The Lenape Golden Retriever Club comprises Golden Retriever enthusiasts living in and around Central/South Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. Our members are involved in the many facets of this versatile breed, and participate at different levels of activity. Some have Goldens only as pets while others participate in the show ring, obedience and rally trials, agility, field trials, tracking, search and rescue, and many activities in between. Whatever members' interests or activities are, all members share a love of Golden Retrievers and willingly share their time and expertise to nurture new enthusiasts and improve the breed.
As important as our work with Goldens is to us, we enjoy social gatherings such as picnics, holiday parties, and fun events for our Goldens. We hold an annual health clinic and a specialty show. Educational seminars, obedience, rally and field trials, match and CCA events, and other activities fill our schedule.
We would love for you to attend our next meeting and participate in a few events to enhance your life and that of your dog. We look forward to meeting you and your Golden!
To learn more about us, visit our pages, contact us via e-mail.
How Lenape started. . .
A group of us started meeting at the home of Anne & Herman Plusch in the winter of 1977. It was an intentionally small group of people: myself, Anne & Herman, Fred & Peg Suter, Bill Prentiss, Ralph Permar, Leslie Dickerson. At that time, Golden Retrievers were becoming very popular, but there was no GRC in Pennsylvania then except for Pittsburgh. There was a need for a club between the areas served by Potomac in MD and Garden State in NJ.
Also, this was a time before the advent of hunt tests & it was doggone difficult to find a WC/WCX test. Only a GRC could host a WC/WCX test.
During the winter of 1977 we put together the proposed constitution and bylaws and a code of ethics. We might have been the first GRC to have a code of ethics as a condition of membership (but I can't be sure). The idea was that if all members felt strongly about the health and well-being of the dogs, then the fact that our interests within the breed might be diverse, the COE would be our common bond.
Bu the way, we started out trying to be the "East Penn GRC," but AKC wanted a more particular geographical name. So "Lenape" came from the Lenape Indians who once inhabited the Delaware & Lehigh Valleys here in PA. For whatever reason, the AKC liked that.
In June 1978, we had our first official meeting—once again at the Plusch home. We adopted our constitution and bylaws, and set about fulfilling the requirements needed to become a club sanctioned by the AKC. This was needed in order to become recognized by the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) and be able hold a WC/X test. The first event we hosted was a "fun" WC/X test. Then we held our B matches to get AKC sanctioning. We quickly applied to GRCA for acceptance, and within 30 days of getting our GRCA recognition, we did, indeed, hold our first WC/WCX test at the home of Leslie Dickerson with the use of a pond on a nearby property. It was at this event that we also started our tradition of holding a tailgate party after the test. The tradition started with simply beer and pretzels, but over time evolved into a terrific covered dish dinner get-together.
Part of Lenape's early public education effort was Starr Hayes' brainchild, The Golden Nugget Drill Team. I learned last Saturday that Janet Krupp is presently a member of an all-breed drill team! The Golden Nuggets performed at nursing homes, store openings, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and also at the Devon Horse Show, the Gaines Eastern Regional Championships in Philadelphia, the Sussex KC show, and the GRCA National Specialty in Long Island. The message: a trained dog is a happy dog. There was lots of time to mingle with the crowds at these events. The club also participated with a booth at the Lehigh Valley KC's Canine Learning Experience for many years for this same reason.
Around May 1980 we started to put together an obedience team. We were the only entrants in the obedience team competition at the 1981 National Specialty. I remember our practice entry at the Berks County DTC trial that summer ... nobody had done a team in obedience in so long, even the judges weren't sure how to do it! But at the National in '81, Frank Valek was the judge and he gave the team a lot of helpful hints on how to improve. Someone mentioned, at that time, that this was the first all-Golden drill team to perform on Long Island.
By the 1987 National Specialty in Millbrook, NY, team competition at the National was becoming popular! Lenape's "Red Men" took 2nd place that year.
In 1984, Lenape hosted its first A-OA match; and in 1988 it hosted its first licensed independent specialty. In May 1990, it hosted its first licensed Hunt Test (one sanctioned test had been held previously).
I hope you enjoyed learning about the beginnings of Lenape Golden Retriever Club.