Here are the simple instructions that Dragonbite figgured out for connecting to the channel.

Worked for me last night, and was easy to get there!

Installed xchat-gnome (using Synaptic, Apt-Get, Adept, whatever)
(may not have to do this, I just uninstalled it because I never used IRC before)
select Connect from the menu
select FreeNode from the list
typed /j #ubuntu-connecticut and hit <Enter>
Viola! I was connected!!
So I propose our first meeting for Thursday 4/19/2007 from 8pm to 9pm (meeting can go longer, but my son will be over and I will be forced to play video games with him )