HOW TO START A GATHERING Mike Holladay In order to put together a successful gathering, a few things are needed before you start: 1. Someone to do all the legwork and keep track of ALL the details 2. An idea of when the gathering will happen, 3. An idea of where the gathering will happen, 4. A way to take and/or secure reservations To put a gathering together for the BOC, first post your intentions on an appropriate thread. After a few people have indicated an interest, determine the when and where allowing all members to have a say in this, with the majority determining the outcome. Once the location and date have been settled on, it is time to start doing some legwork. Go by the suggested camping area and get some pictures of a campsite, cooking area, boat ramp, electrical connections, and the water surrounding the camping area, if possible. Determine if the reservations can be made through a national database such as www.reserveusa.com, or by some other means, such as an 800-number or local number. Determine what the rates are per night and post them to the board ASAP. As more and more members sign up (and expect both additions and withdrawals throughout the process), keep track of which site theyve secured. If you can do it, it sometimes helps for you to reserve ALL the sites and allow each member to pay for the site as they sign up. It makes tracking sites easier and ensures everyone will be close together. Next is determining what method and type of food you are going to have. My recommendation is at least ONE community meal. A large potluck dinner, a catered dinner (if donors can be found), an early morning breakfast, the potential is endless. Any and all other meals should be at the discretion of each member (BYOF, bring your own food). Are there going to be boats brought? Who is bringing them and how many? Are they small ones or big pontoons? Is there a dock or beach where they can be tied after being launched? Is bait plentiful? Are there any maps or GPS settings available? Who is going to have enough room for the boat-less? Is anyone going to give seminars such as how to throw a cast-net, making sinkers, using jugs, trotline pointers? Again, the subjects are endless! Sign up volunteers. TAKE LOTS AND LOTS OF PICTURES!! Track any and all changes and update the lists frequently. To do this, save the list as a draft in your email program, make changes as needed, copy and paste to the BOC, and re-save as draft again. That way, you only have to make necessary changes, not re-type the whole thing. T-SHIRTS ANYONE?? Get someone to do the legwork on t-shirts, including negotiating a reasonable price for each, expecting the ++ sizes to cost more (XX, XXX, 4X, 5X, etc). A logo of some type on front and back is desirable if the design can be incorporated reasonably, otherwise just a saying will have to do. Try to get them made locally and have someone in charge of dispensing and collecting for them. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE GATHERING IS TO HAVE FUN!!!!!