A couple years ago, I attended a BGA National Reenactors meeting. Very early in the meeting, two generals stood in front of the 150-200 of us in attendance and said "our organizations have hated each other and been unable to work together for years....and nobody has a clue where or why it started. We pledge, here and now that we are going to bury those old animosities for the good of our organizations and the hobby" (I may have paraphrased this, it's been a couple years ago)
At that moment, the idea for a similar conference on a smaller scale started to form in my head. If those men could do that, why couldn't it happen here in Ohio? I've been reenacting in Ohio for 15+ years and for as long as I can remember there have been grudges and hard feelings in a lot of different directions. Those are doing nothing but harm to our great hobby. This meeting is a chance to let go of some of those old grugdes. It's a chance to look at putting together some Ohio events that we can ALL attend without politics. Let's sit down and talk about things. Am I idealistic....? You bet I am. I think we are obligated to try. I've talked to a lot of folks about this the last month or so. To say the reception has been entusiastic would be a huge understatement.
So, with that in mind I would like to invite you to the 1st Annual Ohio Reenactors Conference. It will be held October 27th at Ohio Village, on the grounds of the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus. This will be a one day conference, held most of the day on Saturday. I am reaching out to all folks in the hobby, military, civilian, regardless of branch or rank you are invited.
I will be working with a number of folks who are already on board on a specific agenda over the next few weeks. Particularly, Chris Smith of Birney's Division and Heather Nichols of the 66th OVI as well as my own Army of the Ohio staff. Among the things included in the day will be: social time for us to spend time together-I've always believed if we were friends first the rest will follow, time for each branch to get together in break out sessions to talk about best practices and share ideas, time to talk about insurance myths and facts, a chance for event host sites to present their events to all of us, time to tour Ohio Village--it is again open to us as reenactors and time to talk about what is going to happen in Ohio after the 150th Anniversary series of events. I want to make sure we start talking now to make Ohio reenacting as strong as it can be after the 150's have ended. I'm sure there will be more, but I don't want to type a 10 page email!
There will be a small registration cost, which will pay for lunch to be brought in. Specifics of the schedule and registration and more will come out over the next few weeks. For now, I wanted to get the date and concept in front of you to give you as much notice as possible that this is coming. I have set the October date so we can hold this before our annual planning meetings for 2013.
For now, I'm putting together an email list to spread the word. If you are receiving this, please spread the word and let me know who I am missing. I hope to get this into Civil War News, Camp Chase and such as well as the dreaded online forums. We've started a facebook page also to distribute info quickly. I don't want to leave anyone out so please spread the word. You can email me directly at email@example.com. That is always the quickest way to reach me.
I look forward to working with all of you over the coming months,
Colonel, Army of the Ohio