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Recruiting Show Helpers

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Volunteering can be fun... really

Yes folks, it's that time of year again. We all know that it can be difficult to get enough helpers to run an agility show. If a lot of people did a little, few would be burdened down with too much. Chris Hack, Show Secretary of Trent Park DAC, has come up with this ingenious device for recruiting club members.

 Help Wanted: Apply Within

Marie & Jess Gibbs, cooks extraordinaireTime to stand up and be counted
Roll call of members and helpers
Express your preferences and enjoy yourself
Numerous jobs - great and small
Timekeepers and scribes.

Parking attendants
Assemble equipment
Ring plans for course
Keep the judges happy.


Pat & Tracy enjoy the BBQ Dustbins to distribute
Own show - make fun for all
Good voice for a caller.

A ring party captain
Gatecrash a (ring) party (the more the merrier - min. 6)
Include all the family (and friends)
Light work many hands make
Instruction will be given
Toilet rolls and trash
Your help is invaluable.

TPDAC helpers' buffet Catering and clearing away
Luncheon vouchers and burger van
Unload the trailer
BBQ on Friday.

If you've got any suggestions or original ways to encourage people to volunteers to work your shows, please share them with us. We're all ears! Send your comments to:- Agilitynet.
After all... if a few people volunteer a small amount of time, a lot of jobs can get done!!

From Karen Smith, Show Secretary of St. Edwards DTC
We have to rely on lots of help to run shows in the UK. There are on average around 6 rings at a fairly average summer show, although this can go as high as 12 rings at the bigger shows. To encourage people to help, bribery and corruption can work wonders! Clubs offer to do 'reciprocal' ring parties for local clubs, in return for that club running a ring for them at their show.

Make sure you treat the volunteers well, a bacon buttie and cuppa of tea in the morning, a free lunch and perhaps a present for the club afterwards. Boxes of chocolates or wine always go down well, and you will keep them sweet for future shows. Offer preferential camping, parking, lower entry fees, or even guaranteed entries at limited shows to helpers, and you will find several more volunteers! Ask the local Scouts, Guides or other such organisations if they will provide a dozen or so helpers for the day in return for a donation to their funds.

Don't forget to treat and reward your scribes and timekeepers well; they can work just as hard as the judge during the day.

From Ginny & Rich Deppe
We also want to encourage all Novice handlers to get in there and volunteer for something. Set poles or the chute or run leashes at your next trial.

These are jobs you can do that don't take a great amount of skill. Suddenly you will feel 'part of the action,' and it also gives you a fantastic training tool. Watching many dogs perform the same obstacle or sequence of obstacles CAN be very enlightening. If you are there with two or three friends, take turns setting the same area and talk about what you saw. And above all, don't be afraid to take on something more daunting such as running or even scribing. Its not hard - just ask the judge to go over their hand signals with you and remember to WATCH THE JUDGE AND NOT THE DOG

And from Karen Hunter
I always volunteer to help at any trial I attend, no matter whether incentives are offered or not. In my mind I always benefit because this makes it possible for the club to continue to hold trials. In most cases clubs are not getting rich from a trial, so if they quit holding them because no one helps then *I* am the one being hurt, not them.

However, a little thank you goes a long way. Many clubs here offer lunch to workers. That's nice, but I seldom take advantage of it because I always bring my own food. The gesture is always appreciated, even though it doesn't influence willingness to volunteer.

The trouble with helping
The main deterrent on the day is the problem of exercising and running your dogs as a lot of people go to shows on their own, i.e. without husband, mother etc. You help on a ring and get stuck there for seemingly hours without relief unless the ring manager is diligent or you have a reliable 'pair' to share your job.

So the show organisers must reassure would-be helpers on this point to encourage helpers.
Margaret Serle