Russell Hampton
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Getting to Know our Members
Getting to Know Bill Barnes

A good way to describe my career might be to call it "bi-vocational" - clergy and publishing. I grew up in a newspaper family in Bristol. My grandfather owned and operated the Bristol Press from the early 1900s until his death in the 1950’s, when my father and uncle took over. As a kid, I often got to tag along as my father chased stories all over the state. During my college years, I worked most of my summer vacations in the composing room, setting type and serving as a gofer for the newsroom.

After graduation from Bristol High School, I earned my B.A. in history from Wesleyan University. Feeling a call to the ministry of the United Methodist Church, I went on to earn a Master of Divinity degree at Yale Divinity School. I was subsequently ordained Deacon in 1960 and Elder in 1963. Later I earned an M.A. in American Studies and Religion from Trinity College.

Most importantly of all during those years, I married my high school sweetheart Patricia, who went to nursing school at Yale New-Haven Hospital when I was in Divinity School. Our lives have been blessed with three children and four grandchildren. Last summer we celebrated our 61st anniversary.

During my first 17 years in parish ministry, while serving as pastor in North Canton, New Haven and Easton, I still kept one foot in the newspaper business - composing editorials, writing theater and concert reviews and serving on the Board of Directors of our company. I became a Rotarian in 1973 in the Bridgeport Club while serving as pastor in nearby Easton. Ironically, it was the same year in which our Avon-Canton Club was chartered.

I moved to Avon in 1977 at the beginning of a decade-long leave of absence from parish ministry in order to work full-time at the Bristol Press where after my father's retirement, I was named Associate Publisher. I was received into the Avon Rotary Club that year by a young president named Bob Cave.

The highlight of my Avon-Canton Rotary life was the opportunity to serve as club president during 1988-89. This was a wonderful time of growth for our club, partially as a result of our pioneering work as one of the area's first Rotary clubs to actively seek and welcome women into membership. We had recently moved to a small room in the Avon Old Farms Hotel, downstairs behind the reception desk, for our Friday morning meetings, after a nomadic existence among several Route 44 eateries. Our growing membership resulted in two further moves that year, the first into the upstairs room over the reception area and then into the wonderful space where we still hold our meetings to this day.

Ten years into my newspaper career, my family made the difficult but prudent decision to sell the publishing company. So I shifted gears once again and returned to full-time parish ministry, becoming pastor of Prospect United Methodist Church in Bristol and living there until retirement

in 2002. During those years, I also switched my Rotary membership to the Bristol Club, where I remember welcoming an esteemed District Governor named Tom Voorhees, on his official visit one year.

Happily, on our retirement to Avon, I was welcomed back into the best Rotary Club of all, our Avon-Canton Club, and enjoyed reconnecting with old Rotary friends while meeting lots of new ones. Altogether, now, I have proudly been a Rotarian for 46 years. Also during my retirement years, I have served as an interim pastor in Lakeville, Wethersfield and West Hartford, and still find myself substituting in local pulpits from time to time.

Summer vacations at our cottage at Madaket, on Nantucket were part of our rhythm of life for many years along with annual ski trips to Stowe, Vermont. I am happy to report that I skied into my mid-70s, and I am particularly proud of having skied at Stowe for 65 years in a row, from 1948 as a ten-year old, through 2013.

With music as a favorite avocation, I am now in my 31st year of playing viola in the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, one of New England's finest all-volunteer symphonic ensembles. In addition to holiday pops concerts and early summer outdoor concerts here in the Valley, the FVSO performs four concerts of classical music every year with gifted soloists. My biggest thrill as a musician was the opportunity to play a concert with the FVSO at Carnegie Hall during 2008.

So during an active retirement, Rotary remains very relevant as a wonderful way to stay connected with the community and to continue reaching out with Rotary friends in the spirit of "service above self". I look forward to many more years of Rotary fellowship.

