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Breakfast Buddies?
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 458

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if it might help to establish some kind of volunteer group / pool that only has responsibility for something like Breakfast Buddies without Board responsibilities and meetings on top of that.

Define the commitment as something small - you and perhaps your buddy will lead ONE BB event in 2013 - and write up what is involved with recommended tasks and timelines. One board member (at large member? or maybe even a super volunteer?) to assign months and follow up with the volunteers to remind them of commitment and encourage/advise.

If not enough volunteers, there are fewer BBs (quarterly, annual . . . .) or these events just end.

If not enough volunteers in certain regions of the state, BBs are not held in those regions.

If the volunteer bags out, there is no BB that month.

People who volunteer do so because they personally value BB and want one in their area at a time and place convenient to them.

ALL OF THIS IS OKAY. BOARD MEMBERS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO OPEN A VEIN. It's bad for organizations when they do.

It's unrealistic though to expect members to write the board and ask to run BB events when in the past, it seems like these are official MNGCA events that MUST be run by the board, and even now it seems like you need the official Mark of Trust to be worthy of running one. Is some of the problem member laziness? Sure! But you need to make sure people with the energy and desire to run a BB feel invited and empowered and embraced to do so, not wondering if they're good enough. Additionally, almost everyone is going to need to be personally asked, even if they'd be happy to do it. That is human nature.

It's also important to ask what's the minimum needed for a quality event and then let go of control (for example don't they have shirts and coins etc. . . maybe that's a pain and not needed to maintain the spirit of BB?). I'm not sure I've been to an official one, I never travel outside Eden Prairie for events. : )


Some ideas:

1) ID a board member to oversee BB volunteer recruitment.
2) Set up a "BB Volunteer thread" for people to volunteer, pair up with others in their area as organizers, and propose months/general locations.
3) Board organizer uses thread plus outreach to individual cachers they may want to recruit to set the calendar - frequency depends on how much people care about it to agree to run one.
4) Publish locations (general city/area) and dates and the lead volunteers for general planning purposes. If people think there aren't enough or they should be in their area of the state or certain times of year, then that's their chance to volunteer or not, depending on how important it is to them.
5) Board organizer follow up with BB leads as needed to ensure event locations / times are finalized, and event caches are created and cross-listed here.

If no board member or super-volunteer has the passion for BB to organize the volunteers, IT DIES AND THAT's OK. If people do care, there's got to be a way to spread the load and make volunteering for MNGCA fun.
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MNMizzou
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Feb 2005

Posts: 712

PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the thing: You can go back in the history of this organization, particularly in the Octoberish range of every year when once a year everyone raises holy heck about having more representation on the board, and more this and more that and a committee to do this and volunteers to do that, but the reality of it is until you get more than the current 12 or so people who shoulder 90% of the organization's operations to actually step up nothing will change, except more people will get burned out, reducing that dozen to an even lower number. I hate to sound negative about it, but it is a fact... probably 50% of the membership forgot they have a membership, 25% lurk or rarely do anything with their membership, 20% expect world class events and will raise heck when there isn't a coin, a t-shirt, 3 month's notice of any social event or the geographic location of said event, and leave it to the remaining 5% to make it all happen.
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Feelings...and they really have not changed over the years since I posted this in 2008...

"We (all members...not just the board) represent the MNGCA...it is not the other way around!!!" The Board Members manage the Organization...but we all are responsible for making things happen in the name of the Organization...

If we (the collective we) want to expand the role of the board and/or it's members...then we need to expand the board...however...the trouble with that can be seen below...

Pear Head wrote:
Current nominations:

President:

AerosmithPA [accepted]
tonkaMN [declined]

Vice President:

BigChiefS4 [accepted]
Copaman [declined]

Treasurer:

tonkaMN [accepted]

Secretary:

MamaDuck-24 [accepted]
Rustynails [declined]

Member at Large:

Copaman [accepted]


The nominations process has been open almost a month...and this is where we stand...

Until things change within the Membership of this organization, the Board itself cannot. There is only so much a small group of individuals can handle on top of their own lives. I think that can be seen in the relative history of Board Members. How many "active" geocachers have be lost to "retirement" once their stint on the MNGCA Board was over? Active...some very active in the everyday happenings of geocaching (in general) and in the happenings of this organization...but now...gone...not heard from...

