Tuesday, June 28, 2011



I am not on the Clean Run list...and probably that is OK, sounds like there has been a firestorm going on...I am not into fires...but...volunteering is apparently the hot topic of the week :)

I think volunteers are an important part of agility...without them, the trials won't happen. We are all running dogs, we all should pitch in if we can. That's how I feel.

I don't hold negative thoughts;/voodoo dolls/evil spells against those that don't volunteer. I don't know anyone else's reason for their yes or no answer to volunteering...personally, I just don't care. If you can, great, if you can't, that's great too. Whatever. Not really interested in wasting energy on that facet of life :)

I run 3 dogs, so I'll say I don't volunteer as much as I COULD, but I try. Normally I am one of the ones that helps unload and set up the site the night before the trial, it's needed, we work, tada! I'll jump in here and there and bar tend, or leash run or whatever...during the trial days.

I don't sign up for volunteering on the entry forms, I did that....TWO TIMES...BOTH TIMES I ended up working every, single class I wasn't running my 3 dogs in...not cool. I don't mind helping, but breaks are nice!!!

As long as things are organized, the coordinators are nice and things go smoothly I am good to go in regards to volunteering. Mass chaos, bitchy people, probably won't be getting me as a volunteer again. I have witnessed volunteers getting YELLED at...really?!?!? Not a great idea.

Are there times I choose not to volunteer--yes. If I am sick, no way. When I am running a baby dog in another ring with my older dogs...I will cut back. I try to get some down time if at all possible as I have other dogs that need care besides just the trial dogs. They need to be taken out, walked, pottied etc as well. Time needs to be allowed for that.

I make a point, at minimum, twice a year, to just go to a trial in a venue I don't run in, and volunteer in the ring...timing, whatever. I am a horrible scribe, I don't watch the judge...ugh...but anything else I am game for. I do this to give back. I don't like the idea of being so overwhelmed with trial duties and running dogs that my dogs don't get 100% of me in that ring...so I will do this so I can really focus on volunteering. And I get to see my students running in another venue :) It's a good thing!

I would say the things I find that are perks: Lunch is always good...vouchers are useful. But above all, just having those in charge be organized and NICE to me is worth a lot. And also understanding if something comes up. I realize coordinating all the help can be stressful, but please don't take it out on those that are trying to make things go faster!

If everyone could pitch in just a little bit...I think that would be great...so set a bar, straighten the chute...even just once. It makes a big difference.


Jaenne said...

My local group is trying to boost volunteerism...we give volunteer food vouchers and at our last trial, we did a volunteer raffle basket. I'm told that I volunteer too much, lol and that I need to not volunteer so much so that I don't burn myself out. I always help setup and take down. I usually volunteer the most on the last day of the trial because that is when we have the big drop because people have a tendency to leave once they are done.

K-Koira said...

I think this is probably the same throughout all the dog sports, and for that matter, throughout all non-profit events of any kind. I don't even run agility, but have a few times been watching runs, heard them call for a volunteer to which no one responded, and ended up sitting in the ring helping out. I also enjoy volunteering at flyball tournaments enough that I spent an entire two day tournament where I did nothing but pass call and box judge, and had a great time doing it.
Like you said though, I don't know other people's reasons for not volunteering. Maybe they are running a ton of dogs, feeling sick, needing to get work done in their down time, have extra dogs they need to take care of, or any number of reasons. So while it is great to see people step forward without hesitation when the call for volunteers comes in, not everyone can respond.

Breanna said...

I'm such a basket case at trials that I volunteer. It helps with my stress, makes the trial go better for me and my dog, and is a great way to cheer on my fellow handlers.

There isn't any hostility from me towards folks that don't help. It's a volunteer job and the trial may run slower without help but some folks have a gazillion dogs to run, family stuff, etc so what can you do? Complaining certainly isn't going to fix it :) We do have a workers raffle which is fun and one of our favorite groups feeds the volunteers for free (which rocks!)

Taryn said...

I trial only in AKC and with alot of trials only offering STD and JWW, that can leave you with lots of time between runs. I don't mind volunteering for one class in every trial. It's fun to be ring crew and have a front row seat. I also like leash running as it burns off nervous energy and calories :-)
Most trials offer snacks/drinks to their workers which is also a nice bonus. So basically, what's not to like about helping out? I am actually disappointed when the workers list is sent out and my name's not on it!