July Training Day Cancelled


The Mid-Atlantic region is expecting dangerously high temperatures this coming weekend when we are scheduled to hold our monthly training day. For the safety of the dogs, we are cancelling the July training day.


Workers for our Spring Hunt Test

Our Spring Hunt Test is this Friday - Saturday (April 19 & 20). We’d like to send a huge shout out to those who’ve already raised their hands to work at the test.

Below is a link to the current worker list. If your name is not on the list, please sign up at the trailer first thing Friday morning at 7:15 AM.  There are still positions to be filled throughout the farm and substitutes to fill in when others need to run.  Please let Teresa Tebbens know that you are available to work.  Teresa can be reached in advance at ttebbens2014@gmail.com.




News from our 2019 Annual Meeting

At our annual meeting, we elected our 2019 Officers and laid out some ambitious plans for the coming year.

  • President - Will Kernodle

  • Vice President - Barry Gunning

  • Secretary - Linda Surmacz

  • Treasurer - Teresa Tebbens

  • New Board members elect - Kim Frederick, Clark Abbott

The 2019 Officers and board of directors would like to thank our outgoing officers and board members for their contributions to the advancement of the First State Retriever Club.

  • Outgoing Vice President - Joe Romanczak

  • Outgoing Board member - Bob Louie

  • Outgoing Board member - Mike Ostrom

Plans for 2019

  • Spring hunt test - April 19-20 at Johnson farm

  • Evan Graham seminar - August 16-17

  • Club meeting and Training Day August 18th

  • Field Trial - August 15th Hank McNeil Farm, Winslow, NJ

  • Fall Hunt Test - September 20-22 at Johnson Farm


A Holiday Message from our President


A Holiday Message from our President

Hello and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you.  

As many of you know, a few members of the First State Retriever Club, Teresa Tebbens (treasurer), Linda Surmacz (secretary), Nicole Brooks (member), Amy Kernodle, State Representative Tim Dukes and I delivered a Thanksgiving box of food, including a turkey and many sides to the family of Ms. Ginger Thompson of Laurel, DE. Ginger is the sole provider for her two grandchildren, one of which has autism.  Ms. Ginger is also battling her own illness, the devil’s very own cancer.  This day was nothing short of touching to all of our hearts and we wish we could have brought this happiness back to each and everyone of our members, friends, family and neighbors who gave.  

We followed that up by bringing more Thanksgiving joy as we proceeded to the Laurel Service Center to support our community as a whole. We were able to surprise the center director, Ella Collins, with a beautiful gift of over 1000 food items donated by our club members, sister retriever clubs and friends of our members.  I can guarantee you we made several families' Thanksgiving a good one.  

Today, we are launching our Christmas challenge.  Ms. Ginger’s story just stays with all of us who were there.  We all felt we had to do more for this family.  Your Board of Directors voted unanimously to support this family for Christmas and we need your help.  So, as many of you have already seen, we have launched a fund raiser on our website.  https://firststateretrieverclub.com/events/  Please give generously from your hearts. This money is going straight to this family for gifts and whatever else they need for Christmas and beyond.  We will run this fund raiser through our training day and then we will deliver this precious gift of love and joy to this wonderful family.

We are not done.  We are also doing a secret Santa exchange at our December training day.  Please bring a $10.00 wrapped gift with you.  Let’s plan on some fun.  

I will close with this little message from the bible, "a generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed", Proverbs 11:25.

God Bless each of you and have a safe and very Merry Christmas.

Sincerely, Will Kernodle - FSRC President



Calling all Junior Handlers!

The members of the First State Retriever Club have a passion for retriever sports and we know that we have a responsibility to nurture that love in young people. Our training days are family events and we love watching the love of our sport grow in the hearts of our young people. For our Fall Hunt Test in September, our club is going the extra mile to encourage Junior Handlers to compete in our Junior test. The Junior Test will be held on 9/29 and 9/30. We've announced a $25 refund on the entry of any Junior Handler who is under 18 years of age on the day of the test. After making that announcement, we received a generous offer from an individual to cover an additional $25 of the entry fee for the first four Junior Handlers to enter the Junior test. That's a guaranteed discount of $25 and the possibility of an additional $25 discount. Handlers will pay the full entry fee on Entry Express and then our treasurer, Teresa Tebbens, will provide the refunds to the handlers on the day of the test.

