Posted by MMMMarcia on August 27, 2000 at 21:33:33:
In Reply to: Results, To Date, Of The 2001 Gathering Survey! posted by Rich/Mohican Press on August 27, 2000 at 06:46:56:
Thanks for the update & the info on the G2K+1 Gathering Survey. It's good to get some feedback from folks.
I'd like to add a comment or two here, since 1)I haven't been vertical long enough at one time to do the survey, myself, and 2) I'd like to share a thought or two about some of the responses that you posted.
I'm happy to hear that people are pretty much in agreement about the need to relocate from Bear Den. It was a beautiful spot, and I hope to go back there for a vacation someday, but I, personally, do not think it met our needs in several important ways. To elaborate on that:
On the issue of distance...having been to all 3 Gatherings, I can say I agree that there is always going to be a fair amount of driving, but I don't think Gatherings 1 & 2 had NEARLY as much long distance traveling as did this last one. I base that on my OWN time spent driving, and also on the fact that both of the previous years, we had plenty of time for visiting in the evenings back at the Bunkhouse in Chimney Rock. There was no time for that at all this year, as people got back to the campground SO late, and our Raffles & Sales suffered a bit as a result.
As for space at Bear Den, the cabins were wonderful, but trying to use the Camping Cabins for our stores was not very successful. They were far too small for proper displays, and much merchandise was overlooked as a result. That, combined with the fact that we had to do all our sales on the final night, meant we were absolutely JAMMED inside those cabins for about two hours, with no breathing room at all. Things were so hectic it's no telling WHAT got lost in the shuffle. A location with a large conference room or recreation room is needed to do justice to our trading goods & Show & Tell items, I believe.
And finally, Bear Den's Quiet Time policy was so restrictive, it did make many of us very nervous. And though they were quite nice when we checked out, they have made it obvious that they don't think they are the best spot for our needs, either.
Many, many people have asked me about going back to Chimney Rock, and I can assure you all that when Dana & I get to the mountains in October, we will explore that possibility thoroughly. We have several spots in mind that MIGHT combine everything we need, in the way of campfires, pavilions, & space for Trading Post et al. The LUXURY of having restaurants within walking distance of our location, and stores for various kinds of shopping would be another big plus, as is the fact that the people in the village of Chimney Rock love us! So, while not promising anything, naturally, we are definitely hoping to find something that works in that area. It is close to Hendersonville, and not too far from Linville, while being "on the spot" for the day at the park. It is also close to Asheville, if we do another Biltmore Day (I hope!). But rest assured, Dana & I will do our best to find the perfect spot, wherever it turns out to be. Being able to check the places out in person will make all the difference, I think!
As for adding an extra day to the Gathering, I personally think that is the BEST thing we can do. It means we can factor in some "DOWN" time each day for visiting (a major complaint this last time) and/or a bit of rest, for those of us who need it. Yes, there may well be some who can only attend for three days, or less, but even THIS year, we had several folks who could only be there Saturday & Sunday. That's going to happen no matter how many days we allow. Not everyone can get away for the entire duration, every time. I'm confident we can work around that problem, and those who choose to come for only 3 days would be welcome to do so.
I know at least one person (who posted above) thinks the pace invigorating, but I suspect that for many of us, myself included, the rushing around can get overwhelming, physically. In an ideal world, we would all be fit as mountain goats & able to leap tall waterfalls in a single bound, but in the real world, some of us need a breather now and then. A four-day agenda could allow that to take place.
As for the comment about the "Not For Profit" raffles, I can only assume that was referring to our General Raffle. I am the first to admit that this year's raffle got a bit out of hand, due to the time constraints of everyone having to buy tickets at the last minute, and the crowded conditions in the raffle cabin...but, I sincerely hope that we continue the General Raffle tradition, as it has proven to be a money earner for our future Gatherings. We made $1,000 this year to help offset expenses for next year's Gathering! And that was under adverse circumstances. I call that an unqualified success, and a very important factor in keeping the package price affordable. Let's think about giving the raffle a bit of an overhaul to make it less confusing, and go with it again. In the long run, I think it a very beneficial thing, plus it's a lot of fun for many of us. We may tweak it here or there, but I'd sure hate to give up on it.
All in all, the Gatherings have been so much fun that little imperfections seem trivial in the overview. But, they ARE a learning experience. As we try new things, we will discover what works and what doesn't. And for those who keep asking me about the bunkhouse, it isn't an option. It's not that CRP doesn't WANT us. The bunkhouse is filled with construction materials, and other stored items, and is slated for demolition before much longer. Honestly, if we could have kept it, we would have. But do NOT despair. Your MMMama has a couple of good candidates in mind that we will inspect, and your best interests & Gathering Happiness will be first & foremost in her mind, as she & the Ever-Trusty Daner3000 make their rounds. We WILL find a home for our group! No matter how long it takes, no matter how far...er...ummmmm...well maybe not that part about "no matter how FAR!" ;o) Just suffice it to say, we will soon have some of these issues all worked out, or my name's not Mighty Mohican Mama Marcia! Sassy Soothsayer? Miss Paddletale? Birdie? WhatEVER!
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