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View Poll Results: did you feel welcomed when you joined your 1st club?

Voters
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  • Yes

    63 68.48%
  • No

    16 17.39%
  • they liked me but I did not like them

    1 1.09%
  • we warmed up to each other after time

    9 9.78%
  • they did not play the retriever game I chose to play

    3 3.26%
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Thread: When You Feel Like an Outsider

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Default When You Feel Like an Outsider

    In many conversations and RTF posts we hear about folk who are not members of a retriever club. Or have been members of clubs in the past and have not felt welcomed. Or are new members of retriever clubs and want to pounce with vigor and enthusiasm but seem to be not taken seriously by the club members.
    There are many reasons for this. Every retriever club has a membership list. The club I am in has 80+ members. They also have a "core group" that seem to do everything. Everything from being members of the board, secretary and treasurer to the chairs of tests and marshals and workers. While at some point every person will toss a duck at least once at one event. The core group will be at every event making things run smoothly.
    The grizzled veterans of the core group have seen new people or "Fresh Meat" as I have jokingly referred to them in the past, come and go. For every person that makes it into the core group, ten will be a member for a summer or two and then drift away. Others will be in the class of the club members who toss that one duck once at one test. But are not willing or because of circumstances of life not able to do more at this time.
    So what can you do as a new person in a retriever club to be taken seriously by the core group? Do you need fancy dog boxes with the offspring of an FC/AFC in it? No. Do you need fresh, unseen training grounds to share with the group? No. Do you need to order everything in the dogs afield catalog? No. All you need to do is come to whatever events your club has. Be on time or early. Boldly walk up to the equipment trailer ask to do something. Stay to the end. Start picking things up without being asked. Have a good attitude and do not lurk in the back. Make your self known to the group by your actions and you will be remembered and soon will be invited to private training sessions and hunting and a slippery slope of activity will be at your feet. Good luck to you all!
    Ken Bora
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  2. #2
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    somewhere between Boca Grande and Nova Scotia
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    Default

    I voted yes, but the first club I joined only had about 8 members and they needed me probably more than I needed them. Not that I added that much but they really needed new blood to keep going.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    South Dakota
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    Default

    I voted yes but I am a member of a small group. When I first joined every single person there made me feel like I was right at home, they never treated me like an some new guy that they could boss around and understood to the fullest that I had a pup that didn't know what the heck was going on. They understood that I had never trained a dog before and they were willing to give me any adviced that I asked for and alot that I wasn't smart enough to ask for.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    WI
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    Default

    The first club I joined was over 80 miles, across Metro rush hour traffic, one way. I entered a room full of burly guys in flannel shirts. One guy did take the time to come over and ask about my dogs. Upon hearing the response, he said, "Shouldn't you be home getting ready for Westminster?" First and last meeting of that club...

    Four years later, despairing of ever getting going in this without club membership, I've joined a different club. They seem to be a great group of people. Unfortunately, activity has come to a screeching halt in honor of hunting season They've got some really nice stuff planned for new members and novices for next year, and I'm really looking forward to it.

    Good post, Ken, thanks.

    One thing I'd like to tell clubs, and this is based on years with a show-oriented breed club, is that the core group of workers needs to be willing to put some time into educating new folks on how to do stuff if they want help. This particular club has a history of either dumping massive jobs on people who have no idea what they're getting into (and then criticizing, of course) or saying "it's easier to do it myself than tell someone how to do it." And then complain that it's always the same ol' people doing the work. We saw the same thing you describe... people joining and wandering off after a short time, or joining but never really making a contribution to the club. Some of it was just human nature, but some of it was the way the club itself treated people. Not sour grapes - I hung around long enough to be an officer

  5. #5
    Senior Member JS's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
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    Iowa
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    Default

    Glad you brought up this topic, Ken. I have seen a couple posts recently in which someone was disappointed in the experience they had in joining a club.
    Any newbie asking for advice is almost certain to be told to "join a club ... you will learn a lot and the people are great!".
    This is generally true, in that training with a group is essential if you want any degree of success. But you CANNOT expect that EVERYTHING you learn will be good advice nor that ALL the folks you meet will be your new "best friends".
    1. Everyone out there training dogs has their own ideas and only some of them will work for you. I can tell you some pretty good stories about some "help" I once got from a grizzled, old codger in a tatttered white coat. Advice you get from someone who is there watching and sees your problem is far better than trying to get answers on the internet, BUT remember there will be conflicting opinions in a training group just like you get here and you have to listen to it all and sort out good from the BS.
    2. Retriever enthusiasts are just like any other group of people ... there are some great folks and some jerks. You will probably meet some good friends there but remember, you joined because of your common interest. Do your share and a little extra, pay attention to what the other guy wants you to do when he/she is running, and expect the same when you are running.
    Get out of it what you can but don't expect it to be perfect. Some of these "core groups" you see have taken YEARS to develop.
    Kinda like your best hunting buddy. May not be your best friend but it's who you want to be with that day.
    JS

