Well, as I sit here in the somewhat humid state of Kentucky, I can feel fall weather just waiting around the corner and I for one can't wait. Fall is the time of year where I really start to get back in touch with my love for this time period.
I thought I would maybe do some reviewing of what has happened in the last year and once again like a beating a tired old horse offer up my thoughts on the original vision for ETCS and what I think the future could hold.
The vision began many many years ago with my father, David Book (member 0001). The idea was to recreate the golden age of hunting, trapping, camping and outdoors activities. An influential book was called "Back Then : A Pictorial History of Americans Afield". Our plan was simply to hold a few period camps on our farm, maybe invite a few like minds and do some shooting. Nothing to big. We certainly didn't envision it getting very big, and honestly it's not necessarily what we wanted. To often, as things grow, different ideas about the direction and vision begin to be offered, infighting begins and suddenly you have a split or the whole thing just folds all together. Obviously we don't want this to happen.
Over the last year, interest in ETCS has exploded. It's truly been amazing and to be honest, I didn't really know how to handle it. It was a bit overwhelming to say the least.
As I saw it, I had two options in front of me. Include everyone or exclude some people.
Part of our vision for ETCS was that we would maintain a high level of authenticity in our portrayals if we kept it small and membership limited. That way we could make certain that everyone was on the same page. But with the group growing, we didn't want anybody with a pair of bibs and a flannel shirt to be able to affiliate with us. It was becoming a sticky situation as the facebook group requests began piling up.
After talking with Matthew Fenewald (member 0003 and Vice President of ETCS) and a few other early members we came to the conclusion that the facebook group we had would be open to anyone with a casual interest in ETCS and that if a person had their kit together and wanted to submit for official membership they could do so. Official members become so based on a kit review and then are added to the membership roll and then become eligible to attend ETCS Members Only Events. This will ensure that we maintain this high level of authenticity as mentioned before.
So what do we do for the casual folks who would like to come out and see what all the fuss is about?
We are currently working on a sort of "Sportsman Convention" of sorts where ETCS will hold a camp open to all interested persons to come take a look and participate. This will give aspiring members a chance to meet the members of ETCS and to maybe make some purchases to add to their kits and improve their impressions.
In short, I am really excited about what the future holds!
On a last note, I am wanting to encourage the membership and even non members after review to submit to the blog :
-Hunting Dog Advice
Please consider this as we get out into the woods this fall. Our counterparts wrote into the sporting magazines of the day and related all kinds of great stories, advice and tips for the sportsman. I'm sure we can come up with some of our own!
Here's to an excellent season of sporting,
-Jake, Member 0002-