Event Selection Process
Folks, this page serves to explain in great detail how the Event Selection Process works for all OATH events. Our event attendance policy is rather simple : ALL OATH Registered Veterans (ORVs) are eligible for ALL OATH events, regardless of the OATH event’s state of occurrence and or the ORV’s state of registration. This means that an ORV from New York will be eligible to attend a Texas event, an ORV from Louisiana will be eligible to attend a New York event, so forth and so on. All travel expenses to and from the event are the responsibility of the ORV, so pick and choose wisely which events you’d like to attend.
ORVs are chosen for trips via a randomized selector according to our points system. For each event, an email will be sent out through the ORV database, and the ORVs will be given a time window in which to reply. Once that time window closes, all of the ORVs replying with the lowest points are put into a randomized selector, and the needed number of ORVs for the specific trip are drawn. In the interest of being more specific, I’ll explain as fully as I can using examples below.
The event emails will say something similar to the following :
Folks, we have the opportunity for 4 (four) OATH Registered Veteran(s) (ORVs)) to travel to Port O Connor, Texas for a duck hunt on 15-16 DEC 2020.
The ORV(s) will need to arrive in Port O at a time TBD on 15 DEC 2020**. The ORV(s) will depart at a time TBD on 16 DEC 2020. ORV(s) will need to supply their completed Waiver(s) prior to 15 DEC 2020.
Donor says, “It would be 4+1 on people . The hunt will be the afternoon Dec 15th and morning Dec 16th. If they could arrive about lunch time we would be sufficient. Will probably head out around 2:00 PMish , will hunt on bay that PM .Will figure out when and where we will go in AM hunt. We may hunt inland or bay that morning . We have the 12 gauge shells for them . If they need different gauge let me know . They need to bring warm clothes ,waders, water proof jackets, shotguns, appropriate licenses and stamps. They may want to arrive a little early to eat lunch hear and we will take care of dinner and breakfast. Please no alcohol in field while hunting is appreciated.”
If you’re interested in this trip and would like to attend, please reply YES to this email. The Reply Window for this trip will run until 20 NOV 2020. Once that Reply Window closes, and according to our points database and Event Selection Process***, the ORV(s) will be selected ASAP. Once the ORV(s) are selected and the trip is full, we will send out a FULL TRIP email identifying the selected ORV(s).
** Travel to and from this event, as well as any needed food and or lodging not mentioned above, are the responsibility of the ORV(s).
*** ORV(s) earn one point per OATH event attended.
*** ORV(s) for OATH events are chosen based on points according to the Event Selection Process, which can be found here : http://www.oathinc.org/esp/
As previously mentioned, the ORV(s) for these events are chosen via a randomized selector according to our points system. We’ll explain. When a Veteran is accepted into OATH, he or she starts with 0 points, meaning they have never attended an OATH event. They then earn 1 point for each OATH event they attend. About 2-3 weeks out from the date of an event, (unless the event falls into our laps with a compressed time window) we’ll send an email to all ORVs which effectively opens the Reply Window. If an ORV replies to the email and states that they’d like to be considered for attendance to that event, they are added to a selection pool on our event tracker. Once the Reply Window closes (usually it’ll be open for about 1 week) and we have our selection pool of folks that have replied that they’d like to be considered for attendance to that event, we’ll then rank order the ORVs within the selection pool according to their points, and those veterans with the lowest points will be used to choose the ORV(s) attending the event. Let’s break that down a little further via some examples:
We send out the event email. We need 4 ORVs for the event. 15 ORVs reply that they’d like to attend, and they all have 0 points. All 15 of these ORVs are put into a randomized selector, and 4 are chosen randomly. These are the 4 ORVs that will be attending this event.
We send out the event email. We need 4 ORVs for the event. 15 ORVs reply that they’d like to attend, and 9 of them have have 0 points, and 6 of them have 1 point. The 9 with 0 points are put into a randomized selector, and 4 are chosen randomly. These are the 4 ORVs that will be attending this event. The remaining 5 with 0 points are kept as reserves, and if 1 of them is needed for the event, they will be chosen via a randomized selector. The 6 ORVs with 1 point will also be kept as reserves, and if 1 of them is needed for the event, they will be chosen via a randomized selector.
We send out the event email. We need 4 ORVs for the event. 15 ORVs reply that they’d like to attend, and 9 of them have have 1 point, and 6 of them have 2 points. The 9 with 1 point are put into a randomized selector, and 4 are chosen randomly. These are the 4 ORVs that will be attending this event. The remaining 5 with 1 point are kept as reserves, and if 1 of them is needed for the event, they will be chosen via a randomized selector. The 6 ORVs with 2 points will also be kept as reserves, and if 1 of them is needed for the event, they will be chosen via a randomized selector.
Once we get the ORV(s) selected, we’ll send out a FULL TRIP email, which serves to notify everyone that the trip has been filled and who has been selected to attend. After this email, we will then send out another email to the selected ORV(s), the OATH Leader and perhaps even the trip donor if they wish to be included. The purpose of this email is to get everyone on the same email so we can start creating some chatter and giving details for that trip. By sending you that email, we are letting you know that you are locked in for that trip !!!
