Thursday, March 10, 2011

Girl scout Scamper is in the books

My first attempt at ride management is over and I feel like it went pretty well. I would never have been successful without my many helpers, but I have to admit that the person who stands out the most is Suzanne Currier. This is partly b/c she didn't want to be a trailmaster and did the job anyway and she did it brilliantly. The other two people who made everything run smoothly were Faye Reznicek, David's mom, and Lianne (whose last name I failed to write down).  I couldn't have done the ride without everyone on my team from judges to secretaries. Christa Bass, my ride secretary, did the job beautifully even though she's a single mom, working on her PhD and working full time. 

The weather Friday was beautiful.  The riders even complained that it was a little bit hot out and kids were running around in shorts. an evening storm was forecasted with varying degrees of rain and cold to come in. We were a little worried about the impending bad weather, especially when I heard rain at 1am, but there was nothing to be done about it.  It wasn't that cold on Saturday morning, but that soon began to change as the sky clouded up and cold, cold winds blew in. Several folks pulled before the ride ever started sighting fear for their safety in the wind. Several more folks pulled after the first loop, when they realized that they weren't having fun, and another couple pulled because they became ill on the trail from an upper respiratory infection and from a stomach virus. 

Sunday had much nicer weather, but we were faced with a small shortage of safety riders and P&R workers. We loaned a horse (a calm, steady horse) to a safety rider.  Mr. Calm and Steady bucked off his rider and sent her to the hospital. The weather was nice sunday with no wind...it was unexpected.  Amy Martin and her girl scouts entertained us with their backpack obstacle and were very helpful with P&R's. My rules' interpreter, Roger Garlitz, found Amy to be very entertaining.  Sunday ended with no more incidents.  I was amazed when the whole thing was over how quickly the two days had passed. I was feeling pretty good. I wasn't tired, but I was hungry. Several of us who stayed over had dinner at a mexican restaurant. 

One of the  Girl scouts made our riders safety bracelets, out of nylon parachute cord, to do her silver award. These were very well received by the riders and volunteers. I really appreciate the work the girls did before and after the ride.

One thing that has come up to me after the ride was to possibly change who benefits from Girl Scout Scamper.  For four years, the proceeds have gone to Camp Misty Meadows to help their Girl Scout Horse program. However, it has recently been pointed that they have done very little to help the ride at all, in contrast to Amy's troop of local girl scouts who have come every year to support the ride.  I'm still thinking on this, but one idea is that the ride could provide scholarships to local girl scout troops (or not so local, since I know a troop in DFW who would also love to help with the ride behind the scenes) so the girls can attend camp if they otherwise could not.  Lots to think about for next year.

I enjoyed my first management experience very much. I think it went well, but I also feel like it's possible that it went well b/c I was too oblivious to what could go wrong.  I like to think it went well b/c we all knew what we were doing, but I'm not sure that's at all true.  I know that several of us doing first time jobs did a great job. My P&R chair did a fabulous job her first time out and now she has a new job she could do. My trail master was new, but took her job very seriously. Jill Hughes was another first timer who was a great secretary to the horsemanship judge, Shirley Parker.  When I had agreed to manage the ride in the first place, I had great plans to find experienced people to help me all the way along but I never did find those people, so I really appreciate all the people who have never done these jobs who still stepped up to help me manage the ride. I had experienced managers as my secretaries for the vet judge which really came in handy. If I ever got stuck, I could go to Alanna or Becky and ask them questions. 

 I forgot to mention what a great job Alanna did making rhythm beads for the horse prizes. They were just beautiful. 

I'm sure I have forgotten to thank someone and I apologize.  I appreciate everyone so much who helped me make the ride go well.

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