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Why don't folks help...??...Seriously!


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Folks talk about the "Cowboy Way" a lot...doesn't that include helping out clubs?

 

I know of a State match where it was basically a One-Man-Band...so to speak.

 

Don't wait to be asked - VOLUNTEER!

 

If you don't, clubs will fold.

 

Phantom

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I was running a posse and running the timer. I did about 10 shooters. There was about 6-7 guys at the loading table. Everyone else shot. I asked for someone to run the timer 3 times. No one was taking it. I finally dropped the timer on the ground and said, “ I’m going to go shoot “. Someone took over the timer then. Geeeez....  :angry:

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Just now, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I was running a posse and running the timer. I did about 10 shooters. There was about 6-7 guys at the loading table. Everyone else shot. I asked for someone to run the timer 3 times. No one was taking it. I finally dropped the timer on the ground and said, “ I’m going to go shoot “. Someone took over the timer then. Geeeez....  :angry:

That's sad...but what's really sad is that there are so many folks that can donate a little bit of their time to getting a match (particularly a Annual, State or above), ready and running...but they don't!

 

If folks don't start helping, those that are doing all the work will soon either die or quit!

 

Phantom

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3 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

If folks don't start helping, those that are doing all the work will soon either die or quit!

 

And that is what is happening.

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34 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Folks talk about the "Cowboy Way" a lot...doesn't that include helping out clubs?

 

I know of a State match where it was basically a One-Man-Band...so to speak.

 

Don't wait to be asked - VOLUNTEER!

 

If you don't, clubs will fold.

 

Phantom

Many shooters don't seem to realize that they are being waited upon by servants -- not only those who step up to do the stage chores during shooting, but also the ones who encumber their calendars to go out and set up the match ---- target stands, shooting tables, drinking water, stage writing, prop repairs, finding posse leaders, and a whole lot of other invisible jobs that the servant(s) actually do before every match.  Not to mention the folks who step up to the club officer jobs and then work all year to keep everyone's club and matches flowing.  

 

You're 100% right that unless more than a couple folks step up to pitch in, clubs are likely, over time, to fold when the work horses tire, get too old, or get fed up.   Every club needs a bench to draw from.  

 

I realize that many clubs do the physical match setup on the shoot day, and that is fine,, as far as it goes, but there are also a lot of other less visible jobs that have to be done in advance, to make a match work.  Help is welcome on each of them.  Get involved!

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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I'm relatively new still and not quit comfortable being in the TO spot. I do need to work on that. But I try to relieve spotters and brass pickers as quickly as I can. I'm generally hustling pulling steel down at the end of the day. I volunteer to help setup at the 2 clubs closest to me for set up when I attend. I'd happily help set up at other clubs but it's nearly 2 hours drive to get there. 

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21 minutes ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I was running a posse and running the timer. I did about 10 shooters. There was about 6-7 guys at the loading table. Everyone else shot. I asked for someone to run the timer 3 times. No one was taking it. I finally dropped the timer on the ground and said, “ I’m going to go shoot “. Someone took over the timer then. Geeeez....  :angry:

I was there that day and I'm sorry Rye I shoulda tried to run the timer. But I'll be there next week and give it a go since I found out no one seems to care if I've had the RO classes or not. 

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4 minutes ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

I'm relatively new still and not quit comfortable being in the TO spot. I do need to work on that. But I try to relieve spotters and brass pickers as quickly as I can. I'm generally hustling pulling steel down at the end of the day. I volunteer to help setup at the 2 clubs closest to me for set up when I attend. I'd happily help set up at other clubs but it's nearly 2 hours drive to get there. 

Just keep in mind that somebody is doing the work at those other clubs too.  Personally, I figure if I can buy the gas and drive the 2 hours to shoot the match, I can just as easily make the drive to help do the club's work,  when asked.  

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I gave up.  I do have something to add.

 

Folks that have to drive 2 hours to get to the range aside (heck, asking for that level of commitment is above and beyond.  4 hours drive each way, gas, etc.? Ouch.). 

