Mountain Rendezvous Feedback

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BlkWgn

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#1
Now that Mountain Rendezvous is over, we need your help to make the next events better. Please share your constructive criticism and suggestions to help us grow and make these events the best they can be.
 

Celt II

Adventurist
#2
I'm not sure it needs any improvement but I guess if anything maybe a primitive fire starting competition (Weather permitting) or a hawk/knife throwing competition for some good fun? This was my second Mountain Rendezvous with you guys and it was just as much fun as the first one. I spent some much needed down time with friends I really love to be around and met some new ones. Hearing the kids laughing and playing through the woods with the dogs was just what the Dr. ordered. This is a really great event and I'm excited for the desert rendezvous.
 
#3
Dates - first weekend of the month is usually a killer for any of us in the Accounting field. I've missed the last four Mountain and Desert Rendezvous trips if not more because I just can't get out of the office at all on Friday. Some of that is my preference for really wanting to make it a longer 3 day weekend instead of arriving at midnight Friday. Beyond that, each and every event has been awesome. It's the people!
 

Herbie

Adventurist
#4
As always, a nearly flawless event. Assuming that the rain was outside the control of the Adventurist crew, I have two critiques:

1) Dogs. I'm glad it's a dog-friendly event and most of the dogs were really well behaved. But, given that the rules called for all dogs to be on-leash, I'd really hoped that more of them would be. I suppose I'm particularly sensitive to this issue since my little girl is a bit skittish around dogs, so the number of times she was confronted with a dog not in its owner's control stood out in my mind.

2) Saving large spaces. The thing I like best about this event is meeting new people. Finding yourself camped next to something or someone different is sort of baked into the DNA here, so it was disappointing to hear that more than one person tried to move into a spot only to be turned away because it was "reserved". There's always plenty of time to wander the camp and find old friends, and I'm not against a certain amount of "self segregation" for folks with like interests to group up, I just hope that we can continue to treat this as an "all comers welcome" shindig.
 

BlkWgn

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#5
primitive fire starting competition (Weather permitting)
I like this idea, will certainly keep this in mind

Dates - first weekend of the month is usually a killer for any of us in the Accounting field. I've missed the last four Mountain and Desert Rendezvous
why do you think we pick the first weekend of the month :D

in all seriousness, finding dates that don't conflict with other events, that the staff can all make it to and work with the venue or BLM is the hardest part of the Rendezvous. Unfortunately, there is no way to make everyone happy and accommodate all schedules, but we will keep this in mind.
 
#6
why do you think we pick the first weekend of the month :D

in all seriousness, finding dates that don't conflict with other events, that the staff can all make it to and work with the venue or BLM is the hardest part of the Rendezvous. Unfortunately, there is no way to make everyone happy and accommodate all schedules, but we will keep this in mind.
Set myself up for comment #1. :D

Couldn't agree more with comment #2. It's tough and the folks in charge have to find dates that work for them to organize such a fun event.
 
#7
I'd like to see different locations. I haven't gone to the last few Mtn Rendezvous simply due to the location, it gets old going to the same spot over and over. I understand that its a great spot and it supports a large group and the boy scouts but some variety each year would be nice. Maybe rotate between a handful of spots each year?
 
#9
No complaints at all, as usual a awesome group of great people. The Pot luck and Dutch oven competition was off the hook this year! A huge thank you to the staff and all of the venders! I won a 50. oo gift certificate and a hat from precision 5 Thank you very much. The check in was a breeze, and camp where you wanted to, so we opted for Snob hill, the penial colony, or the leper colony depended how you wanted to look at it. All kidding aside Gunther dog and I had a blast making new friends and sniffing around the dog anyway even when the coyotes went off he just laid there and went back to sleep. It was nice seeing old friends and meeting new ones as well.

Thank you to the Boy Scouts camp director and grounds keeper for letting us use such a awesome place, I for one greatly appreciate it! And Last but not least to the men and women who was congratulating my son for entering the Marine Corps. That made me very proud! He had a nice surprise Saturday right before they were going to do PT Saturday 5 Drill instructors surprised the class of about 40 new recruits and worked them pretty good from what Nick was saying it was fun. After that he drove up from Camp Pendleton to spend some time with family and to see his friends, What a great time! Thank you all involved! Your hard work and time is greatly appreciated!
 

