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Thread: Open Canoe Association membership saving

  1. #1
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    Default Open Canoe Association membership saving

    I had contacted the Open Canoe Association about taking out membership. My main question was about the cost for a part year. You see their membership year runs from March 31 to March 31st. As I was going to join near December I wondered if you still paid the full amount.

    The result was it was discussed by their committee and it has been decided that if you join after the 1st January 2006 you will pay the normal membership rate but your membership will run till the 31st March 2007. So you could get up to 15 months for the price of 12.

    Now as I have not been a member I cannot say if it is worth it or not but I will be joining to find out. I have checked and they are happy for me to make this offer public so if you were thinking about joining this could be the incentive you need.

    I know Chris is involved with the OCA so he may chip in with some information.

    Their web site is

    http://www.opencanoe.org

  2. #2

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    Hmmm. Tricky one this. I think the best way to put it is that like many things the more you put into it, the more you are likely to get out. Yes I am on the OCA council so you could say I have a vested interest in saying the OCA is a good thing. I think we (the OCA) will be the first to admit that we have not been as active in the past couple of years, especially in Scotland and the North of England as we have been previously been. This is in part due to a number of former regional organisers stepping back and taking a rest after many years hard service to canoeing. This has left the membership wondering what is happening. We are still looking for people to step into their shoes, taking on co-ordinating events in the regions, helping to put together low cost training sessions for beginner and intermediate level paddlers.
    So really if you are the kind of paddler who expects to be fed a series of events at regular intervals with no effort your part it is to be honest unlikely that you will get value for money in the long term. If however you are able to contribute now and then, perhaps an article here or there, maybe set up a paddling meet or help book accomodation for an event, then I think you will find that membership will become a valuable part of your paddling life. Any way its less than the cost of a good night out!
    "All right" said Eeyore "We're going. Only don't blame me"

    www.canoepaddler.me.uk

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    I have to admit I have emailed the local representative for my area a number of times on the last year or so but did not get any replies. This did not build my confidence. However, my recent contacts have been completely satisfactory.

    I think that with any organisation you always get more if you put something into it. Same goes for this site to an extent.

    The cheque is in the post anyway so we will see how it goes.

  4. #4
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    I have just recieved my membership from The OCA. There seems to be a bit of a North South Divide with coverage in the North East and Scotland a Bit thin an the Ground. As Chris says maybe this needs more comitment from the Members. I hope to be attending the OCA Rally in Peterborough over the weekend 29,30 April. But as a reletive newcomer I dont know how much help I could be.

  5. #5

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    David
    Great to hear you will be coming to the rally. I'm busy in the process of trying to get things organised. The site we had originally sorted decided they would no longer accept dogs so we have had to move things down the road a bit to a more informal but hopefully great site. It is right by the river with options for trips up and downstream and a riverside pub not far. If there is anything in particular that you would like to see why not go to the message board on the OCA site and let us know.

    Chris
    "All right" said Eeyore "We're going. Only don't blame me"

    www.canoepaddler.me.uk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Randall
    If there is anything in particular that you would like to see why not go to the message board on the OCA site and let us know.
    I have used the message board and it is not the most interactive of media. Not sure who to suggest this too but if the OCA want I can create a section on this forum for OCA discussion. It could either be open to the public like their current one (my preference) or closed and only available to OCA members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    I have used the message board and it is not the most interactive of media. Not sure who to suggest this too but if the OCA want I can create a section on this forum for OCA discussion. It could either be open to the public like their current one (my preference)
    John i agree! the OCA message board and Website is a bit disapointing. Your suggestion is a point that could be raised (and will be) at the OCA rally 29/30 April in Peterborough, an event I plan to attend.
    Also someone who regularly takes part in this forum is a regional rep for the OCA(not me).So the point may allready have been raised with theOCA commitee

  8. #8
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    Whilst I totally understand and support the view that members need to get involved my feeling is that unless someting is presented to members 'on a plate' so to speak, then there is little point in joining. If you have to organise etc, then , well, that's what we all do anyway when we paddle with our regular buddies.

    I hope the OCA does get revitalised, and spreads its wings up North again.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

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    As I have just joined I have no knowledge of how the OCA have faired in the past. From what I have received it appears that as with many clubs they are going through a period of adjustment. This is common in a lot of organizations.

    As I have said above I am happy to create an OCA section within this forum that would only be visible to OCA members. They could also access and post on the rest of the site. I am willing to do this as the cost to me is not going to be too mch and OCA members are likely to be the sort of members this site is looking for.

    I had thought about offering to take on some other responsibilities or offer my services to the OCA but I want to keep this site as being an independent site and if I became too heavily involved with the OCA people may see this site as being an extension of the OCA one. Similarly I do not want to be seen as being the competition to the OCA.

