Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I went to POT in Las Vegas

Mt Baker Chapter H.O.G. Bellingham, WA
Billie Marrs – Director
Monthly meeting - 3rd Thursday, 5:30 PM
Bellingham Country Club
3729 Meridian St
Bellingham, WA 98225

I am so excited. I just returned from Las Vegas where I attended Primary Officers Training (POT) for my local chapter of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.). I attended for the first time last year and it was incredible walking around the MGM Grand with 850 other bikers all attired in denim and leather and all carrying our black POT briefcases.

This year POT was located at the Red Rock Casino and there were seven members from our chapter attending, Angie, Rick, Dave, Rita, Shelia, Bob, and myself. Bob and Shelia will arrive early to have a few extra vacation days. Angie, Rick, Dave, and Rita arrived on Thursday in time to relax, and enjoy some play time before POT began.

I also arrive early to see my daughter Kelly who attends school at UNLV and works at Hooters. I have sort of adopted her roommate Kelly our new daughter in the family along with her three children as my only grandchildren. I do plan on spoiling them a little.

What does POT cost our chapter to send us? Nothing! Each of the officers pays their own way and their own expenses. What are the benefits to the chapter and members? We were each allowed to select six classes to attend during the two days we are there. The classes cover everything from risk management, leading the chapter, succeeding with volunteers, creating events, communicating with impact, and many more.

This may not sound like a full day but when you arrive for breakfast at 6:00 AM and classes aren’t over until about 4:30 PM you have had a full day. We were looking for new ideas that we can learn from H.O.G. national or ideas we borrow from other chapters on how to improve what we are already doing or trying something new. We also had a chance to share what our chapter is doing about rides, events, safety, meetings, newsletters, etc. We will shared what we learn with the other officers at our next officer meeting and how we can best utilize this information and then share it with the chapter members. As a chapter we continue to grow and knowledge to build a stronger chapter is always a “good thing”.

We all had stacks of our business cards printed and I took about fifty copies of our latest newsletter to post and share with other chapters. We also collected newsletters from other chapters as a way of discovering new ideas. Last year Angie saw a brochure from another chapter and they shared a copy with her and we revised our chapter brochure based on this design.

Many of the members in our chapter have other hobbies but owning a Harley is the one we all have in common, the one that brought us together from our different backgrounds. We don’t just ride bikes together, we have become friends, and we have become family. When you buy a Harley you haven’t just purchased a motorcycle you have been adopted into the H.O.G. family and I think my branch of the HOG family is the best.

My friends flew home but I stayed in Vegas soaking up the sunshine, spending time with my daughter, basking in the sunshine, shopping, sun, warmth, heat, sun, sun, sun. I came home because there is a full calendar of rides and events that I want to be a part of so I’ll just put on warm clothes and ride with my family. Besides we are riding to the eastside twice during the summer and it will be warm on the other side of the mountains.

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