Club Vice President
I would like to address some recent unrest and bad publicity that was brought to our attention by a few members (and non members) at the September 11th meeting. We were told that Oranco is getting a lot of negative write ups on the internet and on Yelp, specifically regarding Joe, Chriss, and myself. We were also told that word around the range is that the three of us are rude.
David, (our website administrator) looked on Yelp and found three negative posts. Two of these were complaining about the “owner of Oranco”, and how he doesn’t know how to run a business. David’s look at Facebook didn’t turn up any negative comments at all.
I personally remember a guy a couple of years ago who stood around the office complaining that we don’t rent equipment or offer training, saying over and over that this is no way to run a business. I corrected him repeatedly by informing him that we are not a business, yet he just kept repeating himself while I was dealing with the usual shooters on that Sunday. No amount of explanation could get it through his head that we are not a business, we do not rent equipment to people with no training, and we do not offer training. The entire concept of volunteer labor was beyond his comprehension.
I think we need to put this into perspective. Three negative posts from non members including people so knowledgeable that they think someone owns Oranco can be summarily dismissed. People like that do not concern me. Ignorance of all facts is their right, and they also have the right to post nonsense.
What does concern me is the fact that some of our own newer members apparently feel the same way, to the point that they brought this to the meeting and pointed to these bad reviews to bolster their point.
To those members I say that you are missing a lot of facts that should put this into perspective for you.
Let’s start with a brief history…….
Oranco is a private club with stated archery and community related goals that you can read about in our By-Laws. As a club, we are serious about those goals and a quick look around the range will attest to that, once you understand how we got here.
Oranco moved to our current location from Orange County in 1980. At that time Oranco was a barren piece of land with very few trees and a trickle of water that we called the creek before it eroded into the canyon that it is now.
Since then, this place has evolved from the desert like property and the dead body that our volunteer working members soon found in the creek, to the Oranco you see today.
Our 5 star range and club with all its amenities didn’t get handed to us by the parks department, the corps of engineers, or anyone else. Our volunteer working members did everything you see, mostly with hand tools and hard labor.
So, all of the amenities you see today were done for you by the very people that are being disparaged as having a bad attitude. The trees alone were a major undertaking. We drilled holes in this concrete like soil and planted 400 trees in the first week or two of seriously addressing the shade issue. We are still planting trees today, as soon as we get water to the places we need them. There are still many members that can tell you what it was like when we had no shade.
Note: someone shot a hole through a barrel that is part of the watering system on the hill. I mention that to show that we are building this place up despite the lack of respect that it takes to purposely wreck property that we have put so much time and effort into.
Our President Joe Dotterer joined the club in 1981 and immediately jumped in to help create the range that we all enjoy today. Unlike most of us, Joe didn’t work a day here and a weekend there, he was and still is regularly here four days a week, working tirelessly for our benefit and the health of archery in general. Joe is the person who keeps track of our range records, stays in contact with the Parks Department and Corps of Engineers, meeting with them to negotiate the terms and parameters that we work within. He is also the guy you see out there on weekdays, soaked with sweat and caked with the dirt we all walk on as we enjoy the fruit of his hard labor.
I joined in 1983 and at that time anyone wanting to join Oranco had to have a sponsor willing to vouch for them over a period of three months. Luckily someone was willing to make sure I learned the rules and responsibilities I signed up for. I had to attend work parties and meetings for those three months, and was confirmed as a member once I completed that. I have been a working member ever since.
Chriss Bowles joined the club around 2005 although it seems like I have worked with him for as long as I can remember. Chriss is the Range Captain and he runs all the State, National, and North American tournaments that we host. Like the rest of us, he is no stranger to the work of maintaining our little 48 acre piece of ground plus he coordinates the events we do to promote archery to the younger generation at places like Raahages, Glen Halen, Tonner Canyon, and here at Oranco.
That was a quick introduction to the three of us who seem to have garnered the ire of those who find us to be rude.
We get it. We are heavily invested in Oranco and it falls upon the three of us more than other board members to maintain rule and order on the property. People don’t like rules, (heck, I don’t either), however; the few rules we have are absolute and were created for good reason after much debate.
I can’t speak for Joe or Chriss but from my perspective I find myself increasingly having to explain rules that members should already know and respect. I tend to issue verbal warnings before taking action, and they probably do too.
Now that I am seeing the problems getting worse rather than better I do get frustrated and even wonder if I am warning the same people over and over. I am now making sure I know who I spoke to in the past, by taking a picture of their membership card. Plus in cases where immediate expulsion from the club is the rule, I bend it a bit and tell them that this is their one and only warning. Two things fall under that. Overhead drawing and target camping.
Illegal taking of game is one place where I have no latitude at all. If I become aware of that, it is cause for immediate expulsion from not only Oranco but from CBH as well. This could be considered a one and only warning, but none will be given at the time of this offense.
Now, it’s all well and good that people sit out here under the trees that we planted for them, stirring the pot and becoming more and more annoyed with our perceived attitude, however; it would be far more constructive to join the volunteer working members who make up the core of this club so you can bring your grievances directly to us. If you don’t like how things are done, come out and help us come up with solutions. We argue, sometimes we have an “attitude,” sometimes we get a bit animated. At the end of the day, we always make this club a better place. You can too.