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Thread: Volunteer perks.

  1. #1
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Volunteer perks.

    Greetings,

    Previously a poster suggested that perhaps to recruit and retain volunteers that we should extend free rally registration to volunteers.

    The web must have burped and it seems to have disappeared off into the either....


    The original:

    Do you want more volunteers! So many that you have to turn some down? Someone mentioned hiring outside help? Why pay others? Reward our own by free access. Small price to pay, during these hard times and rough economy.
    Why not offer free registration for a designated amount of volunteered time? Perhaps for a set amount of hours or the task at hand?
    Concert security get free access to the concert they work, the organizers would never ask them to pay to enter and then ask to volunteer. They hire the clean up crew!
    To which I replied:

    An interesting idea but completely unenforceable.

    The interesting metric would be how many people were on site Tuesday night. In *theory* these people are all volunteers but the reality is a huge number of them say they're volunteers so they can get to the rally before everyone else and score what they consider to be the best spot.

    At the Vermont rally the question was asked of the board "when does the rally start?" Does it start on Thursday morning like all the public information indicates? Does it start at noon Wednesday when "volunteer" registration opens or does it start Monday morning when the first of the truly hard working volunteers arrive and get to work?

    It was a question that was never really answered and over the years the vast majority of MOA National rallies have had open gates as early as Monday with the "expectation" that anyone there that early was there to work. No need to sign up or make a commitment so a system that was ripe for abuse has, to no surprise turned into a bit of a joke.

    I arrived at Charleston with the rally chair to find the site manager having a melt down because someone came in Sunday night, set up a tent in a no tent area, told security he was one of the rally "organizers" to get in Sunday night and then disappeared Monday to go riding all day.

    At one rally there were over 3,000 people on site Tuesday!

    Imagine being a guy who read all the published information and arrived at the rally Wednesday afternoon to be ready to attend a seminar Thursday morning and discover half of the attendees are already there and all the best camping taken? IMO that's not fair and helps reinforce the idea that it isn't what published, it's who you know.

    What got me hooked on volunteering was the experience I had helping set up in Rhinebeck back in what, 99? Monday and Tuesday night it was just the set up crew, i.e. a hundred or so folks. We'd bust out butts during the day and enjoy each others company in the evening. We didn't have people setting up tents where a rally activity was to take place, trying to get into the vendor buildings or trying to use services that were not set up yet.

    IMO if we want to increase the volunteer participation rather than offer free admission and all the issues associated with trying to track it let's have a consistent and easy to understand (and follow) gate policy.

    If we had an official Gates open time of noon Wednesday with listed volunteers only admitted prior to noon Wednesday it would go along way.

    It would make it much more fun for the volunteers. The would know for a fact that anyone they see until noon Wednesday was busting their butt just as hard. They could be provided with a nice meal Tuesday night along with the swag that all the volunteers get. Taking it a step further they could even be given a special shirt that recognizes their efforts.

    But the "Don't you know who I am" crowd will never go for it unless of course they had a way to rig it.

  2. #2
    Motorcyclist patiodadio's Avatar
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    I have volunteered at many motorcycle races, both WSBK and Moto GP. You get lots perks for working, free meals , tee shirts etc. I think if you want more volunteers you need to come up with some incentive other than paying $40 MOA dues and $40 bucks to get in the Rally. Just my 2 cents........




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  3. #3
    Motorsickle Rider brisco's Avatar
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    Rob,

    I agree with everything you said above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Nye View Post
    If we had an official Gates open time of noon Wednesday with listed volunteers only admitted prior to noon Wednesday it would go along way.
    The early entry is a joke.
    Unless signed up as a registered volunteer, there should be no entry to the grounds before Wednesday noon.

    There should be a consistent gate policy applied to all.
    Kansas. Eleven curves in three hundred eighteen miles...
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  4. #4
    I am here to serve you. hankb's Avatar
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    Good points, all, Rob.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Nye View Post
    If we had an official Gates open time of noon Wednesday with listed volunteers only admitted prior to noon Wednesday it would go along way.
    Unfortunately this would require gate control prior to Wednesday noon.

    I arrived on Sunday because I needed to have the chartered club camping area laid out before Joplin Tent arrived to pitch canopies for clubs on Tuesday. I didn't know enough about the job to be able to spread it out over a crew so instead I and a very helpful gentleman from the Indy club worked most of the day Monday getting it all wrapped up. But back to my point... I was surprised by the number of folks already on site and wondered how many of them were actually volunteering.
    Hank Barta
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  5. #5
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HANKB View Post
    Good points, all, Rob.



    Unfortunately this would require gate control prior to Wednesday noon.

    I arrived on Sunday because I needed to have the chartered club camping area laid out before Joplin Tent arrived to pitch canopies for clubs on Tuesday. I didn't know enough about the job to be able to spread it out over a crew so instead I and a very helpful gentleman from the Indy club worked most of the day Monday getting it all wrapped up. But back to my point... I was surprised by the number of folks already on site and wondered how many of them were actually volunteering.
    Both Rhinebeck and Vermont had gate control from Sunday to Wednesday. When you only have actual volunteers on site you only need one gate.

  6. #6
    R1200RT WDaigle's Avatar
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    The first MOA rally that I attended was in Burlington, Vermont. It is my understanding that at some time before that only rally workers and volunteers were allowed into the Rally site prior to Thursday. In Vermont it was our understanding from reading info on the forum and the ON that only persons who were documented to be volunteers and workers would be admitted before Thursday morning. My riding partners and I actually arrived in Burlington on Tuesday but had made other arrangements for lodging untill Thursday when we would register and set up camp. When we arrived Thursday morning early there were no decent shady spots to camp and quite a few hundreds of tents set up. We found out that attendees had been allowed in on Wednesday to set up tents. If there are going to be rules set up and posted in advance, then they should be followed. I enjoyed the rally a lot but would have liked to have had the same opportunity to arrive early and be able to set up in a better site. It seems to be that it would be a lot easier to control if it was posted in advance that only workers and documented volunteers would be allowed on to the rally site before Thursday morning. This might also help to get people to volunteer.
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  7. #7
    Ritalin Poster Boy rob nye's Avatar
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    You are correct.

    We published that the rally would start at 08:00 on Thursday.

    We published that set up volunteers would only be allowed in prior to noon Wednesday.

    What you saw Thursday morning were all the people who came in Wednesday and were planning on volunteering sometime Thursday to Sunday. From all accounts the crowd on site Thursday morning at 8 was one of the smallest. You should have been in Ohio the year before.

    My thing was I don't care when the rally starts, it could start Tuesday for all I care but we need to have two times, gates open and rally starts. That's because if you have seminars start up Thursday morning (we do) then you really should let folks come in and get set up Wednesday afternoon.

    It really shouldn't be too difficult.

    Gates open Wednesday noon. Only pre-registered set up volunteers allowed prior to Wednesday noon.

    Rally starts Thursday at 08:00. Or even Wednesday evening in the bier garden.

    But the days of open gates starting Monday for anyone who claims to be a volunteer do nothing for the folks that are serious about busting their butts to help and makes the people who show up with the rally "starts" unhappy about the party they missed.

    I think all parties with the exception of a few of the "entitled" crowd would benefit from the board coming up with a clear, concise policy on when the rally starts and who can get in before it does.

  8. #8
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    The original poster duplicated his post in another thread and it was deleted in this thread. Here's a link to the other thread.
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=62194 "volunteer shortage"

    Mod hat off....
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  9. #9
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    All gates locked

    I had mechanical problems in KY; so my 1256 mile day trip turned into a 21 hour marathon. I got into town about 10:00 PM with Don Friedwald, who was kind enough to stop and lend assistance during my breakdown.

    We pulled into a convenience store on 65 and filled up with gas. His original plans were to stop on the other side of St. Louis; but he stuck it out with me. He got a room and I got some great directions to the only gate that was open from a local who lived across from the Fairgrounds.

    The RV area was the only one open and lucky for me, people were having a party. I met two new friends by following the sounds of joy. Two beers and a turkey sandwich later, it was like we had known each other for years. After I shared my Surry County moonshine, it was like we were kin.

    Of course, the next morning, the RV police made me move my tent from the hallowed grounds to the tent camping.

    I had to be up early so we could place signs so others could find their way about the fairgrounds. I worked with great people and made some lasting friendships.

    I like that we can come to the rally early and I don't know what you could do about RV parking to restrict it.
    Jerry Dockery
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  10. #10
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the MOA may not have control of the entire facility, and all the gates, the entire few days before the rally starts. Example, in Sedalia there was a horse event on Sunday, crews setting up for the state fair and the National Guard building on site.
    When and what the MOA has control over on the days before the rally starts may vary by location.
    Paul Mulhern
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  11. #11
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    just give every volunteer a free beer or other beverage card for each shift like the revzilla thing. Cost minimal. Good will priceless. If someone can turn in like 3 or 4 of the volunteer beer certs, give them a rally shirt or something. Yes, people will be trading certs, adds to the fun.

    Rod

  12. #12
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDOCKERY132445 View Post
    I had mechanical problems in KY; so my 1256 mile day trip turned into a 21 hour marathon. I got into town about 10:00 PM with Don Friedwald, who was kind enough to stop and lend assistance during my breakdown.

    We pulled into a convenience store on 65 and filled up with gas. His original plans were to stop on the other side of St. Louis; but he stuck it out with me. He got a room and I got some great directions to the only gate that was open from a local who lived across from the Fairgrounds.
    I hope you are going to reccomend him for the Helping Hand Award!

    Glad You made it!
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  13. #13
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Texpaul View Post
    Keep in mind that the MOA may not have control of the entire facility, and all the gates, the entire few days before the rally starts. Example, in Sedalia there was a horse event on Sunday, crews setting up for the state fair and the National Guard building on site.
    When and what the MOA has control over on the days before the rally starts may vary by location.
    Precisely.
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  14. #14
    Registered User ezec's Avatar
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    If you ever volunteer you will know that you "get something" for doing so already.
    2010 R1200RT
    GO HOGS!

  15. #15
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
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    I have had great experiences volunteering, and one very bad one in Oshkosh. So bad I almost slapped the guy yelling at me with the free hat I got that didn't fit and quit on the spot.
    On the other hand, I had a great time working the Beer Garden in West Bend.
    I will say if anybody treats me like they did in Oshkosh, I will quit on the spot, I am too old to suffer fools.
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

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