Update From the Fall Rally Advisory Board
We would like to provide some background and update everyone on the progress regarding the Fall Rally Advisory Board as mentioned in the State of the Rally video during the 2021 Montana Owners Club Virtual Rally.
Late in 2019, a group of dedicated members with previous experience running Rallies banded together to form the “MOC Fall Rally Advisory Board” with the goal being to provide for the continued success of the Montana Owners Club National Fall Rally.
A little history:
In 2016 when Lady RV, who had directed the Montana Rally for many years, sold the Montana Owners Club Forum to Andy Robinowitz and she stopped leading the annual Rally, this left a leadership and organizational vacuum. Suddenly there was no one to guide future Rally decisions, resolve planning issues, maintain the budget, coordinate scheduling with Keystone and the Elkhart County Fairgrounds and conduct other administrative actions necessary to maintain the continuity of the Rally. This placed future Rallies in jeopardy. Fortunately, a couple volunteers stepped up to be sure the Fall Rally was held that year and afterwards.
After the 2019 Rally the current Co-Wagon Masters were talking with other members with previous Rally experience about how far the Rally had come since its inception. We discussed the growth of the Rally attendance and numerous changes such as moving from tents to the buildings and adding a vendor building as a couple examples. That conversation led into talk about how the Wagon Master responsibilities have increased over the years and the complexity of running a larger Rally. After more discussion this group felt that they could work together to provide some tools to help future Wagon Masters run a successful Rally.
From this discussion, the “MOC Fall Rally Advisory Board” was born. However, as there is no formal structure to the “Montana Owners Club”, instead what we do have is a group of Montana Owners who use the Forum to learn and share things and enjoy getting together with other owners. Since the common tie is the Forum, it made sense that we would share our concept with owner, Andy Robinowitz. The response from Andy was positive so we felt good moving forward with our idea.
Without going into a lot of detail, during 2020 (pandemic and all) two Advisory Board planning sessions were held to start our work building a “Wagon Master Guide Book”. Not only did the board members give of their time, they also paid their own camping fees, hotel expenses and meals etc. during these meetings.
One of the first things the board did was to prepare the following:
“To provide support and guidance to the Wagon Master and their team to ensure the continued success of the Montana Owners Club National Fall Rally.”
They also went on to clarify the following:
The “Board” will not run the Rally or be directly involved in making decisions, but instead provide answers, and if asked, suggestions to questions raised by the Wagon Master and/or team members.
The only decision the board will be directly involved in is the selection of the Annual North American Fall Rally Wagon Master for the coming year. The Wagon Master will be selected no later than December 1st from the list of qualified applicants that has been received.
After hundreds of combined manhours at the two planning meetings and individual work assignments an initial draft of the “Wagon Master Guide Book” was pretty well completed in time for the 2021 Fall Rally. The information was shared with the 2021 Wagon Master to use and provide input to the board regarding any updates or changes they recommend. We will use any information from the Wagon Master to update the guide book for use by the next Wagon Master.
When completed, the guide book will contain the following components:
1. “Wagon Master Duties”; an outline of the jobs that need to be done with related timelines.
2. “Rally duties”; listing and description of the work that must be done in Goshen, before, during and after the Rally.
3. “Fairground’s checklist”; a list of items to be reviewed with the Elkhart County Fairgrounds early in the year to be sure the Wagon Master and the Fairgrounds are on the same page to avoid last minute surprises.
4. “Keystone Talking Points”; an outline of the support, financial and otherwise, provided by Keystone which is reviewed with Keystone/Montana representatives early in the year and used to track progress as the Rally approaches.
5. “Rally Event Job Descriptions”; detailed job descriptions for all “Coordinator” positions for use by the Wagon Master Team in getting volunteers.
6. “Wagon Master Job Description” and “Assistant Wagon Master Job Description”; another tool to help the Wagon Master Team stay on track running the Rally and working with each other.
We see the guide book as a “live” document that will be updated annually, if necessary, based on Wagon Master and Assistants input.
Where we stand now:
As we put the finishing touches on the Wagon Master Guide Book and complete a final review of the Advisory Board structure, we plan to make a more detailed announcement on the Forum the Spring of 2023.
This announcement will detail the MOC Fall Rally Advisory Board Structure and ask the “members” to ratify the structure and provide a vote of confidence of the existing Board members until the first scheduled election in January of 2024.
We would appreciate your support and patience as we complete this process.
Initial board members:
Steve & Sharon Bischoff
Ron & Mary Lichtenberg
Jim & Bev Schlee
Glenn and Mary Strom
Bill & Mary Van Nuys
Initial board leadership:
Chair – Glenn Strom
Vice Chair – Jim Schlee
Secretary – Sharon Bischoff
Treasurer – Steve Bischoff
If you have questions or suggestions on how to improve the Fall Rally, please send a “Private Message” on the MOC Forum to: Fall Rally Advisory Board