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About Bluegrass Mensa

Bluegrass Mensa is a local chapter of American Mensa, a not-for-profit society whose sole qualification for membership is a score in the top 2% on any of a number of standard IQ tests. Mensa has three major purposes:

  • To identify and foster human intelligence.

  • To encourage research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence.

  • To provide a stimulating intellectual, social environment for its members.

Mensa holds no opinions, champions no causes, and is not affiliated in any way with other organizations. Bluegrass Mensa serves central and eastern Kentucky, and is in Mensa Region 3. Our bylaws were last revised in 2005.

Bluegrass Mensa History, Geographical Range, and Members


American Mensa recognized Bluegrass Mensa as a local group when our charter was signed on December 1, 1964.  Our geographic range is central and eastern Kentucky, as depicted on the map of Kentucky counties on our home page. We have about 150 members and our ages range from 5 to 80+ years old.

Members of Bluegrass Mensa who attend functions regularly value kindness and good manners. We would be disappointed if members attending our events behaved otherwise.

The range of our interests is unbelievably diverse.  Conversation at our group functions is usually general and light, because we love to laugh and have a good time, but if someone starts discussing an obscure topic, usually one or two members will know enough about the topic to enter into the discussion – even if the total number of people present is only 8 or 10.


One reason why people like to attend Mensa functions is that they feel like they’ve found their “tribe,” a group of people who are similar to them in a lot of ways. As one person observed after seeing our group in a restaurant, “They don’t resemble each other, but they look like they’re having a lot of fun.”


If you live or work in our geographic area, and are interested in joining Mensa, please contact our LocSec (President), Kaye Arnold, by e-mail at or by phone at (859)229-9246. If you live outside our area, please American Mensa's National office at 817-607-0060 or email for information on a Mensa group near you.


Bluegrass Mensa Get-Togethers


We generally have one monthly meeting and two Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings each month. Our SIGs are a Dine-Around and a Games Night. We also have several Mensa youth events each year and several of our members attend Regional Gatherings.

Dine Around. Our Dine-Around is for people who enjoy eating out with friends and sampling both new and different cuisines and good old American food. Sometimes we meet for dinner on weekdays and sometimes we get together for lunch, usually on a Saturday. Members who attend during their birth month are eligible for a free meal. If it’s no one’s birth month, we hold a drawing and the winner’s meal is free.


Some of the restaurants where we have eaten include:  Alfalfa, Applebees, Athenian Grill, Azur, BD’s Mongolian Grill, Bella Notte, Bourbon N’Toulouse, Charlie Brown’s, Cheddar’s, Cici’s Pizza, City Barbecue, Coba Cocina, Columbia Steak House, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, Durango’s Mexican Restaurant, Olive Garden, Fazoli’s, Firehouse Subs, Golden Corral, Hall’s on the River, Happy Dragon, Jalapenos, Joe Bologna’s, Ketch Seafood Grill, Logan’s Roadhouse, Marrika’s, Masala Indian Restaurant, Mr. Kabab Mediterranean Eatery, Number One China Buffet, Ramsey’s Diner, Rincon Mexicano, Saul Good, Shakespeare & Co., Sonny’s Real Pit Barbecue, Taj India, Texas Roadhouse, Tolly Ho, Wallace Station, Windy Corner Market, and Zaxby’s.

Games Night. The other SIG is a Games Night for people who enjoy playing card games and board games at the homes of Bluegrass Mensa members. We don’t play cut-throat because we realize that any of us could beat everyone else on any given night, so we’re far more interested in laughing and having a good time than in who wins the game.


Some of our favorite games for (6-12 players) include: Double Cancellation Hearts (which may have been invented by a Mensan), Exploding Kittens (two groups play at once), Codenames, Sequence, Balderdash, Taboo, Syzygy, Cards Against Humanity, Consensus, and Pictionary.


Monthly Party. Sometimes our Monthly Party is a party at someone’s home, sometimes it’s an outing, and sometimes it’s a learning experience.  We generally have a New Year’s Party, Derby Party and Christmas Party, plus other lovely parties at member’s homes. We’ve also visited the Kentucky Horse Park, the Ephriam McDowell House, Whitehall (Cassius Clay’s home), Shakertown, SkyTalks at U.K., and Makerspace, where we learned about their large-scale carpentry and metalworking machines that members of the public who join for one month or more can use for their own projects.  We’ve had speakers on the topics of Kirilian Photography, Autonomous Robots, Blacksmithing and Welding, 3-D Printing, Sailing, and Cheesemaking. (If you have a topic of interest and you’d like to be a speaker, please be sure to tell our LocSec.)


Mensa Youth. Our Gifted Children program is open to children and youth of all ages through age 17. To participate, the youth needs to either be a member of Mensa, the child or grandchild of a Mensan, or have a Mensan as a guardian. Safety of our youth is a prime consideration, so each child needs to have an adult present and each adult must be accompanied by a child. Some of our activities have included: several youth games nights, plus outings to Kids Place, Champs, a swimming pool, and Jacobson Park Lake.

Bluegrass Mensa’s Admission Tests


Mensa accepts the scores from 200 different tests. If you have an existing test score that would qualify you for Mensa, there’s no need to take an additional test. To qualify, the score needs to be at or above the scores of 98 percent of the general population.  ACT and SAT scores from the years after 1990 or 1991 are not accepted because that’s when those tests were modified to include questions that were based on actual knowledge instead of reasoning ability. Mensa accepts qualifying test scores from the Otis-Lennon test. Some Kentucky elementary schools use the Otis-Lennon test to determine which children qualify for gifted and talented programs.

Bluegrass Mensa generally offers Mensa Admissions Tests four times a year, in January, April, July, and October, at Sullivan University in Lexington, KY to people who are at least 14 years old on the day of the test. Applicants can take a Mensa Admissions Test only one time; repeat testing is not available.

In the morning test session, the tests are the Wonderlic and the Reynolds Adaptable Intelligence Test (RAIT). In the afternoon test session, we offer a culture-fair test battery primarily for people whose native language is not English. These three tests are non-verbal, requiring instead the ability to determine relationships in figures and shapes. Applicants can sign up for both tests sessions if they desire; the price of each of the test sessions is $60. To sign up for one or both of the Mensa Admissions Tests, please contact our Testing Coordinator John Barnes at 859-253-ll78 or  Additional general information is available on the American Mensa website,


Bluegrass Mensa Facebook Group


Members of Mensa are invited to join our Bluegrass Mensa Facebook Group where Bluegrass Mensa activities are posted. It is also used for discussions of topics of interest and it can be used to make last minute activity plans (movies, hiking, etc.) with others in the group.

Regional Gatherings

Regional Gatherings (RGs) are held all over the United States and in other countries. Mensans from near and far gather for a weekend of fun, great conversations, snacking, eating, drinking, playing board games, dancing, listening to speakers, and a variety of other activities. Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Indianapolis are among the nearby Mensa groups that hold annual RGs.

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