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Old 04-20-2017, 06:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Club rules, is this the norm?

I have recently become a member of our local kennel club, I've thought about it for awhile because it's a tad clicky. I missed the first meeting because of late notice (24 hrs), and it was DH's birthday and had already invited guests for dinner. I attended my first meeting this week and a few things have been bothering me. When I arrived there were 4 or 5 people there and the others trickled in shortly after, no one acknowledged my presence nor that of a man across the table from me, another new member. There was some old business to deal with which took on a catty gossip air, and then onto preparation for the clubs upcoming show this spring. I joined in discussions and took on some jobs, but soon found out I am not eligible to vote for a period of one year. Then there was the issue of an agility club who want to use the kennel clubs equipment, they were told they have to be members, which is fair enough. Then it seemed they all sort of panicked because "what if they all want to join" "what if there is so many that they take over" (this club only has 14 members). It seemed crazy to me that they don't want to grow their membership, but they don't, and have now put in a vetting process for new members. A new member must be sponsored and then voted into the club, I know many clubs do that but the reasoning behind this decision is to keep the agility people from taking over. There's more I could go on about but this is getting long, I don't mind doing my part but not having a vote doesn't sit right with me. Is this the norm?
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not an expert in KC rules - you might check KCs in neighbouring towns - but the cliqueness and not wanting others to join is very typical. I don't know of any who have gone to such lengths to keep people out. They usually resort to ostracization and othering - like ignoring new people who attend the meeting.

It can take over a year to get past that. Just find the ringleader and befriend her: join the same committees and volunteer for jobs no one wants but that she'd be really grateful if someone did. Don't take the crap jobs that no one wants, just the tougher jobs that people can't/won't do. In the PWD world, I always volunteered to be a rower because no one knows how, and you can't have a trial without rowers.

Always bring food and drinks to share (you don't have to spend a lot, a bag of peanut pretzel nibs from Trader Joes and a couple extra La Croix do it down here), show up a little early and stay a little late to help set up and clean, and have a funny story to tell when you get there.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I just joined (well, re-joined) my local kennel club a few months ago. I find it sad that you and another new member weren't acknowledged.

Our club used to be mostly just conformation folks, but now it seems that about half of the people who attend meetings do agility/obedience/rally or other sports. I feel like we do a pretty good job of getting along and welcoming everyone (the club has been growing very rapidly recently) and even though there is some slight drama here and there, everything seems to work out to me. Though maybe that's because I'm new and don't entirely know what is going on behind the scenes lol.

Our new members have to be sponsored by someone, but as far as I know, can vote right away after becoming a member. A year seems rather long for new members to have to wait!
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I take classes at two different clubs. They have different rules to join. I know one doesn't allow you to vote for a year - and there is a list of things you must do in addition before you are allowed to vote - things like attend x amount of meetings, clean the building x number of times, volunteer x amount of hours at shows etc. I was going to join one of them after I have figured out which one meets my needs better.

I'm sorry that yours is this way - especially not welcoming new members. Sounds like they could use an infusion of some new members who are more business and less gossip.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I didn't wind up officially joining our poodle club here. (Puget Sound poodle club) But I was invited and encouraged to come to the Xmas party right off when I got my poodles and meetings anyhow if I wanted to, just to get a feel for it before deciding whether or not to join. The Xmas party was held at a big, huge house of one of the members. There were lots of people there and everyone brought something and had a good time and were very nice. I didn't notice anyone being the way you describe. And I don't know what their rules are about voting or anything. I suspect there aren't any very stringent ones. It all seemed pretty casual.

At shows I attended and being a newbie at showing, I was pleased that many people from the club were supportive and helpful. One gal in particular helped me when we were in a motel at a show and showed me how to blow dry my dog...we bathed and did all that each morning at those 4 day long deals. She was actually a mentor of sorts. We all met up at restaurants for dinner and afterwards in someone's motel room for drinks. We had a rip roarin' social time in between showing. I wonder if it has anything to do with it that my breeder is the president of the poodle club. And the secretary is a wonderful breeder of standards and toys (Farthing poodles). She's absolutely lovely and the epitome of a lady...such a nice person. But even still...people are either nice or not nice. I didn't know most of these people well so some might have been not nice but I didn't notice anything.

I took handling classes my breeder put on for a nominal fee. And people there weren't just from our club. Some had other breeds. I met a lot of really super nice people there. Too bad I've lost touch with them since I stopped showing.

Anyhow, I wouldn't want to belong to such a club as you describe. Who needs that unpleasantness in their life? Life has enough b.s. in it as it is. I'm really sorry that you encountered such low brows.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I would hazard to guess it's just the particular individuals in your club. I'll bet if you stick with it, you'll gain their trust and then YOU'LL be in but they'll still be suspicious of anyone else who is new I love the advice given above to take on the hard jobs and be light-hearted. I am not part of a KC (there are none up here) but I am part of an executive board in the Northern BC municipal world and the same is true there! No one is that accepting at first but after one proves oneself through hard work and not complaining, you're in like Flynn, lol. There will always be insecure people who are threatened by anything new.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am envious that many of you have several private clubs available. In the 4th largest city in the U.S., we have one. It's not convenient at all and classes are only at night. They have similar volunteer requirements for membership. Voting rights were not mentioned but I wouldn't be surprised if they also want to assess commitment and records of showing up, as promised, to club events. That said, what the what, on no welcome, no acknowledgment from the president/chair on two new members in such a small club?!!! That would not sit well with me.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Liz your post made me chuckle a little, yes I think I will kill them with kindness, donuts and my enthusiasm, lol. I really am going to give it my best for awhile and see how things progress, maybe I will sponsor a couple of new members. Hmmm, I wonder if I can do that!? That sure sounds like a fun group in your club poodlebeguild, too bad you lost touch with them. The thing about not being welcomed or acknowledge makes a person feel uncomfortable from the start, and gives a very bad first impression. I'll be sure to welcome anyone new, it's just basic good manners in my book.
Oh, and I secured 3 new cash sponsors for the show today, and 1 maybe!
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes!!!! Sponsorships = a lot of scut work credit.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds like joining a country club with the vetting process. Our club is the same way not sure why or what but dh never wants to go back. He said people were giving each other stink eye or cold shoulder. I am not making this up. It was very odd. We have hired a private trainer for all training. Most local trainers find them snobby but they do know a whole lot about training. I think Liz's idea is the best. That's how I'd do it.
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