FYI - Junior Handlers will be required to handle the dog on the line without assistance from an adult.

Full details of the test are available on Entry Express.




March Meeting News

FSRC Welcomes New Officers, Directors, and Members

Left to right: Joe Romanczak (Vice President), Linda Surmacz (Secretary), Auggie Albright (Director), Wil Kernodle (President), Mike Ohstrom (Director), and Amy Wernecke (Director).

Left to right: Joe Romanczak (Vice President), Linda Surmacz (Secretary), Auggie Albright (Director), Wil Kernodle (President), Mike Ohstrom (Director), and Amy Wernecke (Director).

Look at this happy group! At our March annual meeting in which we held elections, these good people either joined the Board of First State or they changed roles. Congrats on their election to these new positions and thanks for volunteering your time for our club. And, thank you to Teresa Tebbens (Treasurer) and Bob Louie (Director) for agreeing to continue in their positions for the coming year. We want to give special thanks to outgoing leaders Mark Frederick (President), Rich Gardner (Vice-President), Joyce Shaw (Director) and Bob Tebbens (Director) for their service to the club. Our young club is successful thanks to the hard work of all the people named above.

We're also excited to add plenty of new members to our growing club. We've just approved 19 new members (9 individual memberships and 5 household memberships). This group includes everyone from complete beginners to people with decades of experience in our sport.

All of us will be working hard to put on our Spring Hunt Test in April. And, we'll soon announce training days for May, June, and July.

If you are not a member of FSRC yet, visit our membership page. You can now apply online and pay your membership dues via PayPal or Credit Card. We're making it easier for you to join our community of devoted hunters, trainers, competitors, and dog lovers...truly the nicest people you'll ever meet! What are you waiting for? (Note: new applicants need to provide the name of a member in good standing who is willing to sponsor your membership. If you don't know any members, come out to one of our events to get acquainted with this fine group.)



Exciting Updates to the FSRC Website

Is your printer always on the fritz? Is it no longer as easy as it once was to find your checkbook, envelopes, and stamps? Times have changed and we now do so much more online. FSRC has made an effort to provide some of the conveniences of modern times on our website.

Now you can submit an online application to join our club! And, you can also pay your dues and training fees online via Paypal or Credit Card! This will help to streamline collection of money for the club and provide you with documentation that you have made a payment to FSRC.

You can find information about submitting an application and paying your dues on our Membership page.

And, you can register and pay for training days on our Events page.

For those of you who still prefer to download, print, and mail your application and dues, you can still do so. And, you can still pay your training fees the morning of our training days.

FSRC has come a long way in just three short years! If you have any questions or comments about these new changes, you are welcome to share them at firststateretrieverclub@gmail.com.



Calling all Volunteers for First State's Spring Hunt Test

Workers needed for the First State Spring Hunt Test April 20-22.
Beat the rush and volunteer now! 
Many hands are needed to run a successful 3 day event.

Looking for an Equipment Manager, Bird Steward, Hospitality co-ordinator as well as a small army of workers over the 3 days to share the load.

This is my first chairing venture for the Club and I still feel like a newcomer in DE, so please help me out and sign up so I can get to know everyone who loves this Hunt Test sport as much as I do.

Contact me by phone or email, so I can add you to my list and coordinate assignments.

Thank you,
Laura Weinmann






Register Now for June 17th Training Day

Just a reminder that we are offering a training day, next weekend on June 17th at the Johnson Farm in Greenwood, Delaware.

Live fliers are available at a cost of $20 if you register by Friday at 4 p.m. No additional training fee is required if you purchase a flier.

If you are not reserving a live flier, training fees are $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. What a bargain for a valuable day of training with great people who will support you!

Click HERE to register.

Happy training all!



No Training Day in May

The First State Retriever Club will NOT be holding a training day in the month of May. We just wrapped up a successful Junior/Senior/Master Test in late April and our members are committed to various public service opportunities since then. Several of our members offered retriever demonstrations at the Delmarva Outdoors Expo.

And, the Susquehanna Retriever Club is holding it's Spring test at the Johnson Farm on May 19th-20th (our usual training weekend). We're asking all our members to volunteer to help at the Susquehanna test as the support of their club has been instrumental in helping us get our club up and running. If you are willing to volunteer at the Susquehanna test, please contact Christian Ricker at Christian@BoldBayRetrievers.com. Every good test is made up of a team of good volunteers!


