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Laurae -- You are becoming alarming and scary.

 

 

Laurae needs a warning label pinned-on

 

TEC, cut it out. If you don't understand why these comments are unacceptable, write me privately.

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Laurae needs a warning label pinned-on for greeting visitors at the Finals. Ugly scene: Visitor grumbles about something, and gets a response like post #20, above. -- TEC

 

Was this you? (scroll down in comments)

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To paraphrase something I saw on Life Is Good - People who say how it should be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

 

I know the people who are involved in putting on the 2013 National Sheepdog Finals and I know they will put on a memorable and wonderful event. Thanks to all who have supported and will support them in those efforts, including volunteers like Lynn,

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Thank you to Lynn and everyone who is volunteering. The Finals, or any trial for that matter, is dependent upon those who wish to lend a hand. It is always appreciated!

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Kristi,

The answer to your questions is yes, that's him.

 

J.

Thank you for pointing that out. But the "him" she refers to is not the admissions guy at the gate who evidently was making-up his own rules, nor the gentleman who sincerely apologized, nor the person who knew a lot about conformation trials (see link to post #28 above).

 

The trial compensated my wife and me for wrongfully turning us away and requiring us to unnecessarily drive hundreds of miles across an international border. But as usual, we turned it into a good time regardless of the mess-up at the gate. We had done very well (in the money) at an SDT the previous day, for which I had arrived early to help set-up. I try to do more than my share.

 

I wish to make it clear that I believe the trial committee referenced in the link contained in post #28, above, did the right thing after the error was made, and I respect them for that.

 

I feel certain the 2013 US National Finals will have clear, well published criteria about visitors' dogs, and that with proper volunteer preparation they will be correctly implemented. Best wishes for a successful event. -- TEC

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TEC, If you had an issue then why not outline it in the beginning instead of being rather cryptic about it? A "FYI, this is what happened to me, so it's something to be aware of" sure gets the point across much better than the rather vague "I've never been to one but this is how you need to run it" statement that you seemed to be making.

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I wish to make it clear that I believe the trial committee referenced in the link contained in post #28, above, did the right thing after the error was made, and I respect them for that.

This is gracious, TEC.

 

Why preface it with this?

The trial compensated my wife and I for wrongfully turning us away, requiring us to unnecessarily drive hundreds of miles across an international border. But as usual, my wife, my dog and I turned it into a good time regardless of the mess-up at the gate. We had done very well (in the money) at an SDT the previous day, for which I had arrived early to help set-up. I always do more than my share.

I can imagine you do.

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TEC, If you had an issue then why not outline it in the beginning instead of being rather cryptic about it? A "FYI, this is what happened to me, so it's something to be aware of" sure gets the point across much better than the rather vague "I've never been to one but this is how you need to run it" statement that you seemed to be making.

Thank you, but you can phrase your stories and make your suggestions as you wish, and I will make mine my way. Otherwise, they wouldn't be our own. Like I said at the beginning, a healthy organization seeks suggestions from all sectors. -- TEC

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TEC, I'm sorry you had a bad experience at the Canadian Finals, but you shouldn't allow this to color your views on life (or the 2013 Finals) from this point forward. It sounds as if yours was a fluke event, and the organizing committee apologized. If it were me, it'd be something I try to leave in the past.

 

Just speaking for the Finals as held at Belle Grove - there's nothing on the Finals website saying spectator dogs aren't allowed. And I know for certain that they were allowed in 2010 (the last time the Finals were held at this site).

 

That being said - I'd discourage the average individual from bringing a pet dog. You never know how the average pet is going to respond to the presence of the sheep. People have worked very long and hard to get to the Finals, and it'd be terrible to have your pet responsible for ruining someone's run. You can't count on the weather being cool enough to safely leave a dog in your car, nor will there be much (if any) shade in the parking area. I'd sure hate to make the drive out, only to feel as if I should turn around and leave right away because my dog was being disruptive. Better safe than sorry, for sure.

 

And TEC, don't take this personally; I'm talking about the "average pet", not a "trial-savvy working sheepdog".