I wouldn't question what the Board is or isn't doing...I question what our Membership is or isn't doing...
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AerosmithPA
MnGCA President


Joined: 19 Nov 2005

Posts: 1093

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the help of member discussions at the state fair and also through recent email communications, I have another brainstorm to share. Looking for input on these thoughts-


Event Coordinator position:
Board appointment
Appointment runs concurrent with board term
Needs to be a voting member

Duties:
Facilitate the organization of events
Schedule events calendar
Disperse events around state, keeping in mind population bases
Solicit membership volunteers to host events
Work with MnGCA members whom would like to host events
Maintain MnGCA geocaching.com event pages
Solicit board attendance at events- If no board member able to attend, event goes on with host being MnGCA representative.


Just thoughts typed out. This person would not need to attend the events, simply organize a calendar and assist people who want to hold an event in their area.

If a member wished to be involved in the organization and not raise their hand for a board position, this would be a great avenue to do just that. Keeping the membership involved...
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 458

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thinking is good for an event coordinator, but that still sounds like a big job to me. If you don't get takers, you might also consider breaking it down into smaller chunks, which might be regionally, or just in charge of organizing BB, or just in charge of organizing the spring or fall event. Really define what somebody is committing to (I will organize this one big event -- I will organize hosts to run 4-12 BB events statewide in 2014). Then those people get others -- I will take charge of the paper plates and cups for the event - I will plan a game for the kids - I'll run a BB in my hometown in October.) It makes it a lot easier for someone to say "I can do that" and pitch in vs an undefined time suck. Time-limited and carefully defined projects are the key to getting "worker bee' volunteers that can support the awesome folks who stepped up for the board and make the job so much easier.

I also think it's fine to have fewer mngca official events. The infrastructure is there through gc.com for individual cachers to host events, big or small - anything from weeknight caching to KB's Hoopla or bflentje's canoe expeditions. If it's a question of limited energy, I think that park relations, media and outreach are things that mngca, as an organized group and a voice for all of us, can do better than an individual.
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AerosmithPA
MnGCA President


Joined: 19 Nov 2005

Posts: 1093

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't foresee the event coordinator planning any events, simply to be a real live person who the membership can turn to when they say "I want to run a BB in my hometown in October". The coordinator can take a look at the MnGCA event calendar to make it balance, update the MnGCA event page on geocaching.com, and work with the board in an attempt to insure MnGCA presence at the events.

I would not think this person would be inundated with work. Also, I don't think this person would/should feel they are working on an island with no place to turn. It would be my intention this person would work together with the board to avoid burnout for everyone.

Two scenerios I can see happening:
1) Sue Micro emails the coordinator wanting to hold a BB in Rochester in October. Event coordinator looks at calendar, and sees no BB for the month yet. Coordinator solicits the board for attendance and creates geocaching event page. Sue Micro makes reservations. On date of event, a board member or designated host (Sue Micro?) can show up with MnGCA stuff and logbook.

2) Event coordinator is looking at the calendar in January and notices no BB is scheduled for March. Coordinator can send a note out on forums to the membership stating opportunity to have event in your backyard, or email the board and ask if anyone of them would like to host one.

I suppose on rare occassion someone may want to hold an event in October, but there is already a BB scheduled as well as Fall Event. The coordinator may need to suggest doing this event in January, where there is nothing scheduled as of yet. It would be my intention the judgement of the coordinator would be supported by the board.
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 458

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for clarifying, that seems to make a lot of sense to me.
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MNMizzou
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Feb 2005

Posts: 712

PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something I think you seriously need to consider is who is going to step up. I don't know if you looked at the elections, but there isn't exactly a huge rush of people dying to try to serve this organization. We barely have someone running for each board position. It's one thing if you have 20 people highly energized to lead the organization and only 5 can make the board, you can easily draw upon the other 15 to join in a position like that. We don't have that situation that I see.

I would suggest until you can get a bigger base of people even willing to try to run that you assume that the 5 to 6 board members are going to be your "core" group of organizers. Google calendars is a magical thing. I'm guessing someone can answer this but I think you could put the "Master" Google calendar on the webpage with the board members each having an account to modify the calendar as necessary.
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AerosmithPA
MnGCA President


Joined: 19 Nov 2005

Posts: 1093

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm simply throwing ideas out there to generate discussions. Of course the decsion rests upon the shoulders of the board to decide how to proceed. The event coordinator could be, but does not have to be a board member. I'm hedging my bet there are members out there who prefer to stay behind the curtain and want to be involved without committing to a board position. That is okay, it is working with people's strengths.
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So has there been much interest shown in this new position? l Very Happy
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AerosmithPA
MnGCA President


Joined: 19 Nov 2005

Posts: 1093

PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There has been interest shown from the membership in helping out in this area. It's good to know there may be options.
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