Every year we have a gun dog summer camp which is just so much fun so we wanted to share a story from our second summer camp a couple of years ago. The previous year’s camp was amazing and this camp was at least as fantastic, according to many of those whom participated in both.
We feel the same way!
Dog training, great company and very enthusiastic participants, lovely surroundings, great food and snacks served all day – can one wish for more? Well, that would be great weather. And oh yes, we got that too!
We were four instructors this time: Elsa Blomster, Lena Gunnarsson, Åsa Davidsson and Anna Barnö. We ran four groups parallel to each other, which meant 24 participants and one observer. We had 11 training sessions over the three days.
The groups were put together after experience (rated by the participants themselves) – but the instructors also knew most of them, so we had a good grasp on the knowledge base.
We also had a group of spaniels with a German shorthaired pointer and a Poodle. The Poodle named Toffee surprised us all by being really clever, learning quickly and also by being a really skilled retriever!
The four groups moved around in the different environments.
In the morning there might be water work by the ”lake cabin”, followed by search work in ”the big forest”, moving on to marked retrieves on the ”small meadow”. After a two-hour lunch break there might be directional work on ”the big meadow” and the last session of the day might be working on heeling in ”the tiny meadow”.
The instructors moved around or had full days on different themes, like Anna who ran the first day on deliveries and casting by and in water.
It was a very nice mix of different themes, making it great fun to be an instructor! It required some planning to get the logistics to work, but we were well prepared and everything ran smoothly.
The participants had to log their gear around a fair bit, but it seemed to work well.
The participants all had a schedule in order to know when to be where, and as far as I know, nobody got lost. The big challenge – which is also great fun – with being an instructor at this kind of camp, is that you’ll meet 24 different teams and that you need to tailor every exercise for the team you’re working with at that moment.
I think we did well even if there’s always room for improvement. And nearing the end of the camp we started to feel a bit slow – but so were the participants, both two- and four legged…
My fondest memory from the camp is the warmth that exuded from everyone.
You all made this camp into something amazing! We laughed so much; we took on different challenges in the training together, looking for solutions. We celebrated each other’s successes and rooted for each other.
Are we just really lucky or do all instructors have students this great? I can’t help believing that when the work is positive and playful, you become that way yourself. It rubs off. Anyway:
THANK YOU, EVERYONE! This will sustain us for a long time and we hope you feel the same way.
Elsa, Lena, Åsa and Anna