The Acorn Cafe
What is the Acorn Cafe?
The Acorn Cafe is the heart and soul of the Rescue Ranger Fan Community. Though it serves as a place where members of the community can display their art and stories the point can also be made that the primary function of the Acorn Cafe is to serve as an assembly or meeting hall for the fans to come together and joke and communicate in a relaxed and supportive environment.
What is it like there?
Inside the fandom the Acorn Cafe has taken on the collective mental image of being a proverbial café, complete with drinks, tables, booths, and a comfy couch in front of a 46-inch LCD television. Further revisions have included such additions as the stairwell from the RMS Titanic and an archival library. However, every patron has got another picture of the Cafe and its facilities in their imagination, so answers to this question tend to differ.
What does it look like?
Though it has had several guises over the decades the Acorn Cafe exists today as a phpBB styled board, complete with all of the features that style of construction allows.
The board itself is divided into several sections.
The RRt (art) Board is a place where community members can post their latest pieces for comment and display and also in the hope of getting assistance with final revisions.
The Off-Topic section is a place where members of the fandom can converse about everyday topics not specifically related to the Rescue Rangers. The conversations are always polite, usually witty, and every so often...enlightening.
The Story Board is for those members of the community with a talent for writing to display their works. Some of the most noted pieces of Rescue Ranger fan-fiction have been first posted for the world to enjoy on the Acorn Cafe, a trait that continues in this section.
The Acorn Cafe board is the namesake for which the entire site is named. Here members of the fandom discuss issues raised by the canon, inform each other about Rescue Ranger news, and share humor based on the series.
The Cafe Foyer is the most recent addition to the Cafe, and is used to welcome new members to the board. The welcome threads allow members to introduce themselves, and their fursonas (if any.) Oftentimes, they feature "welcoming salutes," featuring both paintballs and liberal amounts of confetti (and even battleships).
Once every year since 2002, the Cafe hosts the Golden Acorn Awards.
Who runs this place?
Who can join the Acorn Cafe?
The Acorn Cafe is open to all whom share an interest in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and are willing to follow the rules, though even this requirement is not written in stone. Several members had no true knowledge of the series before joining but today are just as dedicated to the series and fandom as any other!
February 8: A message board called "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers", later to be known as The Acorn Cafe, is launched at Inside The Web, led by Natasha Kashefipour, then 14 years old. Before this date, the Usenet was the only online meeting-point for Rangerphiles.
February 14: The young Acorn Cafe becomes a battle location when the St. Valentine's Day Massacre goes off.
November: Loss of Darren "Sabrewolf" Perlongo.
June: Framwinkle and Chipette's wedding. They've found each other at the Acorn Cafe.
Fall: Natasha Kashefipour is forced to leave the Cafe due to private issues. Indy takes over.
December 24: A severe crash reduces the Acorn Cafe to the letters "gjk". A new Acorn Cafe is set up at Inside The Web after deciding this step on the Off-Topic Board, and Julie Bihn turned her R.O.A.R. Board at Inside The Web into an Acorn Cafe—all at once. For about five days, there are two Acorn Cafes. Illustration by Jeff Parkes
December 29: The new Acorn Cafe, having to deal with problems, is shut down again, and the former R.O.A.R. Board stays the one and only Acorn Cafe.
February 28: The Great Migration. After Inside The Web has announced its complete shutdown, Stephen Clouse relaunches Acorn Cafe, Story Board and Off-Topic Board on RPGBoard. The Chat Pack moves to voy.com.
March 9: Inside The Web shuts down, and with it the old Acorn Cafe.
May 10: Deborah Walley passes away and leaves the Rangerphiles to mourn.
December 29: The first annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremonies are held.
January 12: The link to Of Mice and Mayhem appears at the Cafe. This event may change the fandom forever.
December 29: The second annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremonies are held.
January 30: The Acorn Cafe's URL changes to what it still is today: www.theacorncafe.org
December 29: The third annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremonies are held.
June 23: The brand-new phpBB Acorn Cafe opens its doors.
January 5: The fourth annual Golden Acorn Awards ceremonies are held.
February 24: Fan art gets its own section: the RRt Board.
May 7,8: The Acorn Cafe gets its own color theme. The Rangerphiles quickly get used to it.
August 1: The Acorn Cafe Foyer is inaugurated.
September 15: Custom graphics (such as acorn buttons) are added to the Cafe and the color scheme is slightly changed again.
February 28: The Cafe suffers from a severe breakdown when the 2006 Golden Acorn Awards ceremonies are to be held.
May 24: The First Annual Poetry Night special event is held on the Cafe Chat, beginning at 2100GMT (9:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time).
August 21: The Cafe is switched to phpBB 3.0, with lots of problems and bugs resulting that have to be fixed in the following days.
August 31: Many of the bugs are fixed, and the color scheme and buttons are changed yet again to feature the Rangers themselves.
The Acorn Cafe hasn't only spawned the Golden Acorn Awards, but it has received some of them itself.
2004 Golden Acorn Awards: Best All-Time Website
2005 Golden Acorn Awards: Most Informative Website, Best All-Time Website