 

Please volunteer WITHOUT BEING ASKED.  Folks don't like to ask for help.  Rather, ask how YOU can help.  That will go over much better, and there's always stuff that needs doing.

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this has always been an issue - thanks to those that step up and do it , ive volunteered at some where i was told they need no assistance but it wont stop the offers , its more than just the match activity - setup and tear down are big components , i get it that some clubs want members doing that but please be open to outside volunteers 

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35 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

I gave up.  I do have something to add.

 

Folks that have to drive 2 hours to get to the range aside (heck, asking for that level of commitment is above and beyond.  4 hours drive each way, gas, etc.? Ouch.). 

 

Please volunteer WITHOUT BEING ASKED.  Folks don't like to ask for help.  Rather, ask how YOU can help.  That will go over much better, and there's always stuff that needs doing.

Yep!

 

And this topic isn't about Posse Chores. It's about Match set up and running matches. Particularly your annuals and "above" matches.

 

Phantom

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49 minutes ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

I was there that day and I'm sorry Rye I shoulda tried to run the timer. But I'll be there next week and give it a go since I found out no one seems to care if I've had the RO classes or not. 

Please bear in mind that it is an extremely good idea to go through the RO-1 course before stepping up to run the timer. The TO needs to be VERY knowledgeable about how shooters should be going through a stage so he/she can stay a step ahead and recognize when a shooter is about to err.

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1 hour ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Just keep in mind that somebody is doing the work at those other clubs too.  Personally, I figure if I can buy the gas and drive the 2 hours to shoot the match, I can just as easily make the drive to help do the club's work,  when asked.  

I understand that and if they are still setting up when I get there I'll jump in and help no questions asked.. I also help pick up and put away after but to be there by 7am to setup and then shoot the match and help put away is a stretch for me. 

15 minutes ago, Goody, SASS #26190 said:

Please bear in mind that it is an extremely good idea to go through the RO-1 course before stepping up to run the timer. The TO needs to be VERY knowledgeable about how shooters should be going through a stage so he/she can stay a step ahead and recognize when a shooter is about to err.

I just had the RO1 class a couple months ago and I'm scheduled to have RO2 in August. I need to pay more attention to what TO's are doing so I can get more familiar with it. 

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Then there's the way Hipshot wrangled me into helping... handed me the stopwatch and said, "...time the next few shooters, 'bout time for you to learn!"  That was probably 15 years before the RO courses began!    But Goody is right, sign up and attend the first one you can!

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10 minutes ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

I understand that and if they are still setting up when I get there I'll jump in and help no questions asked.. I also help pick up and put away after but to be there by 7am to setup and then shoot the match and help put away is a stretch for me. 

I just had the RO1 class a couple months ago and I'm scheduled to have RO2 in August. I need to pay more attention to what TO's are doing so I can get more familiar with it. 

 

Just do it.  Have someone watch you the first couple of shooters and coach.  It's not that hard.  Watch for safety issues.  Count the shots.  Keep an eye out for P's.  Watch the timer for the last couple of shots to make sure they get picked up.  Best way to learn is to do it.

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I was at a club shoot many years ago.

First time there.

People where showing up and signing in.

I noticed that there was 1, one shooter setting up the stages for the day.

The signup table was out of sight of the shooting bays.

After the shooter's safety meeting every one move to their assigned bay.

When they got to their bay there was one single target down range.

ON every bay 1 target.

The man who had setup the stages said, "if I can not get help in setting up, You can expect more of this."

One each bay a few shooters went and got more targets before starting.

Message was sent and received by the club members.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Doc Shapiro said:

I gave up.  I do have something to add.

 

Folks that have to drive 2 hours to get to the range aside (heck, asking for that level of commitment is above and beyond.  4 hours drive each way, gas, etc.? Ouch.). 