Borrego60

Adventurist
Founding Member
#10
Well said Ray. I would like to see the leash requirment for dogs applied. All were pretty well behaved but if someone gets bit off leash it could be a problem. Other than that staff did a great job and and everyone looked like they had a great time.
 

Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
#11
I'd like to see different locations. I haven't gone to the last few Mtn Rendezvous simply due to the location, it gets old going to the same spot over and over. I understand that its a great spot and it supports a large group and the boy scouts but some variety each year would be nice. Maybe rotate between a handful of spots each year?
Location is key to any event. We’re also supporting a worthy cause.

Suggestions?
 
#15
For being my first MR, it was a great experience. The bees were the only complain I really have. BUT thats nature, I cant do much about. I was hearing there was an issue about water supply but it didnt bother me much. Overall, great location, great vibe and awesome adventurists.
 
#16
I did hear about some scoundrel of intemperate disposition reneging on an deal to bring O'Brian potatoes to a group breakfast but other than that it went off without a hitch!
 

Herbie

Adventurist
#19
So I just got back from "Descend on Bend", a more "Vanlife" oriented version of the Mountain Rendezvous. 500+ rigs (90% vans), and about 800 people. Given that it is sort of half-music-festival and half-campout, the vibe was a little different, but being a student of organization and execution, it was cool to see some similarities and differences to the American Adventurist Rendezvous events.

My immediate takeaway, even before the event, is that one thing the American Adventurist staff and associated volunteers do very well is communicate. The Rendezvous threads, with info at the top, and lots of timely updates regarding changing conditions and additions to the schedule, are, by my estimate, the gold-standard for how community events can be run. Descend on Bend is a huge event with a ton of moving parts, but some of the basic communication like a general outline of the daily agenda or info on whether-or-not fires would be allowed was a bit haphazard. For most of my pre-trip planning (remembering I drove 2000+ miles round trip for the event, two days in each direction), I was relying on last year's daily schedule as a guide.

Like the AA events, DoB leans heavily on a volunteer staff, and everything good that happens was a result of awesome people taking ownership over tasks. It may be some of the gaps that DoB showed were the result of experienced people assuming that everyone else was similarly experienced and didn't need hand-holding. As a Type-A first-timer, though, I was wanting more info.

There was one feature of DoB that I thought was really excellent, though, and a good candidate for a potential modification for American Adventurist events: The way they conducted the raffle. Given the size of the event, the number of raffle items was, proportionally, probably smaller per capita than the AA events. There were maybe a dozen "big" items, and maybe two dozen smaller items. The process for the raffle was very cool, though:
  • All the items were laid out, or at least given a sign, in a trailer from the first day of the event. (More or less, some items arrived on day 2 or 3)
  • Big stuff (skid plates, rock rails) weren't necessarily present in the trailer, and if there were "multiples", then only one example was shown. (e.g. One copy of a book would be on the table, with a sign describing the item and a note that three copies were in the raffle)
  • Each item had a little bag or small cardboard box associated with it, into which attendees could "invest" some number of their raffle tickets.
  • Raffle tickets were given out as part of registration packages, and more were sold as part of the ongoing fundraiser for the Oregon Natural Desert Association, the "partner" for the event.
  • For each item, the only eligible winning tickets were those that had been invested into the box/bag associated with that item. This made some items very competitive, but also meant that a Vanagon owner wasn't going to win a Sprinter skidplate and a Tacoma driver wasn't going to win the Vanagon toilet cubby.
  • For the myriad of small items, the winning ticket was drawn prior to the final dinner, and posted on a cardboard sign. Winners could claim stuff like books, sticker-packs, and coozies by presenting their matching ticket at the raffle trailer.
  • Big items were raffled off "live" on stage during the final dinner, as with most events.
  • One other nice touch was that *all* the raffle tickets that didn't win a specific item were dumped together into a single box and one more ticket was drawn to win a free entry to next year's event.
So the difference is a rather large paradigm shift from "one ticket per attendee" to "tons of tickets", but given that the ticket sales supported the chosen charity and were priced so that the average attendee didn't have dozens*, things were pretty manageable. (* I got 5 tickets as part of my "full" attendance package, additional tix were $2 each, most people had between 5 and 20 tickets. A few folks went nuts, as always.)
 
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