Now that I've been added to the GSP-L list, I am understanding your topic
a bit more.
I don't believe that individual mentoring of juniors needs to go
through me. If you have a junior in your area that needs help, would
like to have a mentor, someone to travel with, etc...I believe you should move
full speed ahead to help them out. There's no need to go through
me. If you know someone in your area seeking a mentor but you don't
feel up to the job then certainly you can contact me or give my information to
the junior and I will find someone to help them out.
I would hope that in your mentoring that you would encourage
the junior to become a GSPCA junior member. Although we do
not treat non-member juniors any differently at Nationals, there
are many advantages to being junior members. There's lots of
information on the GSPCA Juniors page.
I would also like to elaborate on Andi's reply about the
breeder helping or mentoring their puppy buyers. As the
Futurity Manager, I run across a surprising number of new puppy
owners that have very little, to no interaction, with their breeders after the
initial purchase of their pup. So many are totally lost when it comes to
paying their forfeits and understanding what and why they are sending
money. They only know the breeder said they had to do it as part of
the purchase agreement. I do my best to encourage them to reconnect with
their breeders so they can have the necessary help to learn about making
entries for shows and especially the National which is sometimes overwhelming
to a newcomer. As breeders, we need to take an additional step to
be sure our puppy owners have the available information and guidance to
pursue any venue that is out there for their GSP.
I'm also the secretary of the local GSP Club. You would be shocked
by the number of people who contact me trying to figure out how
to get started in a hunt test. I would agree there is a need
for "go to person".
Maybe we could add a page on the website to guide newcomers. Instead of
listing a bunch of people, we should just have one person listed that is like
the Mentor Chairman. Breeders could volunteer to be mentors for their
area. Newcomers could contact the Mentor Chairman and the Chairman could
direct them to a breeder/mentor in their area. Also, I know AKC
has information on their website pertaining to getting started in hunt
tests, agility, obedience, etc. maybe we could add a link to
those AKC pages to help get these people moving in the right directions.
These are just some ideas to your discussion. If someone feels this
is an area that GSPCA should pursue they should write to their Director
and ask that it been introduced into discussion at the June Board