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Thread: Picnics and other Gatherings

  1. #1
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    Although I've been on this board for a while, I had the pleasure of attending my first OC gathering last Sunday (7/13). Make no mistake, I definitely had a very good time and enjoyed meeting those of you who also attended. There is something I wanted to mention as a first-time attendee that may or may not be useful to others at future gatherings.

    Have a Greeter/Welcomer/Point-of-Contact for those who arrive.

    As I walked up to the gathering at Long Lake I was, at first, greeted with blank stares and silence. From their point of view, they saw one guy walking toward the picnic. But from MY point of view, I saw a dozen people staring at me without a single smile. This is an intimidating experience, even for those who have a lot of self-confidence. With bags of groceries in hand, I had trouble finding out A) where to put the food, and B) who was "in charge". Nobody was really sure and no one could point to a person and say "he/she is the coordinator".

    It may seem silly to assign someone as a "host" or "supervisor" at such an informal event, but I can assure you it is necessary. We don't all know each other (yet) and it's a little unnerving to have a high school flashback to when you were the new kid and no one wanted to acknowledge you (yes, that was me). One of the other guests wanted to make a monetary contribution to our cause and had some trouble getting a clear answer on how best to help out ("funding pamphlets" was the eventual answer).

    Please, if you're arranging one of these meetings, find a volunteer who will act as a point of contact for people who are arriving. The job may involve nothing more than a handshake, introduction, and "thanks for coming; help yourself to a cheeseburger," but it will make a big difference. Especially if our group is approached by someone who isn't a part of the OC community. When people have questions, the first thing they are going to do is look for the person who appears to be "in charge". Questions can always be redirected to the nearest expert or spokesman, but the curious need a place to start before we can successfully educate them.

    Remember, we aren't just doing these gatherings for our own entertainment, we want to put a friendly, welcoming face on the entire OC community.

    Thanks for hearing me out, and I really look forward to being at the next get-together in my neck of the woods! (Hell, I'll even volunteer to be the WalMart Greeter for it).

  2. #2
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    I know what you mean, you recognize the guys with guns but when you walk up to them no smiles or greetings. Until you introduce yourself at least.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    Great idea. Maybe a big "START HERE" sign.

  4. #4
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    Yeah very good idea. I didn't even think about it as I knew enough people there already when I showed up...

  5. #5
    Regular Member ghosthunter's Avatar
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    Great idea , So when this newbie shows up in Everett later this month someone's going come up and give a big OC welcome. Great than Iwont feel like the kid (joke)who just wet his pants in front of class.

    Thanks 3/325 :celebrate


  6. #6
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    You know I thought about this very thing. I had a box of those sticky name tags but like SV already knew quite a few of the folks.

  7. #7
    Regular Member gsx1138's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the OP. Although when I showed up the crowd was small enough that I didn't feel intimidated. But I do understand what you're saying because I don't know anyone either. Hopefully more picnics or get togethers will change that.
    "Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world." ~ Musashi

  8. #8
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    I apologize...I never gave it a thought, and was spending a bit of time with the KCSO rep. The deputy even suggested we put a sign at the entrance directing people to our location.

    Jim

  9. #9
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    An "Open Carry.Org" banner would be nice that would fit on one of the canopies. The quad group I rode with last year had a nice one, making them easy to find inthe camp groups and staging areas.

  10. #10
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    Trigger Dr wrote:
    I apologize...I never gave it a thought, and was spending a bit of time with the KCSO rep. The deputy even suggested we put a sign at the entrance directing people to our location.

    Jim
    No apologies necessary. I think these gatherings are an excellent idea (and I really did have a great time at the last one); I just want our "people" to be as accessible/approachable as possible to each other as well as those who are curious.

    And for many of you guys it makes sense that you wouldn't see the event from a newcomer's point of view because you already know each other.

    Maybe we can put a thread up here that has FAQs and the "official" answers so that any one of us can volunteer to be the introductory "face" at an event. I'm not necessarily talking about the really hardcore politically motivated stuff, just the surface questions:

    "What's the name of your organization?"
    "Do you have a website?"
    "How often do you meet?"
    "How do I join?"
    "How can I help?"
    "How long have you folks been doing this?"
    "Why do you have these gatherings/functions?"
    "OC is legal?? Are you serious??"

    Some of these questions don't have a direct answer, but new people won't know that. "How do I join" for example. People outside our group won't know that we're not an official "club" with memberships and all that, so they WILL ask.