Aug 16, 2019
Guiding Light
Aug 23, 2019
Aug 30, 2019
Haitian Water Project
Sep 06, 2019
Meeting and Tour at FAVARH
Sep 13, 2019
A Promise to Jordan
Sep 20, 2019
"Greatest Hits"
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Foundation Chair
Board Member-at-Large
Board Member-at-Large
Asst Treasurer
Interact Chair
EarlyRiser Presentations
The Annotated Guide to Ending Polio
GLO Fall 2017 Mission Trip
Eastern Europe Trip to Vienna and Prague Presentation
Avon Village Center Project Presentation
Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
We meet Fridays at 7:30 AM
Avon Old Farms Hotel
279 Avon Mountain Rd.
Avon, CT  06001
United States of America
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
VenueMap Venue Map
Upcoming Meeting Speaker
April 19, 2019
Good Friday
Lonely Rotarians
LaSalle Market in Canton
We gather at 7:30 to enjoy each other's company.
No program, just good humor and conversation.
On your way by 8:30 a.m.
Bring family members or other guests to share the enjoyment.
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
April 12, 2019
Members Present: 34
Make-Ups: None  
Guests: Our speaker - Nicola Wood; Lauren Gardner and Yvonne Gardner (Prospective Members);
Visiting Rotarians: Mark Brady - Incoming District Governor; member of the Simsbury-Granby Rotary
Happy Dollars: $38
Raffle Winner: None - Rollie was in the Bahamas.
None today
Happy Dollars
Mark Brady, incoming District Governor, was happy to talk about the Drug Take-Back Day and the District Installation Dinner. See the descriptions of these events below. Sue Budde gave a happy dollar in support of the Drug Take-Back Day.
Len Dunstan was happy to be back after suffering a stroke. He seemed well on the road to recovery and expressed thanks for cards and calls from members. All of us were glad to see him back, and Sue Budde and Scott Nardozzi gave happy dollars to let Len know we're glad he's doing well.
Capri Frank (aka Brighenti) gave $10, although she promised not to talk for 10 minutes. She had been to Italy for five days to see her son Brett, who is studying abroad this year. He has had problems in the past, but he is doing really well ow. His dad and brother were also able to visit. Her mother and stepfather were off to St. Michael's. The stepfather is in failing health, but he wanted to take the trip.
Gary Miller was once again off to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to celebrate Cajun Easter with his daughter and her family. Beef jerky in place of lamb or ham.
Larry Sullivan paid $5, because he had been fined the previous week, merely for being helpful. He had just mentioned that First & Last, where we had the last Pub Night, is right across from O'Neill's Chevrolet. A guy can't even be helpful without being criticized. Geez!
Michelle Hagan filled us in on her kids. Jillian, her youngest, was spending spring break in Costa Rica. Her middle child Amanda is 30 and living in San Francisco. She will be married in September. Her son, her oldest child whose age wasn't mentioned, is in the Coast Guard. When Michelle was in St. Thomas on vacation, his ship also was docked there. She didn't actually see him, but she waved.
Don Bonner visited with Nancy Nation. She said she feels really good - not like she has cancer. She is going to Houston for treatments weekly. A good sign is that she asked for the golf brochure. She always appreciates our thoughts and prayers.
Rotary Foundation chair, Joanne Santiago, seeks nominees for our annual Community Paul Harris Fellow recognition. Please contact Joanne or any of the Rotary Foundation Committee members with your suggestions. We typically honor 2-3 citizens each from Avon and from Canton.
Gary Miller is seeks a few members to purchase or renew their Rotary website ads, at the excellent price of $100/yr. This funding supports our use of ClubRunner software and our website subscription. The ads cycle every few seconds at the upper left-hand corner of the website and are a good way to promote member businesses. Contact Gary if interested.
Interact Event - Monday, April 29 - 7 p.m. at Canton High School Auditorium - Panel Discussion about the Opioid Epidemic - Members are encouraged to attend in support of the great work the Interact members are doing.
Amber Alert session Saturday, April 27 - Granby YMCA - Tom Voorhees let us know that Amber Alert season has started. Members are asked to volunteer for two-hour shifts to sign up children 16 and under on the Amber Alert system. This gives authorities their details in the event they go missing. The club has participated in this worthwhile effort for many years. See Tom for opportunities to be of service.
Katelyn Kaplin announced that the next Rotary Pub Night would be on May 1 at 5:00 p.m. at Roaring Brook Nature Center. Members are invited and encouraged to bring children and spouses to enjoy the center as well as fellowship with fellow Rotarians.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
April 27 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis are involved, which says something about how important this is.
April 29 at 7 p.m. - Interact Panel Discussion - Canton High School Auditorium - Discussion of the Opioid Epidemic: What causes it and what can stop it?
May 3rd & 4th: The Rotary District 7890 District Conference will be held May 3rd to 4th  at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Danvers, MA. Five districts including 7890 will be represented. The event starts with the Rotary Foundation luncheon on Friday. For a full schedule and registration information follow this link: District Conference Registration
May 16th: Rotary Night at Hartford Yard Goats, Thursday May 16; Game time 7:05 PM. Contact Paul Mikkelson for details.
June 10th: Canton Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament at the Farmington Woods Golf Club. Contact Gary or Sue Budde for more information or visit the Chamber's website for registration: Canton Chamber Golf Tournament
June 20, 6 p.m. - District Installation Dinner - Riverview, Simsbury; $55 per person - All presidents in the district, including Heather Pantano, will be installed.
September 9th: Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Golf Club of Avon. Please contact Gary Miller if you are interested in working on one of the golf committees. (If you don't call him, he'll probably call you. All members are expected to be involved with the event in some capacity.)
Induction of New Members
None today

