I have been waiting for a while to hang out with other local Jeepers. I see a ton of Jeeps almost everyday as I pass them on the highway or parked in a lot. I see them parked in the lot outside at work. I always want to know who owns that Jeep and would I enjoy hanging out with them (or maybe more importantly they with me)?
A couple of guys saw a post I had made to a Jeep owners group on Facebook. I had asked if there were any Jeepers in my area on here. The response was awesome. Both guys named Brandon. That was pretty cool. I had already been thinking about a club, either starting one or joining one. Joining an established club would be easier. But, I kind of had a name ready and thoughts on branding.
I don’t know much about starting a club. I do, however, enjoy being a part of a group of like minded people. My life has been a series of associations of people brought together for a common cause. I spent a very long time as a Boy Scout. During that time I was very active in my local troop, as well as on a council level with the Order of the Arrow and Summer Camp Staff. In high school, my life was dominated by band and swimming. Obviously band has huge built-in family that I loved. This translated well into my life-long obsession of drum corps. My Star of Indiana family has been a huge constant in my life. My college fraternity was another wonderful group of men that share an unbreakable bond. These people have ebbed and flowed throughout my life, creating a net of support and comfort that words can’t always portray.
Back to the idea of a Jeep club. After going back and forth, we came to conclusion that we wanted to hangout and share our love of our Jeeps. We scheduled our first event: a back road, overland ride to a local brewery, Weyerbacker. Even though it was a small turnout, this ride added our fourth Jeep and member and was a great time. Brandon did an amazing job planning our route. There were local backroads that I had never even been on. While enjoying some great brews, we decided we needed to actually meet to start getting things officially moving. Two weeks later, at a local diner the wheels began to roll. We decided that it would be great to have some kind of event each month and a larger off-road event for sping and fall. This seemed like a good way to get people interested and involved.
We each walked away with a few small projects to get us rolling. We came up with business cards to leave on Jeeps we see while we are out. This “spotting” or “carding” has proven to be a great way to get the word out. We also ordered some great looking t-shirts to see how we liked them and if there were the right ones to order in the future. My vinyl guy also worked with me to come up with two great windshield banners to show our affiliation. We now have some wares to sell and show off our pride. Swag!!
Our June event was J.E.E.P goes to the Drive-in. The local drive-in, Shankweilers is the oldest drive-in in America. It is such a cool place to watch movies and it is always a double feature. The weather truly cooperated and was beautiful. We had 14 Jeeps show up. It was great to meet and socialize before the movies began. We met people that we had only talked to online or had never met. It was great to see so “friends” there for a common cause. We had all kinds of Jeeps there from the monsters to the family cruisers, Wranglers to Cherokees. I love that there was such a variety present.
The July event will be awesome. It is Jeep Night at the Iron Pigs. The Iron Pigs are the local minor league baseball team. We will have an all-you-can-eat wings buffet and we can all park in a special place to line up and show off the rigs. This will be a good time and should have decent turnout.
I can’t wait to get together again, talk Jeeps and hang out. Leave me a comment and tell me about your Jeep club, recruitment ideas or anything else on your mind.