NAPgA holds an annual 3-4 day Rendezvous in a different National Forest location each year, usually in late June. The Rendezvous is open to NAPgA members, their packgoats, and the public. It features a number of educational clinics, hikes, and conservation projects. The event brings goatpackers together from all over the U.S. and as far away as Australia!
Who can host a Rendezvous?
Any NAPgA member in good standing can volunteer to host a Rendezvous. In addition, rendezvous do not need to be limited to the single annual event held in June. You may wish to hold a rendezvous or smaller “meet-up” near you. NAPgA has a team of experienced rendezvous members who are ready and willing to help you. You can contact the Rendezvous Committee via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for Hosting a NAPgA Rendezvous:
The Rendy location should be accessible to cars, trailers and motorhomes.
The area should be able to be reserved for our group, with no other groups intermixed.
The area should be large enough to accommodate 20-30 cars and 10 motorhomes or trailers without being crowded. There should be a large common area capable of gathering 50-75 people at a time for dinners, educational seminars, and campfire activities. It should be the correct type of land use permitted for a gathering of this size.
There should be adequate area to tether goats. Access to shade and water is ideal. Next to a busy road or with non-goat campers nearby is not practical.
Trailheads and volunteer project areas should be within walking or close driving distance.
Contact the NAPgA board of directors with your proposal for date and location. They will have information to help you get going. Contact past Rendezvous hosts (available from the board) to get advice from people with first-hand experience. The host should live close enough to the proposed location to be practical for planning purposes.
Submit your Rendy proposal to the NAPgA board of directors by Nov. 1st of the year prior to your Rendy date. Include a description of the location, required permits, and possible volunteer projects to be performed. Your date must be picked by December 1st of the year before your Rendy. Bear in mind that once your date is announced, it can’t be changed without many people being unable to attend!
If permits are required by the land manager they are required by NAPgA. Keep checking with the land manager until your permits are in place. More than one person has been burned by “handshake” or verbal permits!
Make sure that an insurance bond will not be required by the land manager or permittee. Find out if there is a fee for vendors and ensure they know what they are expected to do ahead of time. Some areas disallow vendors entirely. The Rendy is typically held in late June, but other summer dates have been used as well. Spring and fall dates are usually not practical due to school, hunting seasons, and weather.
Check on toilet facilities and be prepared to rent porta-potties.
Arrange to have at least one large tent or canopy available. Several smaller canopies can also suffice.
Check on the availability of water and if water is not available, arrange to bring a large water tank.
Contact people who can give presentations and teach classes. These might include experienced goat packers, trainers, veterinarians, biologists, outdoor leaders, Forest Service/BLM personnel, or anyone with an interesting skill or knowledge that they can impart to others.
Come up with a volunteer project or group hike. Volunteer projects might include things like clearing or rebuilding a portion of the trail, building parking barriers or a creek crossing, picking up trash, noxious weed removal, or whatever else might be needed in that particular area. If you can’t come up with a meaningful project, consider planning a group hike as a fun substitute.
Close to the event
The hosts should provide guests with info on whether/not poisonous plants are in the area and how to identify and avoid them.
If certified weed-free hay is required you will need to buy some and take pre-orders for it. This will also necessitate hauling it to the site. People will reimburse you when they get there. We have traditionally ended up with hay left over so plan to remove it after the Rendy.
Decide if you are going to provide meals or let people fend for themselves. Usually, either a big spaghetti dinner or a potluck happens on Friday & Saturday.
Keep apprised of fire restrictions.
Send clear directions to the Rendy location, including maps, to the NAPgA board so they can pass these along to the members and post them on social media. Also, inform the board of water availability for goats and people so members know how much (if any) to bring.
- Porta-Potties (at least 2, usually 3)
- Extra toilet paper
- Tables and pavillion tents
- Firewood if not available onsite
- Food/Incidentals for meals such as paper plates, paper towels, trash bags, plasticware, etc.
- Site costs/Permits
- A tank of gas for the person doing the early checking and site prep
Costs will be reimbursed after the Rendy (unless specifically required prior) on the presentation of receipts. Permits can be paid by NAPgA by asking the treasurer to write a check.