 

Please volunteer WITHOUT BEING ASKED.  Folks don't like to ask for help.  Rather, ask how YOU can help.  That will go over much better, and there's always stuff that needs doing.

I agree with your second point. If the able-bodied members of all local clubs would step up and help without being asked, the more distant folks could work on their own local matches and not need to make long drives to assist other clubs.  That will work well for everybody. 

   But I will stick to my earlier point that if I can make the drive for the match, I can also make the drive for the work, if the help is needed.  That doesn't work for everyone, depending how other commitments, costs, or how priorities are set.  But it's about people setting personal priorities as much as anything else.  I am just not a person who feels good about others having to wait on me.  Fact is, I enjoy the work and associated camaraderie as much as the shooting. 

 But I realize that's just me.  

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2 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I was running a posse and running the timer. I did about 10 shooters. There was about 6-7 guys at the loading table. Everyone else shot. I asked for someone to run the timer 3 times. No one was taking it. I finally dropped the timer on the ground and said, “ I’m going to go shoot “. Someone took over the timer then. Geeeez....  :angry:

I have had to do that many times over the years. It works

J.M.

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Folks, taking the Timer...or other Posse Chores isn't the point of this thread. Yes, those are important functions...but they're are not what will wipe out a club.

 

What will is lack of help for non-posse functions.

 

I hope this conversation will open some folk's eyes. Not super hopeful that it will...but maybe.

 

Again, this is not about whether you take a timer...or a spotting stick.

 

Phantom

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Folks, taking the Timer...or other Posse Chores isn't the point of this thread. Yes, those are important functions...but they're are not what will wipe out a club.

 

What will is lack of help for non-posse functions.

Agree (again!)  

I think some folks can only relate to the match/posse/shooting parts of the sport.   Somebody else always did the other before-after work, invisibly or otherwise.  

They've missed out on half of the fun.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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2 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Folks, taking the Timer...or other Posse Chores isn't the point of this thread. Yes, those are important functions...but they're are not what will wipe out a club.

 

What will is lack of help for non-posse functions.

 

I hope this conversation will open some folk's eyes. Not super hopeful that it will...but maybe.

 

Again, this is not about whether you take a timer...or a spotting stick.

 

Phantom

I've wondered at times if clubs would be better off to charge $10-15 more for match fees and just hire somebody to do the pre- and post-match work.  Then we could all be just like restaurant customers; pay our money and be fed and waited on.  We could forget inconveniencing ourselves to show up to operate the place.   Unfortunately, quite a number of shooters do just that, but without paying any added fees.   

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Agree!  Our state shoot has what I call a small but dedicated group that does the lion's share of the work.  As the years have passed we have lost some great help and not gained new help.  Many of the tasks handled by those that have stepped down have been absorbed by me, the MD.  Some are due to me being the most computer literate, while additional ones are because others have a full plate, as well.  Last year, we had 16 months between matches (due to COVID).  But, due to COVID, we didn't meet as often.  Work parties were poorly attended.  Stress mounted.  Registrations and cancellations came like a runaway roller coaster.  Nothing ran smoothly, but we pushed through it.  Unfortunately for me, I crashed physically and mentally on stage 2 of the match.  I dropped out and walked away, returning to the camper where I took a 3 hour nap.  I won't go over the details, but it sure scared me.  Later at a brief meeting when we discussed the match,  the questions and suggestions amounted to "why don't we do this or that".  My answer was then and will always be, "Great suggestion!  Do you want to head it up?"  Of course, it may come as no surprise that the answer has been negative each time.

