Special Guests in 400G
Life as a student in historic Finch Fieldhouse is always an adventure. You never know who or what you will see when you walk through the doors. However, life as a student in RPL 400G is turning out to be a completely new adventure in itself.
The students in the Gus Macker class have been very fortunate to have several guest speakers come to class this semester. Every guest has been welcomed with the famous “Macker Tunnel” and has given insight to the students about different aspects of the tournament weekend.
The first speaker we had the chance to meet was Gus Macker himself, Scott McNeal. Gus came the second week of class, and he definitely brought the energy. He gave a great historical background of himself and how the Macker tournament went from his parent’s driveway to the national sensation it is today. While it is incredibly beneficial to know the history of the tournament, it was even more beneficial for the students to know what Gus expects from us. This 3-on-3 tournament is his “baby” and he is completely passing the torch to our class to carry on a rich tradition that he built. No pressure at all for us, really! Keep in mind, the students in this class were hand-picked because Tim and Lori knew we all could be counted on to bring the same energy and professionalism to the tournament that Gus does. No fear Gus, the Finch Fanatics are here!
In week four of class, Tim’s mother, Suzi Tengen, came to speak about the importance of volunteers to an event. While it may seem silly to most, Suzi carries her “infamous” fanny pack that contains a variety of things that just may save an event. She carries a first aid kit in case of any minor injuries, sunscreen and Advil, tissues and Chapstick, but she also has a few more unusual additions as well. In Suzi’s fanny pack you can also find nail clippers and a nail file, a notepad and pencil, mints and floss, and some spare change. While Tim makes fun of her endlessly for it, Suzi’s pack really is a volunteer’s best friend. The students were lucky enough to have been given Gus Macker drawstring backpacks, so maybe they will carry an updated version of the fanny pack at this year’s tournament.
A few weeks ago, Matt Young from the Mount Pleasant Convention and Visitor’s Bureau came to visit. He was able to give our class a look at how the Mount Pleasant CVB and Gus Macker have been collaborating the past few years to put on a great tournament and draw people to our unknown oasis. The CVB started a commission to bring sporting events to Mount Pleasant since it is directly in the middle of Michigan. This way, teams from Detroit and teams from the Upper Peninsula have virtually the same distance to drive to the same tournament. In terms of sales and sponsorships, Matt’s biggest piece of advice was to learn the product you are trying to sell, get feedback, and know who you are selling to. He also said that a CVB’s goals may differ from the goals of the event that they are sponsoring. It was a unique perspective on how the tournament we are running has an impact on the community we live in.
Kelsey Forsyth, our “Gus Goes Green Guru” wasn’t our only student guest speaker this semester. Meredith McIlhargey is a senior Commercial Recreation major and has not only helped with the RPL 400G class since it’s inception, but she also worked with the Gus Macker tournament this past summer. She put together a slide show of photos from her experiences and prepped the class for what the set up and tear down of the weekend would look like. While it looked intimidating, she assured us that as long as we all cooperated and worked hard it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as we all started to expect. The Macker team has a great system in place and as long as it can be executed properly, it’s nothing the students can’t handle.
Has YOUR team registered yet? What are you waiting for! Just click here (http://www.macker.com/tournaments/mtpleasantmi.html) to get registered for the CMU Gus Macker!
Until next time….MACKER ON!