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Allegheny Rockets Chapter Host the 2009 OCA Nationals

Perhaps you attended the 2009 OCA Nationals which were held in Pennsylvania at Seven Springs Resort. Well, the Allegheny Rockets hosted the event that year. What you witnessed turned out to be one smooth running, fantastic time. But trust me, dear friends, it hadn’t been a smooth ride up to that point. Let me back up a bit, and give you my version of the backstory.

My part in the 2009 Nationals began three years earlier when the president of the Rockets called me to ask if I would consent to become the secretary of the chapter. He assured me that all I would need to do was to write up a few minutes of the meetings. He had heard via the grape vine that I was a teacher and felt I would be perfect for the job. I wasn’t so sure that I was very qualified. I did own an Oldsmobile convertible that was my pride and joy, BUT my knowledge of the chapter and of cars in general paled in comparison that of my fellow Rocket members. I soon learned that I was appreciated for my membership on the committee and was accepted as a contributing member.

Weekends were spent traveling over 100 miles one way to Seven Springs from the Pittsburgh area and north to plan the logistics behind the event. (This was before the entourage had entered the picture.) We had to personally plan EVERYTHING including: menu, judging, lodging, evening gatherings, transportation, entertainment, photographer, trophies, etc. The list goes on and on and on.

How proud we all were when all worked out and the 2009 OCA Nationals proved to be a success!!! I think I speak for my fellow Allegheny Rockets’ National Committee members when I say that all through the event required extensive time and work, the experience was well worth it.

The Nationals Committee was composed of ten idealistic members, few of whom had ever attended an OCA National let alone hosted one. But what we lacked in experience, we made up in enthusiasm. Our start was a rocky one, however. It soon became apparent that although everyone wanted to do their very best to present a superlative event for the OCA, leadership styles greatly differed, and irreconcilable differences ensued. New leadership followed and the committee was restructured. All this took up valuable time and energy. Yet, somehow, it was to our benefit as it bonded the group together and made us stronger. To this day, we are close and care for one another.