They say you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  I've tried the sugar approach and have some footprints on my back from it.   I've also tried the approach of "not everyone can help every time, but everyone could step up and help some of the time" message.  It hasn't really garnered that much help either.  Sadly, as numbers decrease, so do the numbers of helpers, whether they are the ones that always step up or the ones that pitch in when they can.  However, we all want to sit around at the end of the day having fun with friends.  Quite often, there are still folks working on the match, too.  Then is the best time to lend a hand so that we all can have that down time visiting with friends.  Remember, we're all getting older and with age comes health risks from stress, exhaustion, lack of sleep, etc.  We do get some terrific help for set up from folks that arrive a few days early.  I don't know what we'd do without them.  Our problem is that our committee has shrunk and plates are full and overflowing for a few of the worker bees.  We can't be there early in the morning and stay long after the last round has been fired without feeling the drain.
So what is the answer?   Does the answer lie here with the ones that need the help or does it lie with everyone else?  

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8 hours ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

Just do it.  Have someone watch you the first couple of shooters and coach.  It's not that hard.  Watch for safety issues.  Count the shots.  Keep an eye out for P's.  Watch the timer for the last couple of shots to make sure they get picked up.  Best way to learn is to do it.

You’re absolutely right. What Doc says is important to running the timer, Everyone seems to be scared to be the TO, its not that hard, just do it!! 

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I'm surprised this thread hasn't been locked down already since the dreaded word Volunteer was used. Choirs once the match has started is not really a problem around here, but I still can not explain how with 20 shooters on my posse and only 3 allowed at the loading table at a time I still have trouble finding 3 spotters. That's another topic. Maybe a Volunteer would help. I used to write 2 matches a month but about a year or so ago 2 people Volunteered to help write matches. Now I only have to write 1 every other month. Jealous yet. 

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Huh... I thought there was an elite class of shooters that did not need to sully their hands with plates, spikes, hammers, etc..etc...I mean-it goes without saying that us peons would be shot if we suggested using a brass picker...

I mean, I know that their conversations in the parking lot are more important than helping the same people who help out time and time again by carrying maybe just one plate or knockdown into the trailer...plus, they have to wipe down their super dupper  speed guns before anything else can be done...right? 
I understand not driving all the way somewhere to help set up if you're not local-ish ; but damn, help break down

 

And, as I have always said-timer operators work all day-I give them a pass (theres usually only one or two there at a time at the local monthly I go to)

I don't have much to judge on-I've never been anywhere but my local monthly shoot-only been doing this for 3 years

Some shoots, I am so worn out from setting up the day before, finalizing the morning of and the thought of tearing down with only two or three people helping that I dont even think I can shoot safely -theres been times I havnt enjoyed the shoot at all-it was more like work, by stage 3 or 4 I didn't give a crap how I shot. 
One month I came home and told the wife I was done with cowboy-gonna sell the guns and go back to shooting and collecting milsurp instead

My wife has said , "you set up the day before with only 2 other people, don't put away"...I can only reply that I am not a shitheel
I will either do it or stop attending. I cant sit by and watch others work. She gets pissed at me 

Im 54, Ive got less than 40% lung function...and Im telling guys who are 80 to stop and go set down, they dont need to be carrying plates, shagging brass, etc...meanwhile I see young bucks holding up posts, racing for spotter sticks and disappearing after they shoot stage 6.
Theres always been one guy I see coordinating, sending out stages and herding all the cats, Ive often wondered what will happen if he gets sick of it-or just sick?

My back hurts today and now I have the chores around the house to do-end of rant
 






 

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It’s more often than not that me ‘n’ ol’ Phantom don’t completely agree! HERE’S ONE TIME THAT WE ARE IN PERFECT AND TOTAL AGREEMENT!!

 

 I’m heading up to one of the two clubs where I can honestly say that I call it home!! I’m leaving early Monday morning. There are members of a certain group who will beat me there by at least a day and the actual match doesn’t start until Thursday!!  Some of this is habit, (my medical situation won’t let me do some things, lately ) but this group has always come up early and helped get the final touches polished off!!

 

There ARE perks that come with doing this!!  We get three or four days of hanging with the best of the best! We’ll get to dine at great places that sponsor our match when the work is through.  We’ve taken motorcycle trips and other excursions as the tasks dwindled in size and number. We get to point to one another when folks comment on some great touch and say, “You can thank him/her for that!” and you can slap each other on the back when it’s all over and say “Great job! We did it again!!”

