday and resumed briefly late Sunday afternoon.

I T E M S D I S C U S S E D (throughout the council weekend)

There were introductions, as family shared a number of heartsongs, visions, prayers, laughter, wishes, insight and hipstory.

A suggestion was made to break into ‘work groups’, for the various areas of gathering focus such as

scouting, kiddie village, etc. and a set of binders labeled with each of these subjects, was offered. Several folks objected to this, offering a solid block and the circle remained undivided.

Discussions began for establishing the date of Spring Council, which progressed to establishing the date

for the Scouts Rendezvous and the place. A suggestion was made the rendezvous be in an area that is near

a map room, so the scouts could go there immediately from the rendezvous site. Ideally the area would be near a university or major library, convenient to their initial meeting. After the place and date were decided the scouts broke into their own discussion group, near the main council circle.

Discussion was on going about the benefits of a strong Co-Op. Everyone was in agreement on the advantage of having tools on hand, at the start of the Gathering. There were also talks of holding benefits and to earmark the funds for specific areas of need, in the Gathering

Logistics of growing our own food for the gathering were discussed.

It was suggested that known Rainbow names be on banking. A few folks voiced concern that family would not feel as secure about sending donations in the mail, if they did not know bank members.

The needs of the differently abled were discussed with a desire to establish and maintain an access for them. Council was told of more than one wheelchair bound person being turned away from an established area, in the past. Some felt this was due to a minimal focus, in the past

There was recognition of a general increase in the number of family coming to gatherings that have limited mobility, due to physical restrictions. This increase calls for a stronger focus, by a well informed and

committed ‘limited access’ road crew. Discussion continued about being more aware of each other,

everyday and offering assistance when able, to the many folks with limiting circumstances.

A suggestion was made to set up a CALM web page and was well received. A sister experienced in CALM

volunteered to focalize the page, with input from others. There was a suggestion to set up a page at the welcomehome.org site for the 1999 Gathering, like the one done for the Oregon Gathering.

The benefits of having it on the welcomehome website were noted: continuity, rumor control, ease of accessibility and the sheer volume of visitors to the site, looking for info on the ‘99 Annual.

The outcome of Strider’s Arizona citation was discussed. A statement was made the charges were dropped,

based on a first point made, the charges were unconstitutional. An opinion was offered, that congress-persons should be invited to the Annual. It was noted that the Republican National convention would also be in Pennsylvania this coming year.

There was a discussion of the need for a Small Kitchen, to be set up for the front gate/parking lot crew. An agreement existed of the need for a kitchen and a strong presence of positive energy. Also noted at the time, that tribes/clans/kitchens take shifts at the Front Gate and Welcome Home, to provide the increased

positive energy and relief to regular crews.

The Health of the Gathering was discussed at multiple intervals and a strong suggestion for free standing

handwash stations was made. It was suggested that over the winter, it would be wise to collect 5-gallon buckets, and a few 55-gallon drums, and to build sanitary wash stations. There was also a discussion about ‘shitter covers’ like the ones used in Oregon and the problems they posed during clean-up was noted.

A brother came forward and volunteered, to focalize recycling, plus the dispensing of trash bags at dinner circle. Later, the pros & cons of recycling stations inside the gathering were discussed. The importance of teaching folks to PACK IT OUT was noted and that free standing recycling centers inside the Gathering, promotes an assumption, that someone else is responsible for the trash. More discussion and comments made about free standing recycling centers inside the Gathering, creating more work for the clean up crew.

A sister delivered another brother’s heartsong that, “Free-standing recycling centers inside the Gathering made it possible for folks to leave their trash in the woods and feel good about it!” Continuing along those lines it was AFFIRMED that CLEAN-UP begins the moment you enter the Gathering and that WE are all the CLEAN-UP CREW.

Also noted was the increasing influx of first time gatherers coming without the benefit of an experienced gatherer, to teach them. Discussions took place on how best to meet the need of passing on traditions.

Ideas generated during this discussion were for a concentrated effort to pass on traditions, in a variety of ways. There was discussion about the different ways people absorb info and of a generation, raised on

and tuned into electronics and sound bites.

A sister volunteered talents, to help focus a video tent at Welcome Home. The concept of a video tent was discussed at length and plans were made for it to be set up with content on the RAPS.

There was interest generated to continue the WANDERING INFO CREW, that had been initiated, during the ‘97 Annual Gathering in Oregon. This would help fill the growing need of other ways to pass on traditions.

Another idea was to post signs in style of the highway "Burma Shave" ads down the main trail, and a brother volunteered to have a sign painting party at (date as yet undetermined). He also volunteered to build 4 spigot operated wash stations, and paint 2 4'x 8' signs on 1/4" plywood stating PACK IT IN

and PACK IT OUT for the beginning of main trail.

It was noted that AGR could be an excellent means of networking projects over the winter but some info

was not appropriate to the newsgroup, i.e. bank info, peoples names and scouting information Therefore, info posted should be carefully considered. It is always wise to check in with a couple of experienced brothers or sisters before doing anything public in the name of Rainbow, including the reasons why.

There was a strong desire to make the 1999 Annual Gathering of the Tribes the Best Gathering of the

Century and to have Morphun doing it.

C O N S E N S E D I T E M S (on Saturday and Sunday)

M U C H L O V E & H A P P Y T R A I L S from the scribes

ADDENDUM: The post office box for Annual Gathering is:


P.O. BOX 3082


..........LIGHTLINE: 215-309-0699