THE BURGESS DOCTRINE I
In 1983, I founded the Finger Lakes Microd Club. At that time I sighted three goals for starting FL.M.C. These were stated on Page 2 of our proposal for membership. All three times we asked for admission to the New York State Microd Assoc. (they were also printed on page 24 of both planbooks we have used over the years). A fourth “goal” was conceived at the same time F.L.M.C. was born but it was never written down mainly because it was an attitude (a way of looking at things). During the past year and a half it has become painfully clear that this “goal” not only needs to be written down clearly, but is the most important of the “Five Goals”. This doctrine we will be discussing. The fifth “goal” was developed over a period of years starting in 1987. While goal five was not an original goal of F.L.M.C., the current directors and I feel very strongly that it be included as an official goal of F.L.M.C. at this time.
Goal I: To bring Microd Racing within reach (money wise) of any family.
Explanation: From the very beginning I wanted a club where money was not the determining factor of who had a chance to win races. it was also my opinion that while most families could afford a microd, many could not afford the expense of being competitive at higher levels in the metal frame clubs. This is mostly because of the level of technology involved.
Goal 2: To make cars as even and competitive as possible so that the driver’s skill wins the race instead of a well built engine or well designed car.
Explanation: This was a big challenge to develop a system where all drivers had equal chance to win (even for drivers without a lot of experience). We know there are better and faster ways to build race cars - that was never our aim at F.L.M.C. Our objective will always be to minimize “Daddy racing”. We do not want a lot of things on the cars that are adjustable. Parents who enjoy tinkering on the car will find the system we’ve developed very frustrating. This is intentional. These parents should look to move up to the metal frame clubs in the area because innovation is one of the main features of these clubs!
Goal 3: To simplify construction of microds and reduce maintenance of engines so that a person of no special skills can build and maintain his own car.
Explanation: This has come to mean strict adherence to the Little Wheels plan book, and club owned stock motors for all classes. Every member should realize these two principals afford all members the best opportunity to remain competitive on an on-going basis. Lack of latitude on interpretation of “car specs” insures all competitors of uniformity among cars and no advantages to “Rule Stretchers”. A list of do’s and don’ts on engine care is provided to each family. Among other things this states only authorized personnel may take a motor apart.
Goal 4: To teach children to be successful in life (long term). Also to let each child know he or she can be somebody and that they can make a difference for others with their lives.
Explanation: Our biggest responsibility at F.L.M.C. is to teach each child success principles he or she can use and apply in their lives after they leave F.L.M.C. Many people believe success is winning races, but this has never been the case and never will be. * “Success isn’t a matter of being the best. Success is a matter of handling the worst. It’s being able to deal constructively with life’s disappointments.” The people who keep focused on achieving their goals despite disappointments are the real winners in life and always will be! Children are taught not to measure themselves against others but against their own personal best records. Children need to understand that winning is something “special” that happens as a result of doing their best. Demanding parents that “expect” winning, take the joy out of the experience of winning. Remember these are kids and they do not need to deal with adult situations this early in life.
* From Robert Schuiler’s book “Life’s Not Fair. But God is Good”
Goal 5: To always be willing to accommodate the handicapped, the retarded, or people with other special needs.
Explanation: Since the time I was seven years old, I have believed very strongly that God places each of us here on earth with both a purpose and a destiny. Whether a person fulfills God’s destiny for themselves is in large part up to the individual themselves. But make no mistake; the environment in which a child is raised has a big effect. At F.L.M.C. our goal is to provide an environment where children can both be encouraged and loved, not by just their immediate family, but by their club family as well. The current directors and I believe the system of racing we have developed builds the self esteem of all drivers (not just a select few) because no one dominates from week to week. in the years since 1987 I have encountered people who have criticized me for allowing handicapped individuals to race with us stating “They should stay home where they belong.” The thing these people haven’t taken the time to understand is, that if you are trying to hide what you are, or what you have, you live in fear for someone finding out. This is not really living. Every child needs a place where they can be accepted for who they are, and be treated as just one of the gang. It is my hope that F.L.M.C. will always be a place where any person can come and be welcomed regardless of their special situation.
In Conclusion: Over the years many members have become discontent and left
F.L.M.C. The reason is almost always the same. F.L.M.C. has refused to change (progress in their eyes) as they change. This is because our focus is not on technology advancement or competition, our goal is to not change, to be stable so that members do not have to spend money making changes, trying to keep up with advancing technology. My vision for F.L.M.C. has always been to focus on people rather than on competition. In my opinion, “it is for this reason more than any other that makes F.L.M.C. unique among other microd clubs.” It was never my intention that F.L.M.C. compete (competition wise) with other clubs around the state. In my view, F.L.M.C. serves a completely different type of person as compared to our metal frame counterparts. The Board of Directors and I want everyone to know of these differences before they join F.L.M.C. We’ll also require that if you still wish to join our club after reading these goals, you sign a pledge to support these goals for as long as you are a member of F.L.M.C.
A. J. Burgess
(I/we)agree: ________________________________________________________________________________ to support these goals for as long as we are members of F.L.M.C.
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