Thank You Pals, Roadkill, Cary & Chris or 3 phases of training groups.
With our summer of training and testing fleeting and the start of the hunting season knocking on the door (6 days here) I find myself in a reflective state of mind. This summer, partially because of Roadkills initiative with the spring training jamboree he chaired. Hosted by Pals on Ryder's Wetland. And partially because of how things fell into place in the retriever club I am a member of. I helped organize 2 similar training days up here. Though often talked about at every years general meeting, we had not had a club training day for many years. Even though retriever clubs near us seem to have them on a monthly bases. And Cary, who accepted Stan's request / challenge, picked up the jamboree torch and after made his wonderful, motivational offer for whomever does the 3rd jamboree. Your actions motivated me and I hope others in other retriever clubs in our RTF world. I have asked the club I am a member of to put 3 days on the 2014 calendar. At each of the humble 2 I was a part of we (the club) saw brand new people and walked away with a new member or two each time.
These groups are a good thing!
Every time we have a new person pop in her on RTF we ask what part of the world they are in. We try to find them a club and a training group. Yet it seems sometimes a clubs very best trainers do not come to the groups. I stayed up all night thinking about this and it dawned on me. I think, like the Danny Farmer 3 phases of dog training. We have 3 phases of training group participation.
1st when we are all brand new and look in wide wonder at the odd group of people from all different walks of life all gathered together in a marshy field. The wingers and tossers are as foreign as a store bought sling shot is to an 8 year old farm boy. Everything from popper rounds to bird boy help are a new never seen before item. The notion that all these people are there just to help you and your dog. And all they ask in return is you stand in the field for a while and play with the cool giant sling shot can truly be mind blowing. And it should be. This is how the new folks learn how to do things and how not to do things.
2nd happens more slowly. Over time people make friends in the club. They learn who they like to train with and who they do not. They start to have gear of their own. Holding blinds and remote tossers, bird pens and training ground access. They start to feel they are able to advance their dogs more easily on their own. When they like and were they like. They come to enjoy the Splendid Isolation of being all alone in a favorite field in the morning. Nobody but the dogs. No waiting, no bad throws, no late comers or early leavers. No taking the time to train somebody else's dogs. Just a Pure Morning of dog training. It is a wonderful thing. And so slowly, these people stop going to the big club groups. I think at some point this happens to all of us.
3rd happens the slowest of all. And sometimes happens on accident. Everybody needs the big group now and again if for nothing other than to expose a young dog to a big group before dropping $$$ on a Road to Nowhere. So the isolated trainer comes to a group maybe once a summer. Or gathers a larger group of club contacts to come to the isolated trainer. So he/she is still training on her/his private grounds, but with friends. And then, sometimes by accident. sometimes out of selfishness of not wanting a bad throw for their dog. Or a wild dog next to them in line. The isolated trainer shows a brand new person how to set up a tosser. Or explains how a bird boy can help a dog simply by stepping towards or away from the bird. Simple guidance to a noob in a holding blind, about how to use a holding blind. Or showing a pup its first live bird.
And slowly I feel, these simple trivial acts generate a heartfelt thank you from a new person with wide eyes and a puppy. And the phase 2er smiles and feels good. And it dawns on them. While it is good to work at home, alone and advance our dogs. The big club group is not just for dog training. It is for people training.
So thank you Nancy and Stan and Cary for motivating me and thank you to our humble janitor for making those jamboree contacts possible.
To whom ever does the third. I hope you are able to use Cary's offer. But I also hope the wide varied corners of rtf go for it as well.
Maybe a 2Tall southwest desert mountain jam or a Northwest spotted owl jam (that is a POTUS inside joke)
Ether way, Stan, you started the jam. Good Job. We're Jammin',