No Elk, No Problem: Ohio Holds First Rendezvous
By Jillian Wiggers
Advertise free food, and they will come. Ohio and Indiana Regional Director Rob Ruth learned the truth of that statement this summer during Ohio’s inaugural summer rendezvous.
As a non-elk state, Ohio RMEF chapters are relatively small, but about 50 people attended the event, members and non-members alike. They gathered at a lodge in Shawnee State Park in the southern portion of the state, close to the Ohio River and the Kentucky border. Friday night kicked off with a seafood boil for RMEF members where they could also ask questions or give suggestions. The group ended the night around a campfire, sharing stories and a lot of laughs.
The rendezvous then opened to the public on Saturday, with activities like horseback riding and canoeing and a free barbecue. Covering his bases, Ruth hung posters around the lodge and campground beforehand inviting the public to the rendezvous on Saturday, highlighting the free food and activities. Ruth says he wanted to include non-members in order to spread the word about RMEF in a non-elk state. About 10 curious people showed up, and, in addition to a good meal, they received packets of information about RMEF and had the chance to get to know members.
Ruth says he’d like to keep next year’s event open to the public. He hopes to give anyone and everyone the chance to become a member or simply learn what RMEF is all about.
“I love my job,” Ruth says. “The Rendezvous was exciting for me to plan. I had never done one before, so I was nervous. I wanted to put on something for folks to have a great time, something they would remember and come back to.”