COSCA’s Most Excellent Trip To Scotland And North Carolina

Part 2: Grandfather Mountain!

We have said it before and we’ll say it again: It is difficult to beat Grandfather Mountain Highland Games for Scottish American color and pomp. It is truly a spectacle each and every year. 2014 was no different. Fortunately, this year brought much improved weather over the downpours of last year, sunshine ruled and nothing was cancelled!

This year also brought another successful week full of COSCA activities at and around Grandfather Mountain.  Here is the rundown of a very busy week!

— We kicked everything off on Wednesday July 9th with genealogy and social media workshops and a Scots Gaelic book signing/lecture at Evans Auditorium on beautiful Lees McRae College campus.

— Wednesday evening continued with a packed crowd at The COSCA House in Banner Elk for our usual Caucus Reception and BBQ for Caucus speakers and COSCA members and friends.

— Roughly 50 participants gathered at Lees McRae College for the 2014 Caucus Meeting on Thursday July 10th for an all day session.  We welcomed a smaller crowd than last year as we knew that many friends were unable to join us due to the exceptional events occurring in June and July for Scotland’s Homecoming 2014.  Nonetheless, as an annual event, we decided to go forward anyway and we are thrilled at the outcome!  The speakers were awesome and we thank each and every one of them.  We will be posting more details about the discussions and outcomes at the Caucus Meeting as well as speakers’ slide presentations etc on the Scottish Clan & Family Caucus page on the COSCA website.

—  On Saturday afternoon we were delighted to host nearly 30 MacDougalls for their clan society BBQ and Annual General Meeting at The COSCA House.  In return for a share of the incredibly yummy MacDougall BBQ, we helped the MacDougalls live stream and record their AGM so that MacDougalls from around the world would have access to what happened at Grandfather Mountain – except for the BBQ!

— The day was topped off Saturday afternoon with a rousing and very supportive Annual General Meeting of COSCA members.  We were delighted to welcome roughly 90 folks under the Chieftains’ Tent on McRae Meadows this year.  That is nearly twice as many COSCA members as we have typically greeted in prior years.  New Board members Ed McLean, John Bellassai and Chuck Baker were confirmed and great support was heard around the crowd.  The Board reluctantly received the resignation of Dr. Phil Smith from the Board but we are delighted that Phil will remain active on COSCA’s Senior and Educational Advisory Teams.

—  As things wound down on Sunday afternoon COSCA hosted Dr. Bruce Durie under the McRae Meadows Chieftains’ Tent for three additional genealogy workshops throughout the afternoon.

All the while all of THAT was going on, the remarkable volunteers at the COSCA Tent always located at the main entrance of McRae Meadows greeted everyone that walked through the gates and asked us “Can you help me find my Scottish clan or family connection?”  This year we were joined by celebrity clan finders Rodger and Amanda Moffet of ScotClans/TartanFootprint and Dr. Bruce Durie, the worlds coolest genealogist and historian.  These guys gave absolutely freely all weekend of their deep knowledge of Scottish history and heritage and helped hundreds of people connect with their Scottish heritage!  Thanks go out to Rodger, Amanda and Dr. Bruce!  You guys really rock.

That is this year’s story of COSCA at Grandfather Mountain.  No warrants, no arrests but a lot of great fun, learning and networking that will continue to move us closer toward our mission of ensuring the perpetual health and vitality of Scottish heritage in America.  Stay tuned to follow along and be a part of it.  And we’ll see you next year at Grandfather Mountain!







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