Much of 2011 was summarized in the previous homepage narrative. The Town Shop reopened on October 3 after a 4 week staff vacation, and quality and quantity of participation has built steadily into a new school year cycle. A significant enhancement has resulted from the offer to host (and the group’s acceptance) the Into The Mind’s Eye creative writing club who were looking for a home in the wake of austerity budget and activity cancellations in the school district. Every Monday brings an influx of creative young people into the Town Shop to share poems, prose, and illustrations while working together towards publication of a 2X per year creative writing literary magazine. A December OPEN MIC for POETRY attracted 16 readers and 40 listeners. Similarly, 3 live music events (1 Acoustic and 2 Electric showcases) provided more than 30 unique musical performers an aggregate audience of well over 500.
Weekly SEVA (selfless service) continues into the new school year and calendar year with upheld commitments to the Samaritan Center soup kitchen and Sunshine Horse Rescue. Field trip destinations in the final 3 months of 2011 included Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, Chittenango Falls, Clark Reservation, and Chimney Bluffs, while 3 Eating Our Way Around The World (youth initiated) expeditions led to dining and cultural experience in countries as varied as Jamaica, Vietnam, and Mexico. Central New York is RICH in cultural diversity.
We enter a New Year with energy and optimism. And…. we are waiting for SNOW. Our unlikely winter (so far) has left X country skis and snowshoes tuned up but unused to date but ready for action as soon as the snow shows up. Perhaps we will need to get kayaks out of storage instead.
Probably the biggest stressor currently is the uncertainty caused by a continuing difficult public funding climate in New York State. It is ironic that at a time when many young people and their families are struggling with diminished personal resources many community-based resources are also forced into austerity mode simply to insure survival. The Town Shop has endured economic storms many times before in its 41 year existence and will surely weather this current one thanks in large measure to a supportive Camillus community. Town government, local churches and civic groups, and numerous individuals (families and past participants) continue to provide necessary operating supplies and ingredients…. this week ie. Camillus Methodist Church delivered their consistent donation of kitchen pantry supplies.
We will try to keep the website “calendar link” up to date plus continue to make program announcements on the Town Shop facebook page. “Fan up” to receive regular notifications. Soon we hope to also post many new photo galleries depicting 2011 and 2012 activities. HAPPY NEW YEAR!