Puppies (and their humans) are required to attend meetings. Puppies under four months old need to attend a meeting every week. Older puppies need to attend two meetings a month. The leaders try to arrange one field trip each month and at least one training meeting. Most meetings fall into one of two categories: field trips and training. Read more about what's a meeting like.
The purpose of field trip meetings is many fold. Your puppies experience something they might not experience with you alone. For instance, I (the person writing) hate going to malls, and I'd never set foot in one if it weren't for puppy meetings. Besides the exposure, the leaders get to see how the puppies react to different situations and they use this information to help you with training.
Training meetings tend to be held in the same location over and over. The puppies get comfortable in the area and the humans don't have to access their GPS each week. Training meetings start with introductions, because there's usually new members or people thinking about raising a puppy or people thinking about baby sitting.
After introductions, the leader for the meeting usually introduces a theme for the meeting and the group works on that skill. Last week, for instance, the puppies worked on the command "go to bed" and on walking past each other without going bonkers. Other skills are puppy handling, stay, come, all the other commands the puppies need to learn, and food avoidance. Sometimes a leader will bring a cat or a non-labrador to the meeting to see how the puppies react. A few times a year I bring ferrets to the meeting. No one has ever brought a bird or a snake to the meeting.
What's the chaos level?
Meetings are pretty calm. You'd expect chaos with 17 puppies, but there isn't chaos. Every dog has at least one human with him, and the humans keep things under control. Everyone has treats with them. Every dog is on leash. And most importantly, these are guide dog puppies. They are bred to be smart and calm.
If you're interested in baby sitting or raising a puppy
Come to a meeting. That's the best way to figure out what's going on. The people are friendly and generally willing to chat and answer questions. And, the puppies are always cute. If you have allergies, consider drugging up before hand. My eyes go bonkers in a room with 17 puppies.