NYSCAA 2024 Referendum


Referendum on NYSCAA Logo

Shall the National Youth Science Camp Alumni Association mandate that their seal/logo remain the original West Virginia Centennial Seal?

Elements of the seal include the unfinished Sugar Grove Radio Telescope, the 35th star, and the silhouette of West Virginia encircled by the words “National Youth Science Camp” and either “Alumni” or “West Virginia.”

National Youth Science Camp Logo

Argument in Support

James “Ray” Rappold (Staph 1975-1977, 1979-1986, 1992-1993)

I move that the National Youth Science Camp Alumni Association hold a referendum this September to mandate that the Association’s seal/logo remain the original West Virginia Centennial Seal. Elements of the seal include the unfinished Sugar Grove Radio Telescope, the 35th star, and the silhouette of WV encircled by the words ‘National Youth Science Camp’ and either ‘Alumni’ or ‘West Virginia.’

Ray Rappold   07/03/2023
Pam Patterson (Second – witnessed by Joel Brown)
Rick Walker (Additional Second – witnessed by Alyson Jones Thompson)

Passed – 22 to 8 at NYSCAA Annual Business Meeting on 07/03/2023

Argument in Opposition

David Hackleman (OR 1969 ; Staph 1976-1977, 1990)

Please join me with a NO VOTE on this referendum.

Although the intentions of this referendum were possibly aimed at ensuring the perpetuity of NYSC, as worded, it is unfortunately not supporting that cause. This referendum is wasting our valuable time on unnecessary and pointless constraints to our organization. Who cares what emblem we use?

First, we are currently not constrained in how we express our joy of the NYSC in the form of materials with any particular emblem. This referendum will require that any and all such materials contain specific items. Currently, we have paraphernalia with emblems not in compliance with the requirements of this referendum. Do we need to discard all such materials? The only constraint we have on emblems today is that were we to use copyrighted materials we would necessarily need to have permission to utilize such. We have no such permissions at this time, yet if we start setting precise requirements, we will need to copyright materials to avoid someone else taking such action and then forcing us to pay a royalty. Hence, making precise requirements is both unnecessary and indeed potentially causing us a liability.

Secondly and more sadly, this referendum is constraining to our abilities as alumni and friends of NYSC to support International and local programming and participants as equal members in our association.

Thirdly, the additional component regarding the use of any funding provided to the National Youth Science Academy from the NYSC alumni association is both unnecessary and actually hurtful. Consider if NYSCAA were to decide that bringing children of NYSC alumni to a program were of some benefit. This type of constraint would not allow NYSCAA to fund such through the NYSA. In the spirit of growing our program to enable deserving individuals to experience that which we did, it is felt that the NYSCAA donations to NYSA should be directed as desired by NYSCAA upon donation (as it is now) and not have a blanket general constraint.

This type of referendum is in my opinion a diversion from utilizing our time and efforts together for comradery and forwarding science education. We need to be in support of future National Youth Science Camps and their delegates, not spending time trying to make the future an exact replica of the past. We all have seen significant changes in science and technology since our time a camp as delegates. I, for example, have witnessed the beginning of the Personal Computer, a person on the moon and the internet. Twenty years from now, NYSC may be quite different in many ways than it is today, yet that which we need to pass forward is the spirit and the belief that through our friendships and abilities we can indeed improve the world for the common good as many of us have in our carriers.

As the world shrinks, it is a fallacy to assume we should only be a “National” youth Science Camp alumni, we need to be more inclusive, not restrictive.

While I consider the author of the referendum a dear friend and know he wants to ensure NYSC continues forever this isn’t the way! Please vote “NO” on this referendum and join me in supporting the spirit of NYSC growing throughout the world.


David Hackleman, OREGON 1969, Staph 1976,77,90, Lecturer/Content provider NYSC 1978 through 2023 founding member, NYSCAA and founding member, NYSF (Now NYSA) board of trustees.

Vote now! All votes must be received by 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.