 

Sue and Emily, as you know, I'm only one (and probably among the least of!) MANY volunteers. So no thanks required! The people we all owe a huge debt to are those (like LauraE) who have invested countless hours in helping put on trials - the 2011 Finals and a recent benefit for last summer's horrific Colorado fires immediately come to mind. As well as those who are organizing this trial, and coordinating all the volunteers, or who are moving mountains to locate sponsors to make it all happen. It takes an army, and there are a lot of individuals who have been investing tremendous effort. They're the heroes!

 

What I'm hoping for here is a "trickle up" effect: the more people who can volunteer for tasks that *those experienced with this process at this trial site* can assure any potential volunteer is easily within anyone's capability, the more we can free people up who might currently be assigned to tasks below their "pay scale". To wit: virtually every volunteer slot is desperately short-handed at present. Anyone who volunteers to help sell merchandise (for example!) will free up Open handlers who have currently been assigned to the merchandise table (and yes, I do know some such!). Those handlers will then be free to work exhaust - a task that's WELL beyond my own level of expertise! I'm pretty certain that the only skill required in working the merchandise table is the ability to make change - and you get one of the best seats in the house!!!

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just so i can get some perspective... how many volunteer positions are there for the 2013 finals and how many volunteers are currently signed up?

 

thanks,

dave

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Dave: as I'm not a volunteer coordinator (merely a volunteer), I really can't answer that question for all the different things. According to the schedule I received, a total of seven of us are handling the gate at present (that's Tuesday-Sunday, inclusive), which pretty much means each of us is working virtually one full day. I've heard from friends involved (as coordinators or as volunteers) that other positions are also short-handed. The website seems to indicate that many volunteer positions are still unfilled.

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Dave - For the jobs of scribing/running and posting/timing with either one or two fields running each day, there are a total of 72 half-day slots alone. For announcing on the Nursery field, there are 16 2-hour slots. Additionally, there are folks manning the sales tent (I'm going to say 2-3 people on average at all times for six days), hospitality (2-3 people average each of six days for all day), plus pen and exhaust crews for both fields. This does not, of course, include the volunteer coordinators who also are present and working much of the time.

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And, Dave, that doesn't include a number of other volunteers that I have seen in the past, depending on the location and set-up of the Finals - someone to check in the handlers' campers and direct them to camper areas/spots; a person to check up on the campground and sometimes provide rides to and from the field; someone to put on the duck demo; and a few people to "float" and be helpful wherever needed (at the 2010 Finals, there were free eye checks and help was needed there).

 

There are many positions that it is easy to overlook - some are less essential but simply make things go more smoothly or provide a better level of organization by allowing the trial organizers to concentrate on their responsibilities while having eyes, ears, and helpers around and about.

 

Please understand that my thoughts and opinions are those strictly of a volunteer, not only at a few Finals but at some other events. My hat is off to those who take on the awesome responsibility of organizing and putting on a trial, the volunteer coordinators, and all the volunteers who help make it a memorable event.

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And Annie Palmer and a group of volunteers just finished sorting 650 sheep to come to Belle Grove out of the flock providing the stock for the Finals. Its getting closer, woooohoooo.

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In a nice example of the pitfalls of editing the content of comments, the original content and tone of post #3 by TEC, which prompted a number of responses and comments, has been changed. As context for those joining the discussion later, although the comments that follow may seem like non sequiturs at best and irrelevant rants at worst, trust they weren't. They were relevant responses to the healthy discussion TEC himself called for--a discussion he altered significantly by changing his initial contribution.

 

ETA: Of course, the most critical piece is that folks who can offer to volunteer, knowing that the entire community will benefit from your generosity.

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In a nice example of the pitfalls of editing the content of comments, the original content and tone of post #3 by TEC, which prompted a number of responses and comments, has been changed. As context for those joining the discussion later, although the comments that follow may seem like non sequiturs at best and irrelevant rants at worst, trust they weren't. They were relevant responses to the healthy discussion TEC himself called for--a discussion he altered significantly by changing his initial contribution.

 

ETA: Of course, the most critical piece is that folks who can offer to volunteer, knowing that the entire community will benefit from your generosity.

As I initially suggested, admission gate volunteers, I'm told, will receive an orientation to become knowledgeable in order to answer common visitors inquiries.

