Season of Reason: Summer Events in Ohio

Several enticing events are slated for this summer in central and northeast Ohio. The groups hosting these events have made them available to the full secular community. If you know anyone who attended last year’s Reason Rally in Washington DC, you may have heard how wonderful it is to experience community on a large scale.

Today, June 16th, Mansfield-based Mid Ohio Atheists (MOA), a Columbus Coalition of Reason (CoR) member group, announced their Annual Picnic to take place on July 21st at Mohican State Forest. Attendees will bring food to share, compete to donate the most items for the Harmony House homeless shelter, and participate in various games and activities. The success of last year’s incorporation of speakers into the picnic has prompted MOA to offer another interesting lineup that includes: Frank Zindler and Rachel Johnson as well as Columbus area residents Dan DeMura, Douglas Whaley and Shauna Strand Sowga. Signup at www.meetup.com/Mid-Ohio-Atheists.

The annual national Secular Student Alliance (SSA) Conference in Columbus over the July 12th – 14th weekend accepts non-students as well. Although the sessions primarily target student groups, the content is intended to be useful to other secular group organizers. SSA has grown their annual conference from 100 attendees in 2009 to 280 last year. This year, SSA offers a Las Vegas event (June 21st – 23rd) to encourage participation from West coast and Rocky Mountain areas. Register online for the Columbus event by July 7th at www.secularstudents.org/2013con. Four SSA chapters are members of Columbus CoR and are sending several representatives to the Columbus conference.

The Humanist Community of Central Ohio has scheduled the HCCO Annual Summer Picnic for August 10th at the Columbus Whetstone Park shelterhouse. Register online at www.meetup.com/HumanistOhio. HCCO is a founding member of Columbus CoR.

Toldeo-based Great Lakes Atheists (GLA) has their first weekend long convention August 16th – 18th. "Our America, Our Stories" is the theme of the GLA Convention which will take place in downtown Toledo at the Grand Plaza Hotel. An extensive lineup includes nationally known speakers Jerry DeWitt, David McAffey, and prominent current/former Columbus residents JT Eberhard and Douglas Whaley. “It’s a great opportunity to meet other atheists. I want everyone to come and have a good time!” says GLA Director Barbara Williams. The $99 registration fee includes the Saturday night dinner dance and various activities are available. Sign up at glaconvention.com