Minutes of the April 17, 2010 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR

 

President Lloyd called the meeting to order at 12:07. Chuck Copeland offered the invocation. The Alan Bell led the pledge to the flag and the pledge to the SAR.

 

Members present: Marty Miller, Allen, Bell, Chuck Copeland, Luke Lloyd, Chuck Hawley, Robert Koehler, Ed Neugaard, DeVaux MacLean Garrett Brown, Scott Brown, Doug Brown, and Kevin Yarnell.

 

Welcome guests:

Wives: Jeanne Lloyd, Judy Copeland, Emily Brown

Other guests: Charles Klug, a prospective member and 7 cadets and their families (it was a packed dinning room!)

 

The President introduced the guests.

 

The minutes of the March meeting were approved.  

 

The secretary asked the membership for help in presenting our ROTC awards to a few schools not already covered.

 

Chuck Copeland, our treasurer, reported a balance of $2,953.34.

 

Registrar Alan Bell reported on his activities. He’ll have 3 supplemental applications heading to national today.

 

President Lloyd asked the color guard to present the colors at a Wounded Warrior ceremony to be held at Sun City Center Oct. 7th. Alan Bell, commander of the unit, said he’d take care of it and also reminded the members of our annual participation in the Lutz 4th of July parade.

 

Following up on a topic from the last meeting President Lloyd announced that John Skillman agreed to track awards for the chapter. John also bought a set of small revolutionary war era flags which he donated to the chapter.

 

In our efforts to hold some sort of joint event with the DAR, the president received an invitation email from a local DAR chapter for a joint picnic on either Sat. June 14th or Aug. 27th.  [Secretary’s note: The date has been finalized for August 14th]  The president also received an invitation to the DAR Flag day luncheon on June 11th, 10:30am at Palma Ceia Country Club. Cost is $26. Members wishing to attend should send their reservation to Jo Ann Gamby, 4431 W. Wisconsin Ave. Tampa 33616 (check made out to DeSoto Chapter DAR).

 

The president won’t be in attendance at the May meeting but encourage the membership to attend and enjoy the presentation by Jim Schnur on Florida prior to the Revolution..

 

Prior to our lunch dismissal, the president took a few moments to introduce the SAR and its goals to the guests.

 

The meeting recessed for lunch.

 

Following lunch President Lloyd introduced Kevin Yarnell who spoke on “Thinking Big Thoughts: How Enduring Concepts Can Provide Direction in Changing Times”. Kevin first looked at the term ‘concept’ and explained that a concept is a general idea derived or inferred from specific instances or occurrences. We learn best when the material is presented and arranged in a hierarchy. So, rather than learn just a bunch of facts, we put these facts together in an order that allows us greater understanding.

 

This is the real purpose of a liberal arts education. Many people thing it is a broad education but it is, instead, a high education and teaches the student that knowledge must be understood in a hierarchy. Some questions are more important than others or must be answered first.

 

With this background in place the speaker pointed out that we learn concepts by starting at discrete events and working up. But planning and decisions need to be made in reverse. We must start with principles and concepts and work down to the details. Several examples of this were offered including an explanation of how the idea for this JROTC luncheon starts from the mission of the SAR.

 

The question then must be asked, do we see this type of thinking in our leaders today? Do they start with big thoughts or principles and use these to guide their thinking down into the details? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is too often, no. To illustrate Kevin, to the amusement of the audience referenced the recent healthcare debate. Not taking a side, he simply asked the listeners to recall what was debated and noted that it was all details. No one discussed the big question, “What is the role of government is the area of health care?” He pointed out that answering this question first settles a large part of the subsequent questions.

 

Following two more examples where big thoughts and principles have not been employed at the outset by our leaders, Kevin offered two examples where the principles did come first. The Monroe Doctrine was his first example. The Homestead Act of 1862 was the second. In both instances general principles were used to as a guide for working out the details. In the case of the Homestead Act the fact that the land was offered to anyone willing to work it follows directly from the statement of equality in our Declaration of Independence.

 

In concluding the speaker urged the audience to four actions:

-        Strive for a ‘higher’ education

-        Tackle the big questions ourselves

-        Encourage our friends to think bigger as we discuss issues of our day

-        Vote on the big thoughts not on sound bites

 

President Lloyd then presented the Bronze JROTC award to the cadets.

 

 Kevin won the 50/50 and donated his portion to the chapter. The treasury was thus enriched by $7.00.

 

The President led the recessional, Jack Bolen gave the benediction, and the meeting adjourned at 1:37pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary