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Thread: How would it affect you? Entry limit related

  1. #11
    Senior Member Trifecta's Avatar
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    Realize a lot of us have to work weekends.

    For me, giving up running a test to go work at another test means that I may not get out that year at all. I am more than happy to work at a test that I am entered in; I just can't give up one of my precious weekends off (especially in the spring/summer/early fall) to go work and not run the dog.
    Natalie Fraser, DVM
    Trifecta Labradors

    Home to my heart dog, Hudson:
    Am/Can Ch. Marshyhope's Satisfaction, CGC, WC, CDX, RE, JH

  2. #12
    Member LabLover45's Avatar
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    One of the hrc clubs we belong to for workers we have used local 4 h clubs or local high school sports teams. The sports teams we have used were the football team and the cheerleader team. The coaches and parents made sure the players showed up and they also helped out. We even had one of the kids join the club and now runs a dog. Another group that may work is juvinile offenders with approval from the propper authority. With the sport teams we gave a donation for equipment. This is just athought on getting workers if more flights are needed so everyone can run a dog or dogs and still help out if needed

  3. #13
    Senior Member Bruce MacPherson's Avatar
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    Probably not at all.
    "The longer you let a dog go in the wrong direction the more they think they are going in the right direction" Don Remien.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Margo Ellis's Avatar
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    I have done it all. If I am running them I am not judging so I am able to help out whatever way possible. I have chosen to live where I have limited tests so the closest is about two hours and the furthest being Southern California.
    Margo Ellis

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  5. #15
    Senior Member PalouseDogs's Avatar
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    I'm new to the retriever world, but not new to the small club volunteer problem. For several years, I've co-chaired an obedience trial and an agility trial held by the local dog club. I fell into the OB chair when the former chair quit in disgust at not being able to get enough help. (I TOTALLY sympathize with that person now.) Before I chaired the agility trial, I was an agility volunteer helper for a few years.

    I'm currently showing two dogs in OB. I haven't run a dog in agility in years. I had the crazy idea that it would be great if club members that didn't do agility would volunteer at the agility trial, while club members that did agility but not conformation or OB (our OB trial is held during our conformation show) would volunteer to help with the conformation/OB ahow. I tried to encourage some of the agility-only people to take over some of the OB work.

    So much for that good idea. In practice, the same people that always volunteer continued to volunteer at the same events they've always volunteered at, except that the number of volunteers keeps declining. Last year, I finally threw up my hands and said I wasn't having anything to do with the agility trial anymore. Another illustration of another small-club volunteer problem: burnout among the frequent volunteers.

    Similar to my agility/obedience volunteer trade-off, I'd propose that the field trial club exhibitors volunteer at hunt tests and vice-versa, but, based on my experience, I wouldn't be optimistic that it would work.

    A big issue with volunteers is that so much of the work that needs to be done happens before and after the day's events are over. During the trial/test, some critical jobs are best done by volunteers who can devote their entire day to the job instead of trying to work around the unpredictable run schedules. Obviously, I'm most familiar with agility and obedience, but I am sure that hunt tests and field trials have many similar challenges: Before the trial: Filing paperwork with the AKC, locating judges and signing contracts, arranging for porta-potties and grounds, signing more contracts, proofing the premiums, lining up hotel accomodations for the judges, getting COMMITMENT!!!! from volunteers who will be doing big jobs during the trial (for jobs like being responsible for setting up rings, making food, etc.). Getting those committments can be one of the major headaches for a chair. A vague "I'll help out if my sister-in-law doesn't come to town" doesn't cut it. The day before or of the trial: picking up judges at the airport, setting up the rings or getting all the equipment in place, putting out fires, trying to find replacements for your committed volunteers who weren't so committed after all, making frantic arrangements to replace the judge that had the audacity to up and die just before the show. (It happened.) During the trial: filling in for the committed volunteers that weren't so committed or got sick at the last moment, dealing with the overflowing porta-potties and the company that said we didn't specify that they needed to be pumped every night, making regular rounds to bag the garbage because the person that volunteered for the task was elderly and didn't realize there would be so much walking involved, etc. After the trial/test, when almost all the participants have fled the scene and your volunteer crew is hot, tired, and grumpy, getting enough of them to stay until the bitter end to help reload equipment, pick up trash, disassemble shade canopies, etc.

    The majority of volunteers have never participated in the real headaches of putting on a trial/test and naively believe that all you need is a little extra help manning a winger for a couple of hours, or setting jumps in agility, or handing out armbands to OB competitors, or whatever, depending on venue. All those are absolutely necessary jobs, but the easiest ones to fill. Furthermore, the majority of club members have full-time jobs, full-time children responsibilities, or are elderly/frail and not capable of many of major tasks.

