Effective January 1, 2018, all of our events will be using the new stamps which will save us money and provide a stamp with more information in our books. This is a great step forward for AVA. With every improvement/change comes the need to adjust how we do business. These new stamps are no exception. Please be aware that you will need to be careful how you use the new stamps. If you continue to do your stamping like you always have with our old stamps, you could easily end up with just a black mark in your books.
In particular, with the old stamps we all tended to press the stamp deeply into the stamp pad and then press the stamp very hard on our books, rocking and rolling the stamp to account for the uneven slugs in the stamp. With the new stamps, this technique could well result in solid black mark since the new stamps do not have letters/numbers as deep as the old stamps, and most of the stamps have smaller letters with less space between the letters.
The suggested procedure for the new stamps is to ink the stamp lightly and do a trial stamp on a piece of paper (e.g., the walk directions) to ascertain imprint quality. You may determine that the stamp has too much ink and have to repeat this process to determine the correct amount of force to ink the stamp as well as the correct amount force to use get a good imprint before stamping your book.
It is critical that all Volkssporters get the word on changing how they stamp their books. While this is a very positive step forward for AVA, it won't take but one botched stamp in a book to sour that participant on this as an improvement. Clubs might consider putting an instruction sheet in with the stamp in their Walk Box showing both the botched stamp using the old technique and the new improved stamp using the recommended stamping technique.
Thanks to Bob Schmick (Maryland Volkssport Assoc., President) for pointing out this "black line" issue and ATRD Mike Green for bringing it to my attention. Thanks also to Chris Zegelin for developing this new improved stamp, to Hector Hernandez for learning how to operate the new stamp cutting equipment and getting all these new stamps produced, and the rest of the folks in the office for working together to get the stamps shipped out to the clubs.