1 Comment

When the Weather Forecast is for the Birds, We Train!

The weather report was for a coming Nor'Easter complete with 40 MPH winds and heavy rains. Sounds like a good day to stay inside next to a warm cozy fire. But not for members of FSRC!

That was exactly the report for Sunday afternoon and yet 20 handlers and 50 dogs showed up for our January training day.  First of all, I am so thankful that the weather held out (started raining on the last dog) and that we were able to have a very successful training day.  We had some members of DelBay Retriever Club join as well and we were able to donate $200 to the Canal mowing fund.  The set-up crew was there by 0830 and we were running dogs by 0930, right on time.  We had anticipated this being a bumper training session, but oh no! Members showed up and started unloading training birds so that we were able to use birds for training.  Cars, trucks, mini vans, they just kept coming with dogs and handlers of all levels.  It became very apparent very quickly that we needed to split into two groups, one for young dogs and another for more advanced dogs.  No problem!  A group grabbed equipment and birds, headed down the hill and lickety-split, we had two sessions going!

It is truly amazing to see a group of people who are so dedicated to one another and the dogs that we so dearly love.  There were many of our club members who worked very hard to make this day a success, some even working multiple sessions in the field!  To you we are very grateful.  Our set up crew, who also became our take down crew, did a great job showing up early and staying late.  We had members step up and marshall for each set up, people to run the line, holding blinds were kept full, bird throwers did a great job throwing but also helping dogs that needed just that little bit of help, etc., etc.  Phone numbers were exchanged by members and non-members alike with offers to help with that force fetching, pile work, you name it.  That’s what this club is all about!  Well done gang.

I would be remiss in this blog if I did not remind all of our club moto, “We work.”  For those who did, thank you! For those who didn’t, only one question, “why not?”  For those who are brand new and don’t know how yet, jump in we’ll teach ya!

Looking forward to February’s training day in Port Deposit.  I encourage all members to make a special effort to attend as this will be our final nominating day for club officers and planning for the spring hunt test.

This month's training report submitted by Mark Frederick.

1 Comment

First State to Hold Inaugural Hunt Test This Weekend

Entries are in and final preparations are being made for the First State Retriever Club's Inaugural Hunt JH/SH Test this Sunday, November 13th. 

Here are the numbers:

  • A total of 59 entries.
  • 21 Senior entries.
  • 38 Junior entries.
  • 36 Labradors.
  • 10 Chesapeakes.
  • 9 Golden Retrievers.
  • 1 German Shorthaired Pointer.
  • 1 Poodle.
  • 1 Flat Coated Retriever.

When the test concludes, we invite all participants to join us for a potluck luncheon and bonfire. Hot dogs and  hamburgers provided. Please email Linda Miller at rmiller942@comcast.net to let her know the dish you will be bringing.

It is forecasted to be a beautiful, sunny day on Sunday. See everyone there!

Reminder: Meeting & Training Day Tomorrow

Ours is a community sport where we depend upon one another. Every handler needs someone to throw birds for them. We all depend upon the coaching and feedback that our trusted training partners give us on a regular basis. And, if you've ever earned a ribbon at a hunt test or field trial, an army of volunteers made that event possible.

Tomorrow, The First State Retriever Club meets at 9:30 a.m. to finalize our plans for our inaugural Junior/Senior Hunt test which is scheduled for November 13th. Many hands make light work, so we need all hands on deck to make our first test a success. There are so many ways to help! Bring the whole family to tomorrow's meeting and we'll sign everyone up to play a part. Let's all work together to host a test that we can be proud of.

Click the link below for details about the training day. We hope to see you there! 

October 21st Meeting and Training Day


Welcome to the First State Retriever Club's New Website!

Our club went from a spark of an idea to a reality in a very short time due to the hard work of a small group of people who now represent the club as officers and directors. Our membership has quickly grown and everyone is finding a way to help move the club forward. In that short time, we've held monthly training days and events, we've gained AKC approval, and we've added Fall and Spring Hunt Tests to the calendar. And, this morning, we've launched a website to communicate with our members and the public and to celebrate what we accomplish together with our dogs.

We leave you today with a few words of wisdom...