Ever wanted to host a rally, but didn't know how to go about it? This is where you'll find everything you need to know.
The following is a checklist of what you need to do to host a rally.
Before the Rally:
Confirm your reservations including park/site name, address, contact person, phone number(s), facilities and amenities included and preferably in writing from the park (fax, email, letter, etc.). Will separate reservations be required for early arrivals?
Do you need a deposit for the campground or a caterer or an advance for supply purchases? If so, notify the Wagonmaster of the amount. when you need it by, and who to make the check payable to. Keep track of your expenses and receipts. Rally hosts and co-hosts are expected to request reimbursement for all reasonable costs associated with putting on a rally including phone calls, postage, etc. You are not expected to subsidize your rally.
Any insurance requirements? Does the park/site provide or do we need a certificate of insurance from FMCA? If required please complete and return the enclosed Liability Insurance Questionnaire. (Usually for rallies on private property or fair grounds, etc.)
Obtain clear specific directions to the park/site from all reasonable directions of travel (North, South, East, West). Be specific using street names, numbers, clearly recognizable land marks, etc. Check with local authorities regarding roads/bridges with weight restrictions or construction projects on the dates of your rally when deciding which routes we will publicize.
For dry camp locations is the area free of combustible ground cover and is the site reasonably level with about 25’ x 60’ for each coach? Are there any tight turns a coach with tow vehicle will have trouble with? Are there any low utility wires, tree branches, or other hazards? When parked will there be enough room for coaches to exit in case of an emergency? How will garbage disposal be handled? Are any special permits required for the location.
Next: This is where the fun begins.
About now you probably could use some help. Will you need help with meal planning and coordination? Putting out and picking up rally signs? Greeting, registration, parking and security? By involving others as co-hosts and working as a team on the rally process, you help prepare them to host future rallies and you will have more time to enjoy this one. If you need help or suggestions on this, call a member who has done a rally.
Determine “Things to do in the area,” hours of operation, costs, and make a list for the rally notice. If there isn’t much to do in the area or at the park, you may want to consider planning some games or activities as part of the rally. This is something you may want a co-host to help with. A good place to start on this would be the local Chamber of Commerce, Community Web Sites, Fair Ground Event Schedules, etc. While doing this, ask if they have any “local” information to offer for your “Rally Packet” including bags (usually litter bags). Also, do they have any suggestions on where to obtain local donations or discount coupons you could use to enhance the packet or for drawing prizes.
Determine what kind of meals you want. Most rallies have two dinners and two breakfasts, but it is YOUR RALLY. It is OK to have dinner / breakfast “on your own.. Plan accurately and expect to repurchase, resell, or use as rally/bingo prizes, left over food/supplies. The Chapter does not want to keep supplies except salt and pepper, sugar, coffee, and tea. Following is a list of suggestions but are limited only by your imagination:
Catered or Pot Luck?
Potluck with “bring your own meat” BBQ
Cook a main dish and have members bring side dishes/deserts
Some parks will provide food services or have restaurants (any group/senior pricing or coupons?)
Continental breakfast (rolls / donuts / muffins / juice / fruit/ coffee / tea)
Some parks have inexpensive pancake feeds, etc.
Estimate the cost of meals and any parking costs that need to be included in the rally fee (i.e., nonrefundable deposit) and add 10% for error to determine the rally fee. If the park and/or meal costs are separate from the rally fees, be sure this is stated very clearly. Don’t forget gratuities. Are they included or not?
Next: Registration forms and Rally Flyers.
Determine if you want to handle the pre-registration process or have the Wagonmaster do this. (This is usually handled by the Host)
Send or contact the Wagonmaster with all the information y ou have collected. He/She will prepare a rally flyer and registration form, or you may prepare your own form following the enclosed example and send it to the Wagonmaster for approval. Once approved, the registration will be forwarded to the newsletter editor for publication.
Prepare a rally agenda with coffee, meal, and event times. Share this by including it in your rally packet or sending it to the webmaster. Keep the weekend light, moving and with enough variety to make our members and guests want to return to future CBC events. Remember, some of the most memorable and fun times at a rally are unplanned and spontaneous, so allow for this.
Obtain local emergency service information such a police, fire, ambulance and hospital/clinic locations and phone numbers. This can be as simple as making sure a local telephone directory is available on the rally site. Check with the local agencies regarding the placement of rally direction signs. Some DOT Districts and City Regulations prohibit or restrict the placement of “Unofficial Signage” on public rights of way. If you are expecting a large group arrival at a specific time, work with the law enforcement and/or Departments of Transportation regarding traffic control if needed (this is usually not a problem for a chapter rally).
RELAX. THANKS. You will do a great job and the rally will be a lot of fun for you and everyone there.
Now that you have hosted a successful chapter rally there are a few last details:
Was the rally site left in as good or better condition than when we arrived?
Write a brief summary of the rally and forward it to the newsletter editor immediately. If it's put off, it will be forgotten.
Write thank you notes to campground staff, vendors, suppliers, etc.
If you handled the pre-registration process, batch the registration forms and checks and forward them with your receipts and financial report to the Treasurer. If checks were inadvertently made out to you instead of “Columbia Basin Cruisers,” be sure to endorse them before you forward them. For convenience, this step can be done in person at the rally or mailed immediately after the rally.
Host a Rally! Have fun with it!