(1) What's the difference between a Lake Placid Clave and a NEC?
The FF@ NorthEast Conclave began in 1994 at the Wilmington Notch Campground in upstate NY. After the 2nd year, it was agreed that the conclave should move around the northeastern U.S. so that other waters could be sampled and perhaps other conclavers (for whom Wilmington NY is quite a journey) could attend. So: while the default NEC location is Wilmington NY every 3rd year, the other years NEC is held elsewhere so long as there is a willing host. There have been several NECs in Pennsylvania, two in Ontario, and one in the Catskills, for instance. And, of course, that one in Durham.... ;)
Even though NEC usually travels 2 years out of every 3, some folks insist on claving at the Wilmington Notch campground every year. So....during the years NEC travels elsewhere, there is a Lake Placid Clave held at the Notch. Placid Claves are usually held the weekend after the observed U.S. Memorial Day weekend.(2) Are NECers really a bunch of internet whackos?
Yes. But they're good whackos. I have met and/or conclaved with hundreds of FF@ members, and have yet to be axe murdered. Your mileage may vary.
(3) Is Lake Placid Clave a family-friendly event?
Yes and No. Most FF@ conclaves are family-friendly in the sense that the attendees are decent, pleasant folk and there's a communal village atmosphere that makes it safe for children to roam about the campground with plenty of extra eyes and guidance. We usually even have a Scrabble tent run by retired elementary school teacher Pat Tefft, who has been known to keep a child or three intellectually occupied while a parent enjoys other conclaving (ahem) duties. Also: despite the fact that cigar smoking and scotch drinking goes on late into the night, it's done responsibly and mostly after the childrens's bedtime, anyway.
However.....late May/early June weather in the Adirondack high peaks region can be dicey. Rain, snow, chilly winds, bright sunlight, warmth, sometimes we'll get all of those things in a single day. We've had our share of gorgeous spring days, and we've had our share of damp cold spring days. If the weather gets cold and damp, young conclavers and non-fishing spouses can become high maintenance very quickly. So in that sense, Placid Clave might not be as family-friendly as a conclave held later in the year might be. You know your family best, so trust your own judgement.
Speaking from personal experience: do not trust the weather forecast when deciding whether to bring your family.
(5) How does the pot luck dining work?
At the Notch, meals are often community events, and community building is always good. Everyone contributes something to the effort, and what results is often a meal that can't be beat, except by the next one. Often we'll have several people cooking in or near the slum, and a community meal will just sort of happen. It's pretty cool, really. It also helps that we have many talented and generous cooks among the regular attendees. We thus tend to have many creative, tasty entrees instead of too many salads and Jello molds.
Just remember that the "community-building" part of pot-luck dining extends to the cleanup afterwards. Any help is always appreciated. :)
A very frequently-asked question concerns the timing of the pot lucks meals. The frequently-given answer is: I can't give a precise time; as I hinted earlier these things just sort of happen, and it's always at just the right time.
(6) Can Rainmaker really make it rain?
Yes. Forecasts have been altered irreparably within minutes of his arrival at conclaves.
(7) I keep hearing references to "Dogpatch", "The Slum", and the "M.A.S.H. Tent". What are those things, and should I avoid them?
No, you should not avoid them. Nothing bad ever happens in those places.
Dogpatch is maintained by the Finger Lakes Chapter of Hell's Anglers, under the watchful eye of Blake "2 Speed" Werner. Time moves slowly in Dogpatch, and it's a good thing.
The Slum is otherwise known as Base Camp, where Luis and Chris park their cars and bad puns are just a heartbeat away. This is where the community cooking and pot-lucking generally erupts.
The M.A.S.H. Tent travels with Sheldon Seale and Paul Schlote, and is a safe haven for all those traditional bonding activities like cigar smoking, scotch drinking, bad joke telling, and fly tying. Many a bottle of scotch has been tied and a 22OBA has been consumed within the walls of that tent. ;)
(8) Will there be a general raffle on Saturday Night?
For the 2013 NEC, the answer is "no". Stay tuned for further details, just in case there are any. :)
(9) What do Lake Placid Clavemeisters suggest for raffle prizes?
For those years when we're having raffles.......they think raffle prizes should represent a bit of the donor and/or the donor's home region. Inexpensive is very, very good. Homemade is good. Silly is good, too. Stories that go along with raffle donations are very good.Here's an email I wrote a few years back about conclave raffles, read at your own risk. But please read it.
(10) Speaking of raffles, what's the deal with that bowl y'all raffle off every year at NEC?
Several years ago my son Aaron donated a ceramic bowl that he made in art class to the NEC raffle. Richard "Dances with Trout" Ross won that prize. Richard found the bowl a useful addition to his tying desk, and in a fit of sheer selfless generosity offered it back up for raffle the following year so that it could serve someone else as well as it served him. Now The Bowl gets a new caretaker each year, with the caretaker job awarded during the Saturday evening NEC raffle.
In order to participate in the special Bowl Raffle, you must be a member of FF@ and you must commit to either being at the following year's NEC or else commit to making sure the bowl shows up at the following year's NEC. Drinking a ceremonial toast of good scotch from the bowl is optional. :)
Previous Bowl Caretakers include Richard Ross (of course), Tyson Reiser, Blair Sharpe, Ben Benoit, David Tefft, Sheldon Seale, and Arnold Visser.
Please note: this answer needs serious updating, stay tuned. We're on our 2nd vessel now, but I haven't taken time to write all that up yet.
(11) Will there be a Lake Placid Clave t-shirt?
There is no t-shirt planned. In fact, not much of anything is planned yet. Just show up and have a good time!
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