 

My questions about the unreasonableness of the statement in the first post (this thread) that the job requires absolutely no expertise were answered through discussion and debate. A success story all 'round.

 

Admissions is an important task, and organizers/coordinators will pre-brief them. Hey, a free pass for the day, and the camaraderie of old and new friends. They need you. -- TEC

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The trial compensated my wife and me for wrongfully turning us away and requiring us to unnecessarily drive hundreds of miles across an international border. But as usual, we turned it into a good time regardless of the mess-up at the gate. We had done very well (in the money) at an SDT the previous day, for which I had arrived early to help set-up. I try to do more than my share.

 

 

Tom aka TEC,

 

What SDT did you do well in? Was it an arena trial? Or a Novice run? Just curious. I judged you at a couple of trial if not more and don't remember you helping out. You might have, so please refresh my memory.

 

Much thanks in advance for not avoiding the questions

Diane!

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Getting people to help at the Finals is a job in itself. Treating your free help is key. I know when I helped with the three Finals held on the West coast (in addition to running my dogs) I was well taken care of....we all busted our butts making sure everything was going well (or close to it)

 

If everyone does just one little piece of the puzzle, the puzzle will be complete. Since I am not going, I did my part by sponsoring two handlers.

 

I think we should concentrate on getting the needed help than complain about how you were treated somewhere else, or offer advice on what you think the free help should do or not do.....

 

Please keep us post if you get the help needed, otherwise we can spread the word via other means.

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Tom aka TEC,

 

What SDT did you do well in? Was it an arena trial? Or a Novice run? Just curious. I judged you at a couple of trial if not more and don't remember you helping out. You might have, so please refresh my memory.

 

Is this necessary? Are you accusing him of lying?

 

I run a huge agility show and help out at at least half of the shows I go to but not every one. Where I do help I don't shout "Hey look at me." If someone didn't know me and only came across me at certain shows they could well get the impression that I never lift a finger. And although I am one of the main organisers, I rely on others to tell me who has been helping so they can be thanked appropriately, but many want neither thanks nor praise.

 

 

I think we should concentrate on getting the needed help than complain about how you were treated somewhere else

 

He didn't mention what had happened to him until someone did some digging on the net and brought the subject up, if you recall.

 

All this is the result of what I see as hypersensitivity at perceived criticism. It comes with the territory if you stick your head over the parapet and organise an event. Explain the realities, don't complain.

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Well, alrighty then. I have no idea what just happened here, so ... :blink:

 

As someone who worked as a volunteer at the 2012 National Finals in Klamath Falls, (overseeing the practice field for 3 days,) I just want to say that if anyone here is contemplating volunteering at Belle Grove - go for it! :D You'll be hot, sweaty, dusty and tired, you'll work your butt off, end up doing more than you expected to, meet and see more people than you ever imagined and you will have an AWESOME time.

For all volunteer positions, you'll be ably guided in what your duties may be, no matter how experienced you are. The volunteer coordinator(s) will work with you to make sure you're a good fit for whatever job(s) you choose. If you have any doubts or questions - ASK.

The National Finals are something amazing and special in the sheepdogging world. You'll see many of the best handlers in North America and some really awesome dogs, all putting their hearts and souls into the job at hand. You'll see and meet dozens, scores, hundreds of spectators who have never seen anything like it, and their awe and amazement will be a lot like watching kids at the county fair. Be prepared to answer questions, of course - but don't hesitant to point a spectator to someone else with a little more savvy if you find you don't have an answer. You're just one cog in a very big wheel, so it's no shame to say, "Gosh, I don't know, but if you talk to so-and-so at the whatsit booth, I bet they'll be able to help you."

National Finals - wherever it takes place on any given year - is only possible because of its army of volunteers. All you need is good health, a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn and roll with the flow. Plus a hearty dose of insanity never hurts. :P You may find yourself asked to help fill in at some other job than the one you signed up for, so come prepared for that, too. Organizers try take good care of their helpers, so don't take it personally if something goes a little off the rails. You're there to put your shoulder to the National Finals wheel, just like the rest of the volunteer army, so go on! Sign a few days of your life away and have a great time.

Best wishes to all attending the 2013 National Finals!

~ Gloria

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