Starting a new kennel is hard. It is nice to start with a blank slate, but you have to establish your own traditions and customs (or figure out which you want to borrow from others) which can be a challenge given all the options. We’ve gone back and forth on a few, but we think we’ve sorted most of that out.
We had to really have to think about what it is we love about hashing, what keeps us going back for more, and figure out how to make sure that is incorporated in every trail.
Then there are the folks that have interrogated us about why we have started a new kennel. We have only one answer for that:
– More hashing.
We wanted a name that would reference Virginia somehow. We’d originally come up with Short Pump H3, but a wise hasher (Full of Shit) talked us out of it, which we are grateful for. And we love to travel and that really wouldn’t have fit us. We’d been tossing around ideas and words that related to VA and then Pocahontas came up. That quickly turned into POCA and ultimately POHO, cause it was funnier to us.
Pocahontas relates to our location and was also a nod to Rektal Spielunker’s Native American heritage, although a different tribe (Rektal’s mom was born on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Indian Reservation). So, the POHO girl is made to look like Rektal (if he was a young girl).
Our Style of Hashing
There are many different types of kennels even though we all follow the same basic guidelines. But when you distill it down a bit, one of the broad categories is party first exercise second. And the other is exercise first party after. Neither is right our wrong, it’s just preference. For us, the joy in hashing comes more from the physical challenge and socializing than from drunken debauchery. Nothing wrong with that, just not where we’re at (unless it’s an AGM or weekend event and then game on.)
In 1950 when the original mother hash in Kuala Lumpur was “forced” to (they were adamant about not having rules) write out the objective of their club for a registry, they stated the following:
1. To promote physical fitness among our members
2. To get rid of weekend hangovers
3. To acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer
4. To persuade the older members that they are not as old as they feel
Good stuff. And an insight into what our “founding fathers” were all about. While we hash on the weekends so #2 is kinda out, we intend to promote the spirit of the other 3 objectives.
And while we also don’t want rules, like all kennels, we do have guidelines, which I’m sure we will continue to tweak.
Here are our general guidelines for POHO trails (a page with detailed haring guides, trail marks and such is coming soon):
– We will always have a walkers and a runners trail with penguin, turkey, eagle and duck splits when necessary.
– We will do 3+ miles for walkers, 5+ for runners
– We will have 2 to 3 beer (+water, cider, soda) or shot checks
– The chase. Hashing is not a race, but it most certainly is a chase and we don’t want to lose that part of our shared hashing history, so we will incorporate those elements in each trail.
Other than those and the hand full of other guidelines we will publish, that’s about as organized as we want to get. Rektal and I are both “fly by the seat of our pants” type of people and organization won’t be our thing.
Part of the reason we only have a trail once per month is that we love to travel and visit other kennels in VA/NC/MD. We’ve also just joined the DC Road Whores so we can go with other folks to out of state and out of the country.
Most weekends we will visit other kennels, or multiple other kennels. Join us any time you want!