    Can anyone else think of any Qs that might get asked by someone who knows zero about OC? We have the (incredibly awesome) pamplet to cover things in depth; I'm just thinking about the casual questions that might come up.


  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    3/325 wrote:
    Trigger Dr wrote:
    I apologize..
    +1 on the "No apologies necessary. " You did a lot of work for that meeting and it was noted and appreciated.

    I'll see about getting some signs / banners made up while I'm at work tomorrow.

    Again, thanks for the fine idea.


  12. #12
    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    3/325 wrote:
    "How do I join" for example. People outside our group won't know that we're not an official "club" with memberships and all that, so they WILL ask.
    Perfect example. Over on the Idaho board I watched the news coverage of their Boise zoo outing. They were referred to as the "Idaho Chapter" of OpenCarry.org by the anchor.

  13. #13
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    3/325 wrote:
    Trigger Dr wrote:
    I apologize...I never gave it a thought, and was spending a bit of time with the KCSO rep. The deputy even suggested we put a sign at the entrance directing people to our location.

    Jim
    No apologies necessary. I think these gatherings are an excellent idea (and I really did have a great time at the last one); I just want our "people" to be as accessible/approachable as possible to each other as well as those who are curious.

    And for many of you guys it makes sense that you wouldn't see the event from a newcomer's point of view because you already know each other.

    Maybe we can put a thread up here that has FAQs and the "official" answers so that any one of us can volunteer to be the introductory "face" at an event. I'm not necessarily talking about the really hardcore politically motivated stuff, just the surface questions:

    "What's the name of your organization?"
    "Do you have a website?"
    "How often do you meet?"
    "How do I join?"
    "How can I help?"
    "How long have you folks been doing this?"
    "Why do you have these gatherings/functions?"
    "OC is legal?? Are you serious??"

    Some of these questions don't have a direct answer, but new people won't know that. "How do I join" for example. People outside our group won't know that we're not an official "club" with memberships and all that, so they WILL ask.

    Can anyone else think of any Qs that might get asked by someone who knows zero about OC? We have the (incredibly awesome) pamplet to cover things in depth; I'm just thinking about the casual questions that might come up.
    I'd volunteer to be the greeter, however my answers probably wouldn't
    be appropriate.


    "What's the name of your organization?"
    OCDO
    "Do you have a website?"
    I have several
    "How often do you meet?"
    As little as possible, i mean, don't you realize
    that these people have guns, and how unsafe
    that makes me just to be around them.
    (said while i have a gun on my hip)
    "How do I join?"
    give me 100 bucks, and fill out this paper
    with all your credit card info.
    "How can I help?"
    give me 100 bucks, and fill out this paper
    with all your credit card info....
    i though i just told you this
    "How long have you folks been doing this?"
    since 1823
    "Why do you have these gatherings/functions?"
    pretty much for the food
    "OC is legal?? Are you serious??"
    No, all these upstanding citizens are
    out here just because we like to
    break the law sometimes.

    probably not all that funny, but i have a "different" sence of humor.

    seriously though, it would be cool to have some sort of official membership
    that way I could tell people i'm a card carrying member of OCDO


  14. #14
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    SlacK wrote:
    I'd volunteer to be the greeter, however my answers probably wouldn't
    be appropriate.


    "What's the name of your organization?"
    OCDO
    "Do you have a website?"
    I have several
    "How often do you meet?"
    As little as possible, i mean, don't you realize
    that these people have guns, and how unsafe
    that makes me just to be around them.
    (said while i have a gun on my hip)
    "How do I join?"
    give me 100 bucks, and fill out this paper
    with all your credit card info.
    "How can I help?"
    give me 100 bucks, and fill out this paper
    with all your credit card info....
    i though i just told you this
    "How long have you folks been doing this?"
    since 1823
    "Why do you have these gatherings/functions?"
    pretty much for the food
    "OC is legal?? Are you serious??"
    No, all these upstanding citizens are
    out here just because we like to
    break the law sometimes.

    probably not all that funny, but i have a "different" sence of humor.

    seriously though, it would be cool to have some sort of official membership
    that way I could tell people i'm a card carrying member of OCDO
    Don't feel bad, I share the same sense of humor (thank you Mad Magazine: Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions). I like what Gene had posted regarding a "club name" of sorts. I suppose technically we ARE members of the Washington Chapter of OCDO. I have no problem using that as a label. It correctly identifies us as a small part of a nationwide collection of OCers.

    And let's make that a +1000 on the "no apologies necessary." Some very generous people dedicate their time, talent, and hard-earned cash to these events and we ALL appreciate it very, VERY much.

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