The R’s of Rally Planning

Janet Miller
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Rally Readiness, Rally Rookies , Re-education Relaxation and Rapport

This is intended to give you ideas about some of the “R’s” at a rally – Rally Readiness, Recognition of new Rally Rookies and esteemed guests, Re-education of rally guidelines, and, most important,  how to maximize the Relaxation and Rapport which occurs when everyone feels like a welcome member of the rally group.

Planning an event with folks that may not know one another is always a challenge.

Although they share a common interest in traveling in recreational vehicles, they may not know other attendees or the area to be visited, and need guidance as to what to expect.

Fun-at-Fool-HollowRecognition of new and esteemed guests is always important so be sure to provide name tags for all, and introductions and welcomes for all attendees.  Sometimes a special guest is attending, as in a factory representative or a vendor who is going to give a presentation.  It’s good to repeat introductions throughout the rally for those who may have arrived later and/or those of us whose memory somehow failed us and we can’t recall a name!

Re-education of who is attending and what to expect during the rally is always important – distributing a list of attendees in advance, with cell phone numbers (if permission given) is always helpful, as is distributing directions to the campground and the campground site and an agenda of activities, and then posting it where central activities occur.  Guidelines can be helpful such as “bring an appetizer and your own table service” or “Meet and Greet at the Clubhouse – we’ll plan car pooling to a local art fair.”

A popular session at most rallies is a “Technical Question Session,” where members meet to discuss particular technical or other challenges with their coaches.  Members sharing advice on best practices for emptying tanks, using the inverter properly, management of propane systems, etc. often result in lively and informative discussions.

It is also helpful to have a list of Reliable Information such as location of available emergency services, trusted repair folks, if appropriate, closest town with some activity choices, or brochures or references for a variety of optional activities or things to see and do in the area.  You don’t have to plan formal tours, but give your guests options to explore while attending the rally, in order to appeal to a variety of interests.

Remember to RSVP

Remember that rally guests have some responsibilities here too. This means not only booking your reservation at the campground but notifying your hosts that you will be attending!  This is very important for planning purposes.

Always keep your host informed if your plans change and you are unable to attend the rally.  Alert your host of any special needs or situations that may impact your ability to participate in the rally activities. And don’t forget to do just that – participate!   It’s perfectly OK to skip breakfast or a planned activity here and there, but don’t stay holed up in your rig so much that the host is worried that you haven’t enjoyed the rally.

Most importantly, take good care of your Rookie Rally Guests!  Welcoming guests as they arrive and assuring they have a general idea of what to expect is always helpful.  Throughout the rally, if each member steps out to greet and welcome the new Rookie, answer questions, and remembers what it was like the first time they camped with people they didn’t know, attendees will hopefully have fun and feel welcome, maximizing their Relaxation and Rapport.

Janet Miller

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