Humanists Plan the End of Summer

As summer draws to a close, the staff here at the American Humanist Association are making plans to squeeze in one last beach day, finish books on patios, and more!

Sam Gerard, Member Services Assistant

Getting in another barbecue with friends both in and out of town is something I’d like to squeeze in before summer’s end. There’s something unique about the collective, casual hangout at the tail end of the season that makes it unlike any other social gathering during the year. Mostly, I want to eat ice cream outside!

Kristin Wintermute, Director of Education

For my family, every summer ends with the Minnesota State Fair, “The Great Minnesota Get Together.” It is the largest state fair in the country by daily attendance, with a record high 270,426 people on September 1, 2018, and boasting 322 acres of entertainment. For me, the best part of the fair is the unique selection of eats with new and interesting items appearing each year—deep-fried twinkies, hot dish on a stick, and cheese curds are just some of the delights. I encourage anyone who dares venture to Lake County to check it out.

Monica L. Miller, Legal Director at the Appignani Humanist Legal Center

I would like to spend one day without doing work! Ideally, that will involve a winery or the beach—but I won’t be picky.

Sharon McGill, Senior Graphic Designer

I’m planning a trip to Shenandoah next month. I’ll be backpacking with my husband and dog for few days and then staying for a weekend retreat with my writing group. Should be a nice break from the city just before summer ends!

Emily Newman, Education Coordinator

I love street fairs, so I’m excited to be able to go to two big ones to close out the summer: H Street Festival in DC and Atlantic Antic Festival in Brooklyn. Both are filled with culture, food, performances, and opportunities for people to explore the surrounding neighborhoods and support their local businesses. Although I mostly like to wander, I’ve also had fun in previous years tabling for my humanist communities.

Meredith Thompson, Development Associate

I like to read books during my commute. My goal is to get through one more book this summer before the bus gets crowded again and becomes standing-room only. I also hope to harvest another round of fruit from my tomato plant and to finally “veganize” my family’s peach pie recipe. Thankfully, the hazy, hot, and humid days of a DC summer will soon be behind us, and I’m looking forward to spending even more time outside!

Brody Armstrong, Program Coordinator

My happy place in the summer—or any season, for that matter—is in the mountains, hiking through lush forests to reach the beautiful vistas and breathe the open air found exclusively at mountain crests high above the ground. I have a couple months left on my Shenandoah National Park pass, and I hope to make it out there a few more times to watch the leaves turn from their current vibrant green to the autumnal rainbow that the Shenandoah Valley is known for. It’s a sight I look forward to seeing every year.

Jennifer Bardi, Deputy Director & Editor in Chief

I hope to go tubing on the Shenandoah before summer ends. Another goal is to sign up for a 5K, which I’ve been training for with friends over the past month. And finally, I want to try to continue balancing my hope, despair, compassion, loathing, fear, and joy as this crazy world keeps spinning and Donald Trump keeps tweeting, twisting, ravaging, and deregulating. Ya know, summer fun stuff.

Peter Bjork, Managing Editor

Earlier in the summer I stumbled upon a recipe for Atlantic Beach Pie, a vaguely named concoction that proved to be one of the tastiest desserts I’ve ever made myself. It’s a simple combination of a saltine cracker crust, lemon custard, and whipped cream that somehow screams “summer!” After becoming entranced by the recipe, I made it twice in two weeks, and I hope to make it a few more times as summer draws to a close.