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.