The Reason Rally is a week from Saturday.
March 24, 2012.
On the Mall, Washington, D.C.
This is going to be the largest gathering of secular humans in the history of the world!
You need to be there. You can tell your children and your grandchildren that you were there. It promises to be the Woodstock of atheism. And people need to know that there are more than a few of us.
And these are some recommendations on what to bring. This is in no way an official list from any organization. These are my own suggestions, grounded in a history of having attended the Godless Americans March on Washington (GAMOW) on November 2, 2002, and lots of other outdoor activities, and having been director of Camp Quest for its first ten years.
In re GAMOW, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godless_Americans_March_on_Washington
And here are some videos from GAMOW : http://videos.mitrasites.com/godless-americans-march-on-washington.html
Many of those who attended, including myself, consider this one of the greatest days of their lives.
The Reason Rally is going to be much, much bigger.
But I digress. No one knows what the weather will be. It is not known for certain if it will be warm or cold, and if there will be rain, snow, or sunshine. It is known that you will be outside for a full day in whatever comes, with no place to go for shelter. Also, there is no guarantee that you can find water and food as easily as you could if you were not on the National Mall telling the world that it is okay to be an atheist.
Here are some Edwinian suggestions on what to bring to the Mall:
Water bottle with water in it.
Food. Trail mix and protein bars are good choices, but you can bring about anything you like that you are big enough to carry.
Hat, waterproof and with brim if possible. This is very important. Sunstroke is not fun.
Waterproof shoes or boots. You can wear athletic shoes or sandals if you wish if wet feet in wet socks and shoes do not trouble you. An extra pair of socks might be a good idea. Of course if we knew for sure there would be no rain, you could wear anything comfortable. But only god knows for sure what the weather will be, and she ain’t telling.
Full length pants. Not shorts. You can wear shorts if you like of course, and you will probably live, but you might not be happy if a winter storm comes or the sun turns your exposed skin into a sunburned horror. The back of your knee is particularly painful if sporting a flaming sunburn.
Long sleeve shirt. This helps guard against sunburn and is more adaptable to the weather. You can roll long sleeve shirts up. You cannot roll short sleeve shirts down. You might find this rule useful for lots of other things, like flying on commercial airlines. A long sleeve shirt also provides greater protection against flying insects, if any. And you can wear a short sleeved shirt with some cute slogan over or under the long sleeved shirt.
Sweater or sweat shirt.
Coat or jacket, preferably a waterproof one. Yes, coat or jacket, regardless of what the weather looks like the day of the Rally. These things can and do change. Sometimes rapidly. Ask my daughter who scheduled an outdoor wedding for a date, and place, on which there had not been rain on that day for over a hundred years. Well, there was. And only the greatest burst of competence successfully moved the event under canvas.
A large garbage bag for leaves can be very useful. It is waterproof. You can sit on it. You can also cut a slot for your head on the bottom of the bag, and holes on each side for your arms, and you have an instant, lightweight waterproof parka. This suggestion alone may have made it worth your time reading this blog.
Light folding chair or ground cloth of some kind, preferably waterproof. That is unless you really don’t mind being on your feet in an enormous crowd for hours. Some don’t. I am not among them.
Sun screen. You need it whether the sun is shining or is clouded over.
Camera. Optional, but recommended. We can all exchange our photos for years. I may post some shots from GAMOW.
A backpack in which to carry all of these goodies.
Please do not think me patronizing for telling you these things. I always make a list of what to take on such adventures and still sometimes neglect to include needed stuff. I may have left something important off on this one. Your comments are welcome.
Now, things not to bring:
Weapons of any kind.
Drugs not in prescription bottles.
Sticks. If you have a sign, which it is hoped you will, you cannot put it on a staff. It must be hand held. This is because such sticks can be used as weapons.
Finally, and most importantly, bring some common sense.
And let us have an epic, history making day!
Edwin Kagin © 2012