    The sweet spot for volunteer help (my observation) are the recent retirees. They usually don't have children at home. They no longer have to worry about using precious annual leave to volunteer on Fridays and Mondays. They generally have a window of a few years after retiring and before health issues begin making a significant impact on their lives. (Assuming they didn't retire because of health issues.)

    I've often thought wistfully that it would be nice to have a volunteer clearinghouse of people who liked volunteering, had free time and resources, and who were willing to help out with activities they themselves didn't participate in, in return for someone else volunteering to help with the activities they were interested in.

    I can dream
    Kelly Cassidy (person)

    HR Maple Cassidy CDX JH RE (golden retriever)
    Alder Cassidy CDX RE (standard poodle chipmunk chaser)
    plus whacked-out weird Burka (elderly mix-breed rescue girl)

  6. #16
    Senior Member fetchtx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    This is is a duh statement. No offense to you personally, but the idea of running multi flight ht with volunteers is laughable at best. With entry fees between $75-100 clubs should be hiring help. The best run test I run, judge, chair, committee, or work have had bird help. Every club I have been around or know the workings of are all the same. They have a small percentage of the members that are actually actively involved in work for the club and then a few more that will do some work at a test. That is just the way clubs are. All positions are voluntary and while some give everything far more give little when it comes to work. You can't force volunteers to do anything. Paid help is a necessity.
    I agree, some of the best run tests are paying throwers. Trying to run volunteers like employees is a sad song no one likes to hear. Clubs just raise your fees, pay your help and if it results in a smaller entry so be it. Some clubs have the membership for non helpers high, helpers much lower, I would rather just pay the higher entry knowing good help at all levels.
    DLM


    " Paddle faster, I hear Banjos!"

  7. #17
    Senior Member DarrinGreene's Avatar
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    Thanks to those who stayed on task in answer the initial question.
    Darrin Greene

  8. #18
    Senior Member mostlygold's Avatar
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    Because it's not just HT that happen on weekends. Some of us work on weekends or have other commitments that prevent us from attending a weekend HT. My club holds 6 training sessions that I help coordinate so that is 6 more weekends. Many people have to travel to Their own clubs HT. That can get expensive with gas and hotel if you are not running a dog as well. Our club members work at our HT. We don't have to hire outside help, which is good, because in the NE, we don't have the ROTC, FFA, etc types of youngsters who are capable of handling a firearm and willing to stand out throwing birds all day. I don't know what the answer is, but I do see many clubs where the members do not lift a finger to help. It is all paid help or not much help at all. Darrin is correct that we need more club members involved in helping to run these events. Our end of year trophies and awards are predicated on work time, so at least those that work are those that get a shot a winning end of year awards.

    Dawn
    mostlygold
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  9. #19
    Senior Member PalouseDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinGreene View Post
    Thanks to those who stayed on task in answer the initial question.
    The more direct answer: For all three of the AKC hunt tests closest to me, I have to take a day of annual leave and pay for two nights in a hotel. One the hunt tests is sometimes not held. So, no, I would not be inclined to sit out 1/3 or 1/2 of the closest tests while still paying traveling expenses and losing a day of leave.
    Kelly Cassidy (person)

    HR Maple Cassidy CDX JH RE (golden retriever)
    Alder Cassidy CDX RE (standard poodle chipmunk chaser)
    plus whacked-out weird Burka (elderly mix-breed rescue girl)

  10. #20
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PalouseDogs View Post
    The more direct answer: For all three of the AKC hunt tests closest to me, I have to take a day of annual leave and pay for two nights in a hotel. One the hunt tests is sometimes not held. So, no, I would not be inclined to sit out 1/3 or 1/2 of the closest tests while still paying traveling expenses and losing a day of leave.
    This is a huge part of it. In my old area few had a short drive and many had a 1-4 hour drive home meaning a hotel stay. An average trip to my own clubs test (I always work or am chair or part of the committee) means a tank and a half of gas to the tune of $130, two nights in a hotel at another $140ish, meals, gas for the 4 wheeler, and a 4 hour drive. For the last couple years I have not run my old dogs and have only handled a few for others. If I were not an officer or board member and was asked to come work and not run a dog I highly doubt I would do it. It is hard to ask someone to put out $3-500 dollars to come sit in the sun so somebody else can run their dogs. It is hard enough to get people to volunteer without asking them to put out their own money as well.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

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