It has been a couple of months now, and the club has accomplished much in such a short time. Recently members cleaned and assisted locals with debris removal from Bear Branch park and from McDade Park.
Minis have been run with great success. Recent times and conflicts with other events have put a pause on that concept, but it will be picked up again after Shawshank. We had our first club meeting, and soon we will have our second. Tags have been ordered, paid for, returned, and reordered (no eta on when we will get this rolling except to say soon).
30 people have signed up, while 12 have paid, and there is more interest every day! The buzz on what we do and who we are is as visible from what we have done, and our strong group showing in events is giving validity to the caliber of players we have up here.
Recently, I fielded a question or two from some members regarding the club and its progress. It seems that there is some frustration and confusion regarding what we can realisitcally expect from the club. I would say that given the infancy of the club, and its strong but small core membership, we have exceded what could be reasonably expected. That said, I have a project for you Chain Gangers to be completed by each of you by the next meeting.
In our last meeting, I layed out what has been our vision from the inception of this crew. Seth, Dutch, and myself long ago decided what we wanted to accomplish and the kinds of people the club would need to make things go in such a direction. But given some of these questions, I have concluded that what has not been discussed is what you members expect from the club.
In what we expected, we felt that the officers of the club should execute, orgainize and be responsible for the proper allocation and storage of funds as voted on by the membership. This is how the format of the first meeting was composed. Granted we had some tangential discussion about formation of what we are, but I think that as long as we work to further that structure, then we must stick to our fundamental purposes.
I'm concerned that there are members looking for what's in it for them when it comes to this club. Discounts, cards, tags, and other plans are in the works, but it must be stated that these perks cost money. The $20 membership fee barely got us on our feet for things like tags and basic supplies to run minis. Additional funding has been provided by individuals giving back to the club. This funding pays for things like drinks at events which can be used towards improvements, maintenance, and other projects of the club. What disturbs me is that the same individuals are the participants in this giving, or even in their giving of time, EVERY TIME! Spread the wealth people. This club will one day in the near future have things like shirts, discs with logos, tournaments reagularly, ETC. But these will be things that must be paid for by the club and its members. PLEASE trust in me as your president when I tell you that EVERYTHING in my power with the resources and what little time I have between family and work is going into this club and its members. The same can be said of select individuals. To those individuals, I cannot thank you enough for actually embracing the concept for which this club was intended.
For those of you who are just in it to be in it, or have neither the time nor the resources to make contributions, I can sympathize with that too. Often we find ourselves playing the balancing act in life, and we do the best with the cards we have to play. However, in such instances, people must understand that we have those who can and those who cannot. We accept all as long as their loyalty lies with the spirit of what this club is about. Yet I cannot stress enough to all of you that the success in our mission lies in the numbers who can and will step up. The more of these people we recruit and embrace, the faster the work and responsiblity will pay off to increase the perks of being a chain gang member! Reward through volunteerism in the name of disc golf. THIS is our purpose!
Another concern has been the discussion regarding allocation of funding. The courses that suffer the most neglect are often the municipal courses. They recieve little to no maintenance or funding in a year, and yet they are often the most frequently used! It is for these courses that we as a group decided on at our last meeting would be the ones best suited for financial club support. We DO offer MANPOWER and TIME to all courses under our jurisdiciton, but private courses generate their own funding. The age old argument of disc golf courses is the debate of PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE course benefits and drawbacks. One undeniable argument FOR a PRIVATE course is this unique ability to generate income that maintains a course. This argument has been agreed upon by this club at our first meeting, the minutes of which can be found on this club page. Rest assured that PRIVATE courses have been offered MANPOWER and TIME from this club, but as neither party from these courses attended the previous meeting, they missed the opportunity to make such a request. Meanwhile, the Steward of Bear Branch, Justin Ellsworth, made a strong case for the first work session to be at Bear Branch. Utilizing his crew of local recruits for the endeavor he executed this project with some success with members while the rest of the Chain Gang members went to host the 3rd mini in a row @ River Plantation. (a mini in which South Siders outnumbered North Siders significantly and embarassingly)
So for our next meeting I ask you all to think about what YOU are contributing beyond your $20. Why did you join us, and what do you bring to the table? From just support, to the guy who does it all, we need everyone's best to make this work if we hope to accomplish the ambitious agenda we have set out before ourselves. It can be accomplished, but it will take more than just a dedicated few. Thank you all for what you do, and your continued support. I remain at the ready to serve this club to the best of my ability, and hope more are prepared to do the same.