This thread has generated some great discussion.
Here are some things that I am taking away:
- The old guard has to be willing to step down. All too often we see folks running again for a position they don't want because no one else steps up. Maybe the "newbies" don't want to step on toes by running against someone?
- We need to organize training days and they have to be fun and rewarding. I'd love more thoughts on this. The scheduling of training days need to accommodate members with competing interests.
- We probably need to help folks find a good dog! Maybe offer a puppy referral?
- Maybe a mentoring program for newcomers would help them understand what it takes?
- I think clubs may need to offer something that gives newcomers early success. It doesn't have to be at a licensed event, but I think it's hard to keep going if you feel like you can't compare to the highly trained dogs of other members. Not sure what form this should take. Thoughts?
I also want to point out that only one of the clubs I belong to hosts a trial. This issue is in the hunt test and breed clubs too. I saw one post where someone was worried about only being able to work a half day at an event. I chaired one event and was on the committee of two last year - I would be more than happy to take a half a day if that's what someone is able to give!