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2004
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    North Central Alabama
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    Default

    I've given up on joining Retriever Clubs, there are 2 relatively close to me, one is just a bit too far, but they are a great bunch of guys, I will attend some of their events and training days, and help. The other one which is much closer, I have sent about 5 pm's to someone on this board who is active with them offering my help and haven't even gotten a response, at least a hell no we don't need your stinkin help would make me feel better than being ignored.
    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the crotch of the person who screws up your day and may their arms be too short to scratch.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Default

    Bama, your signature line made me laugh out loud. Thanks!
    Everybody's a !@#$ing expert.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arturo's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Houston
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    Default

    I could feel all the love and joy in the air when I attended my 1st meeting at Lone Star Retriever Club. The 3 main members were Verdell Matter, Bill Schrader & Jerry Wickliffe. There just weren't enough hugs and kisses to go around.

    Dubya
    Quote = "Maybe the "nice and helpful" don't know enough to know the original poster is an idiot." Achiro_Jan. 09

    I don't own a dog. I'm a cat person. I'm only here for the GDG!
    Formerly known as WAH, W, Dubya & Dubaya

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ken Bora's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaK9
    I have sent about 5 pm's to someone on this board who is active with them offering my help and haven't even gotten a response, at least a hell no we don't need your stinkin help would make me feel better than being ignored.
    Dude! Ya cant join a retriever club online . And some folk cant figure out how to respond to a RTF PM 8) . You gotta find out where there events are by asking like here like this - "Anyone know of a retriever club in North Central Alabama" Or going to say the AKC web site http://www.akc.org/ and searching and finding these clubs like I just did-
    Black Warrior Retriever Club of Alabama
    Saturday, November 12, 2005 - Sunday, November 13, 2005 Held at State Cattle Ranch Greensboro, AL Entries Close: Friday, October 28, 2005 Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Approved For additional information contact:
    Madron Ramey, Event Secretary 1075 Oak Grove Rd Springville, AL 35146-6838
    (205) 467-2609
    or
    Lower Alabama Hunting Retriever Club Saturday, December 3, 2005 - Sunday, December 4, 2005 Held at Baldwing County Farms Baldwin County, AL
    Entries Close: Saturday, November 19, 2005 Event Status: Approved
    Judging Panel Status: Approved For additional information contact:
    J. Scott McGaw, Event Secretary 12495B Myrtle St Fairhope, AL 36532-6605
    (251) 928-1300
    or
    North Alabama Retriever Club Friday, April 8, 2005 - Sunday, April 10, 2005
    Held at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Decatur, AL
    Entries Open: Monday, January 10, 2005 Entries Close: Tuesday, March 29, 2005
    Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Approved
    For additional information contact: Mrs. Sharon F. Batte, Event Secretary
    11026 Crestfield Dr Se Huntsville, AL 35803-1066 sbatte@mcbclaw.com
    (256) 883-9627
    or
    Montgomery Retriever Club Friday, December 2, 2005 - Sunday, December 4, 2005
    Held at Wadsworth Farm Prattville, AL Entries Close: Wednesday, November 23, 2005Event Status: Approved Judging Panel Status: Pended
    For additional information contact:Mike Crow, Event Secretary
    Po Box 4160 Montgomery, AL 36103-4160(334) 269-2343 mike.crow@beaslyallen.com

    Then pick up the phone and call Madron, Scott, Sharon and Mike. Find out where they are and what they do and when they are having their next event. Then show up with your barn boots on and a can of bug spray to pass around and a smile on your face and ask what you can do to help. Be aggressive in your approach to finding a club. Be aggressive in your work at events and it will show the grizzled veterans you are aggressive about advancing your dogs. Sitting and waiting for an email reply is not a valid excuse as I have just spent five minutes and found you four clubs and contact numbers. There are more but I don't feel like cut and pasting them all. And this is just the AKC site. NAHRA and ukc/hrc have even more. Sitting and saying "oh they never got back to me" is lame, pick up the phone!
    Ken Bora
    "So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold

    "The Greatest Obstacle to Discovery is not Ignorance -- It is the Illusion of Knowledge" ~ Daniel Boorstin

  10. #10
    Senior Member Vicki Worthington's Avatar
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    Homer Glen, IL
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    Default Welcome?

    My first retriever club was a new club. It had somewhere between 30-50 members. I was enthusiastically welcomed & felt a part of the group. I volunteered to work at trials, serve as club secretary, whatever they needed. They took me up on it. I learned a lot, made great, lasting friendships, and really had a good time.

    I later joined another retriever club in the area that had the small core group. I was also enthusiastically welcomed, put to work, asked to judge, served as field trial secretary & helped as chief cook-and-bottle-washer whenever needed.

    When I moved to the midwest, I was welcomed. It takes awhile to prove yourself to people who have worked hard at putting on trials, tests, etc. for years, but it works.
    Do Something! Lead, Follow, or Get Out of The Way

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