    From my experience with clubs I agree that it is best to always give the membership clear choices. Relatively open debates seem to never really get anywhere.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1
    Whilst I totally understand and support the view that members need to get involved my feeling is that unless someting is presented to members 'on a plate' so to speak, then there is little point in joining. If you have to organise etc, then , well, that's what we all do anyway when we paddle with our regular buddies.
    I agree with tenboats1 that there is little point joining an organisation that offers no benifit to its members. The main reason I joined is that being new to canoeing I do not have regular paddling buddies . Hopefully through this site or the OCA i will be able to form some friendships and buddie links with like minded people . Even if it means driving North of the border occasionally.

  11. #11
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    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong Super Moderator
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    The BCU affiliation would be handy, as it'll provide a route to making an application for [legitimate] river access.

    ... Which is something I always seem to remember too late, and as a consequence, I miss a lot of the 'closed' river paddling

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork
    The BCU affiliation would be handy, as it'll provide a route to making an application for [legitimate] river access.

    ... Which is something I always seem to remember too late, and as a consequence, I miss a lot of the 'closed' river paddling
    I wonder what it would take to get SotP BCU affiliated

  13. #13
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    Default OCA membership

    Hi,

    Don't get me started on access in England and the BCU.

    I have even taken up a bit of fly tying to try and infiltrate the local fishing fraternity and find out what the real issues are.
    Two well known local guides did not see any problems and were interested in helping to negotiate with folk, but the BCU are not interested, and the local access rep has not followed up leads from local trustees that own the banks of the river. So I am negotiating for centre use only mid-week and through the winter. Sod the BCU. I have only been a member since 79/80 so that I could compete.

    PB

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    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    I wonder what it would take to get SotP BCU affiliated
    Hmm, now that is a very interesting question, I wonder how such a request would even be handled ?


    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Booker
    Hi,
    < -- snipped --> the BCU are not interested, and the local access rep has not followed up leads from local trustees that own the banks of the river. So I am negotiating for centre use only mid-week and through the winter.
    This sounds like a sad state of affairs, I wonder if it's local to you, or part of a wider issue ?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Randall
    Hmmm. Tricky one this. I think the best way to put it is that like many things the more you put into it, the more you are likely to get out. Yes I am on the OCA council so you could say I have a vested interest in saying the OCA is a good thing. I think we (the OCA) will be the first to admit that we have not been as active in the past couple of years, especially in Scotland and the North of England as we have been previously been. This is in part due to a number of former regional organisers stepping back and taking a rest after many years hard service to canoeing. This has left the membership wondering what is happening. We are still looking for people to step into their shoes, taking on co-ordinating events in the regions, helping to put together low cost training sessions for beginner and intermediate level paddlers.
    So really if you are the kind of paddler who expects to be fed a series of events at regular intervals with no effort your part it is to be honest unlikely that you will get value for money in the long term. If however you are able to contribute now and then, perhaps an article here or there, maybe set up a paddling meet or help book accomodation for an event, then I think you will find that membership will become a valuable part of your paddling life. Any way its less than the cost of a good night out!
    I attended this years OCA rally as a new member and i think Chris's remarks above are a good description of my impression of the OCA. The Rally weekend was verry well organised with activities and trips to suit all including coaching and assesment.
    The OCA operates under the rules of the BCU and maybe this is why there are so few meets, every meet requires qualified coaches be preset and liability acepted.
    Unlike this forum where no liability is accepted or assumed by anyone ( or at least i hope thats the case) so meets are much eisier to set up here than under the banner of the OCA. That said I really enjoyed the Rally and met some great people and I will definately remain a member of the OCA and Song of the paddle for both fullfil diferent aspects.
    I did bring this site up at the AGM and the current OCA webmaster said he would check it out. So John dont be suprised if you hear from the OCA
    I Started out with nothing! and i still have most of it left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David B
    I did bring this site up at the AGM and the current OCA webmaster said he would check it out. So John dont be suprised if you hear from the OCA
    Was he not the outgoing chairman? Either way I have had some contact with him when I was contacting all clubs when SotP went live.

    I had not realised the restrictions placed on the OCA for organising events and can understand how this holds them back in some ways. As you say SotP makes no warranties and gives no guarantees about meetings. We are all responsible for our own actions and safety but by avoiding this liability it creates almost unlimited flexibility for members to arrange meetings and events.

  17. #17
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    Yes john he was the out going Chairman. He is to remain the webmaster and has alleady removed the webboard from the OCA site.
    If it is OK by you I will try to get a link to this site from the OCA site.
    I Started out with nothing! and i still have most of it left.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by David B
    If it is OK by you I will try to get a link to this site from the OCA site.
    Fine by me. We already have a link to the OCA on the main sites links page. I am sure they said that they would put a link on the OCA site when they were next updating it so it may just e that they are starting their update now. I know it can take a while to get round to these things. I have a load of stuff to update our main site with.

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