Community and International Service Grants
No awards today 

Nicola Wood
Sarah Leathers introduced Nicola (Nicky) Wood, founder with Shannon Zich of Outside Perspectives. This organization has created programs of 1 -7 days to help youth have immersive experiences in the natural environment. They believe that such experiences can be catalysts for positive change in the youths' lives. Participants have more confidence and feel more accomplished because they have met the challenge they have faced out of doors.
What in the world could Derek Jeter have to do with young people being outdoors?
Nikki points out that 1995 was Derek Jeter's first year with the Yankees. It was also the year that Nicky was 11 and in the fifth grade. Her family got their first computer that year. Most people younger than Nicky cannot remember a time before computers and smart phones. She acknowledges that technology has helped young people in many ways, but it has filled their time to the exclusion of being outside and facing nature's challenges and opportunities.
Nicky introduced us to Nature-Deficit Disorder, a term and not an official diagnosis coined by Richard Louv who wrote Last Child in the Woods. He writes about that young people are using fewer senses when they don't spend time outdoors. Time in the outdoors has shown to make a difference for those on the autism spectrum and can help the kid who is a problem in the classroom to channel his energy more productively. Louv also considers whether the increase in young people taking meds for ADHD and anxiety disorders is a result of less time in nature. Clearly less sun can result in Vitamin D deficiency
There are several reasons why exposure to nature is decreasing.
End of the frontier. In times past people lived off the land, which isn't the case today. In the 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution changed society, there was nostalgia for nature. Now there seems to be a connection of land mainly through technology.
Many more rules about being outside. Sometimes they reach the level of apparent silliness like the sign above. There are rules for safety as a result of insurance liability. Our litigious society makes parents concerned about sending children out to play without adult supervision. Parents have been reported to the police for letting their children walk to school alone. No longer are there many occasions to let children go outside and play with other kids all day, making up games and learning to get along with each other.
Limited and restricted open space. Growing population, especially in cities, makes open space almost inaccessible. And the desire to protect and maintain some open spaces has resulted in limited use of such space.
Adventure Gap - In the past the image of one who lived in the out of doors was almost exclusively that of the white male. Some kids thought, "I'm black, so I don't camp." There is now an effort to change that limited and limiting image. American Ascent is a documentary about an all-black climbing group reaching the top of Denali, the highest peak in North America. The film also explores the relationship of minorities to the outdoors. The climbers consciously wanted to bridge the gap in experience and perceived limitations of blacks and other minority groups.
The impact of less time outdoors.
  • Rise in ADHD among youth
  • Increase in obesity
  • More stress and anxiety in youth
  • Poor academic performance
  • Less respect for nature.
Outside Perspectives is attempting to reclaim youth at risk by working with Native American principles
  • Belonging - feeling part of a community
  • Mastery - learning new skills like paddling a canoe, climbing and even cooking
  • Independence - allowing kids to do for themselves in using skills and meeting challenges
  • Generosity - helping young people to give back to nature. They often do service projects for the places they explore and they learn to help one another.
Outside Perspectives works to foster a lasting network with the young people. They prefer to work with groups who are already bringing young people into community. This helps with follow-up for Outside Perspectives and for the young people themselves. They have worked with a boxing group in Hartford which is just the sort they are seeking. A group from there experienced the Outside Perspectives program by spending time on the Appalachian Trail. This helps with those core principles and helps to give youth tools to resist drugs and other destructive behavior.

Mail Bag
None today
Photo Credits 
Photographs courtesy of Phil Worley unless otherwise noted.
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials for each week's Early Riser as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following our meetings, and during those weeks further contributions to the Early Riser will be included in the subsequent week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?