 

The majority of this group come from other states and donate their time and their money, (when you figure that they often sacrifice a week’s pay and pay for their own lodging and travel expenses) to  see that the match goes smoothly and that everyone else has a great time!!

 

There are also a smaller bunch within this group who live a little closer who take time all during the year to fix up, or create little touches that truly set this set this match on a plateau that few can achieve!!  Some folks never notice and most don’t say anything, but these people have helped set a standard that other great matches have chosen to follow!  EVERYONE benefits from what these folks have done and these same people go to other matches and do the same thing there!!

 

I’m not saying that everyone has to do this. Some folks have more on their plate than they can handle already! But if you enjoy the match and you have an extra hour or two now and then, think about how much better the match could be if YOU added a little something, or if YOU donated that hour or two of your own time to help out!!

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21 hours ago, Doc Shapiro said:

Please volunteer WITHOUT BEING ASKED.  Folks don't like to ask for help.  Rather, ask how YOU can help.  That will go over much better, and there's always stuff that needs doing.

 

This is a great point Doc! Not all clubs or MD's knows how to use help when it's offered, volunteer your time to be used as the club would see fit to use you, or volunteer for specific tasks (printing of SHB's, ordering awards, organizing the meals and such, ect..).

Tully

Edited by Tully Mars
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I was fortunate, during the few years I was a Match Director I rarely hurt for help.  It got a bit tougher once I got rid of my truck and a few regulars left the club, but generally there were enough people so that setup and teardown weren't to burdensome on any particular person.

 

Just something to think about, sometimes pards just can't help with the heavy stuff anymore.  If I started slinging steel I would be in pain for days afterward.

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34 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

Just something to think about, sometimes pards just can't help with the heavy stuff anymore.  If I started slinging steel I would be in pain for days afterward.

There are a TON of things needed for an annual + that doesn't require heavy lifting.

 

I think you and others will agree that if folks would just volunteer a few hours for helping that those that do the "Heavy Lifting" won't have to kill themselves in the process.

 

Would love to hear from those that think that they "pay their money so they don't have to do any work"...maybe I'm missing something here and they could enlighten me.

 

I'm all for enlightenment...

 

Phantom

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53 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

There are a TON of things needed for an annual + that doesn't require heavy lifting.

 

I think you and others will agree that if folks would just volunteer a few hours for helping that those that do the "Heavy Lifting" won't have to kill themselves in the process.

 

Would love to hear from those that think that they "pay their money so they don't have to do any work"...maybe I'm missing something here and they could enlighten me.

 

I'm all for enlightenment...

 

Phantom

Yeah we agree.  Folks don't HAVE to do any work, but that doesn't mean they SHOULDN'T do any work.  Monthlies are pretty 'straightforward', IF you can staff set up crew, tear down crew, stage writer, scorekeeper and checkin folks.   If you start running short on those being a MD could get tough. 

 

Annuals and above, my hats off to our pards who step up and make those happen.  I can only imagine how many volunteers work with Eddie to run the Georgia State match.  It has to be at least 15-20 people if not more.

 

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14 hours ago, Turkey Flats Jack said:

I was there that day and I'm sorry Rye I shoulda tried to run the timer. But I'll be there next week and give it a go since I found out no one seems to care if I've had the RO classes or not. 

You just volunteered to try TOing for a couple at the next shoot.

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I have R01 and R02 training and I have TO'ed on rare occasions.   But we have several that naturally assume it's their job.  And several do an excellent job.  A few others don't do nearly as good a job. 

 

As for work, the old 90/10 rule applies - 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people. 

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7 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

As for work, the old 90/10 rule applies - 90% of the work is done by 10% of the people.

Yeah...and is this the "Cowboy Way" that so many folks (more than 10%), make reference to so often here on the Wire?

 

Am I trying to guilt people to help?

 

Yeah...I might be.

 

Phantom

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