National Book Festival is Seeking Volunteers

Do you love books? Have you ever thought of checking out the National Book Festival? Are you looking for opportunities to volunteer locally?  As we look for ways to get involved with our community, we’d like to advertise this opportunity to volunteer your time with the 22nd Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival.

The 22nd Annual Library of Congress National Book Festival, bringing together best-selling authors, illustrators and book lovers from around the world, will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, Washington, D.C.

The success of the festival depends on the efforts of more than 1,200 committed volunteers, many of whom return year after year – and we’re happy to announce that volunteer sign-ups are now open. We hope you will join us!  All volunteers must meet five requirements to participate in the festival:

  • be at least 16 years of age as of Saturday, September 3, 2022
  • commit to at least one five-hour shift;
  • attend a mandatory 90-minute virtual briefing session in advance of the festival;
  • pick-up your t-shirt at the Library of Congress in advance of the Festival;
  • sign a Library of Congress Voluntary Services Agreement when you pick up your t-shirt.

The Festival is looking for volunteers to provide wayfinding, distribute programs, act as stage ushers, man information booths and much more.

If you are confident you can meet the criteria outlined above and you wish to be a 2022 volunteer, please click here to complete the registration form ( before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

Once you have completed the registration form, you will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours with complete instructions. If you are unable to access the link to the form, please email to apply. In the interest of being green, volunteers will receive volunteer assignments and a Volunteer Briefing Manual by email. 

Testing Opportunity at 2022 Regional Gathering!

Why join Mensa? A big reason is the camaraderie of being among a group of diverse people who share your love of learning. Some like the social aspect of the organization, which includes everything from local game nights to big national events like our Annual Gathering or our Regional Gathering. Others enjoy intellectual events, such as speaker meetings, Colloquiums, and CultureQuest®.

We are excited to announce more testing has been scheduled!

  • Date: Saturday, August 13, 2022 
  • Time: 9 – 11 am. Check-in begins at 8:15 am, and testing begins promptly at 9:00. 
  • Location: Sheraton Reston Hotel (11810 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, Virginia 20191) 


1. Please pre-purchase the voucher and bring the relevant receipt/e-mail/voucher number to the test session. You may pay on site, but note that there will be no change available so have exact change or a credit card ready. Also if you plan to pay on site, please arrive closer to 8:15 to allow ample time to be processed. 

2. After the test, you are welcome to stay and enjoy the gathering free of charge for Saturday. Please RSVP for the test ( to secure your spot in the session and to expedite registration. Upon arriving at the hotel, please stop in at the registration area, and you will be directed to the testing room for checking in. For minors: your parent can wait in the public hotel spaces for you, but we don’t allow people into the event space without a registration or badge.  Your parent is welcome to register as your guest for the day if you’d like to enjoy the RG together. 

3. For minors aged 14+, any ID with name, photo, and date of birth is acceptable to enter the testing site. There is also a consent form you should bring. We cannot test minors under the age of 14. 

If you’re unable to make one of these testing sessions, remember that Mensa offers a Private Testing option for $99. With 11 private testing centers around the DMV, you can schedule the test at a time and location that’s convenient for you. COVID-specific requirements are likely to change, so as we get closer to the date of testing, we will share any updates with you.

Summer Volunteer Opportunity!

The Humane Rescue Alliance is a DC non-profit that is dedicated to ensuring the safety and welfare of all animals, in addition to bringing people and animals together. Every month, they help 400 animals meet their forever family, they spay and neuter 565 animals, their field officers answer 1,600 calls for help, and they benefit from 2,400 hours of volunteer work. See more about their mission by visiting their website.

Metropolitan Washington Mensa is hosting a “Helping Hands Pet Pantry Packaging Party” (that was a tongue-twister!) on Saturday, July 16th: we’ll be purchasing bulk pet food and dividing it up to stock HRA’s pantry. We would be happy to accept:

  • Paypal donations to (please leave a comment so we know what this is for and please “Send to a Friend/Family” to avoid fees) or a mailed cheque to our Treasurer (made out to Metropolitan Washington Mensa and sent to: PO Box 230455, Centreville VA 20120)
  • Donations of unopened dry food (no prescription, low-calorie, weight management or expired foods please) – please contact Tabby Vos ( for drop-off address.
  • Your time on July 16th to help separate the food into smaller bags (detailed information from the host is in the June and July Cap-M newsletters).

For the kittens! For the puppies!

Mensa Foundation Scholarship applications are open!

Mensa Foundation US Scholarship applications are now available (the window to apply is September 15th, 2021 through January 15th, 2022).  Eligible applicants must be enrolled at an accredited U.S. institute of higher learning and must write an essay of not more than 550 words explaining their career, academic and/or vocational goals and how they plan to achieve those goals.  Keep in mind that applicants do not have to be a member of Mensa to apply.  Please see the link below for more information and to submit an application!

On behalf of our MWM Scholarship Chair, Rachael Sampson, we would also like to take this opportunity to ask for your help in spreading the word about our scholarship opportunities.  If you know anyone who qualifies, please do not hesitate to let them know! Additionally, if you know anyone who works with young adults (teacher, guidance counselor, social worker, pastor, etc.) please let them know of this opportunity to help spread the word.  Thanks in advance for your assistance!

We Won the Diamond Award!

The Diamond Award is the highest level in Mensa’s annual Jewel Awards! The Jewel awards recognize “local groups’ membership-related activities and their active participation in all that Mensa has to offer,” according to immediate past National Chair LaRae Bakerink.

A hearty CONGRATULATIONS is due for our entire chapter and especially anyone contributing to MWM leadership! Metropolitan Washington Mensa has won the Diamond award among all Class 1 chapters (those with more than 1,100 members) in the annual Mensa Jewel Awards, announced in September.

The jewel awards recognize “local groups’ membership-related activities and their active participation in all that Mensa has to offer,” according to immediate past National Chair LaRae Bakerink.

A round of applause is also due to several MWM members who took home individual awards, including

  • Tabby Vos, National Service Award
  • Lowell Aplebaum, National Certificate of Appreciation
  • Jason Seiler, Chairman’s Service Award

To see the full list of winners, visit