As we start this planning process, if an ORV decides that he or she can no longer attend the trip and they notify us outside of 2 weeks prior to the trip that they cannot attend, they will be removed from the list, we’ll replace them with another ORV, and the ORV that just cancelled on us will not earn 1 point.
If the ORV decides that he or she can no longer attend the trip and they notify us inside of 2 weeks prior to the trip that they cannot attend, they will be removed from the list, we’ll replace them with another ORV, and the ORV that just cancelled on us will earn 1 point.
If the ORV for some odd reason is a NO SHOW at the hunt, they will earn 1 Legacy Point. The Legacy Point is a point that will never go away. More specifically, after the last event of a year, we reset everyone’s points in the database to 0. If somebody NO SHOWS an event, they’ll earn a Legacy Point, and when we reset everyone again to 0, this person will be reset to 1 and will never be able to get below 1. Each year when we reset, this person will be reset to their Legacy Points.
After your SECOND NO SHOW, you will be permanently removed from OATH.
I think the guidance above is self explanatory, and while I don’t want to insult anybody’s intelligence, I do want to get deeper into the weeds. If you reply “YES” for a trip, are selected for that trip and are subsequently locked in for that trip, please make your very best effort to attend the trip. If you for some reason need to cancel on the trip, do your very best to do so outside of two weeks prior to the trip. If you reply “YES” to a trip and are selected to attend, and you then send us a note inside of two weeks prior to the trip that you need to cancel, you will earn 1 point. This window used to be 1 week, and we quickly found that we couldn’t fill the vacated spot in a week due to folks not being able to get off of work or folks already having plans with family or whatever the case might be. We then had to go to the trip and explain to the Ranch Manager or the Ranch Owner or the Boat Captain or whomever that we only had 3 ORVs and not 4 because one of them backed out on us and we couldn’t fill the spot due to such short notice. It’s not a fun conversation for our OATH Leader(s) to have, and we’ve done it waaaaaay too much for our liking. What the two weeks allows us to do as OATH Leaders is let that Ranch Manager or the Ranch Owner or the Boat Captain or whomever know well in advance that our headcount has changed for their own planning purposes. If we can only fill the 3 spots and not the 4th, and we let them know as quickly as possible, they can adjust on areas such as food, guides, bait, gifts, etc. If we have 4 ORVs slotted and only 3 show up and the Ranch Manager or the Ranch Owner or the Boat Captain or whomever aren’t made aware of it in a timely manner, they could very well have spent money on 5 meals for 4 ORVs (Friday Supper, Saturday Breakfast Lunch and Supper, Sunday Breakfast), they could very well have spent money on 4 Guides for 4 sits for 4 ORVs (Friday pm, Saturday am and pm, Sunday pm), they could very well have spent money on 4 gifts for 4 ORVs. We are blessed to have some Ranches that give each veteran a cooler, a gun, a gun case, ammo, jackets, etc. For one vacated spot, you’re probably looking at a waste of between $250 on the low end and $1,000 on the high end. So, it behooves OATH to try to fill each and every spot on each and every event to avoid this waste…..we’re hoping the 2 week notice period will help us do this, but if not, then we’ll make it a 3 week notice period.
The last instance is the despised NO SHOW, which we’ve also experienced unfortunately. The NO SHOW policy works as such: let’s say that you reply “YES” and are chosen to attend a hunt and receive the collective email between the other attendees, the OATH Leader and perhaps the trip donor. We let the Ranch Manager or the Ranch Owner or the Boat Captain or whomever know that you’re coming, and we carry on till the trip. We all email back and forth exchanging questions and answers, talking about arrival times and gear needs, etc, and we hear nothing from you stating that you’ll not be attending, so we all deploy to the trip. When we all get there, you’re a NO SHOW. You’ve not called us, you’ve not texted us, you’ve not emailed us, you’ve done nothing to let us know that you won’t be attending. Now we have to go back to that “food, guides, gifts etc.” scenario where we’ve cost that donor some money, but more importantly it makes OATH look less than professional because you, as an ORV, represent OATH during these events and decided to NO SHOW the trip. It’s as simple as that, folks. So, if you NO SHOW a trip, you’ll earn 1 Legacy Point, and you’ll be given a second chance. I like second chances. If you NO SHOW 2 events, you’ll be removed from the OATH database and be banned. We won’t call you or email you or text you stating such, you’ll just silently and quickly be removed. I’ve personally served as the OATH Leader on an event for 3 ORVs where I saw 2 of the chosen 3 NO SHOW on us…..it was a weekend hunt that the Ranch had put a great deal of time and effort and planning into for 3 of us, and only 1 showed up…….one of the longest and most awkward weekends of my life. I was literally embarrassed. I’ll not have anybody put our OATH Leaders in that spot again, it’s not fun.
In the end, we are here to support all ORVs, but you must meet us halfway, and there must be some guidelines and processes in place to ensure that we provide that support not only in a effective manner for both you and us, but also in a professional manner for the donors of these trips. I think we are well on our way to achieving that goal !!!
*** This Event Selection Process can change at any time.