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


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I set steel for more than 12 years at several clubs.

 

I always want to try have those who showed u to carry steel take the needs stands and targets to the bay and drop them just past the firing line.

With the stage instructions posted at each stage see if the first posse on the stage would set the stage up.

It would be interesting to see what they come up with from the stage instructions.

It would take 5 minutes for a posse to set the stage.

 

What I think would happen is, shooters would linger at their car after the safety meeting to wait for the stage to be set.

 

A for those shooters that leave after they shoot their last stage and do not help, A stage DQ for those who leave early and do not at least bring the steel up to the cart ares for pick up.

 

This thing about paying to shoot and not having to help is a crap excuse.

Everyone pays to shoot the match and usually those who carry steel get a free shoot or other nonrecognition for it.

 

Clubs survive on volunteer help.

No volunteers and the club slowly dies and closes down.

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For getting steel put away and everything cleaned up, I think that announcing the scores AFTER the cleanup will get some of the more reluctant shooters to help.   It's much easier to do that now with electronic scoring.  People are always curious about the scores and will wait.   One can point out something for them to do.  Everyone can pick up mats, coil rope, take the flag down etc.  Just do something and it goes quickly.

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Does this sound about right with a posse of 20. Three that are doing everything before, during and after the match, four that help out some once they arrive if asked, seven that spot, do scores, reset knockdowns and work the tables, three that would not dream of lifting a finger to help and three that think they are doing everyone a favor by just being there. 

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16 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. 

Take the Ro I class and the RO II class...then you should have learned what you need to run the Timer.

Then become a great RO by improving your skills with the knowledge learned in the classes.

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  I haven't been attending matches for very long since i'm still new and not having any irons to shoot works in my club's favor as that leaves me available to collect spent brass, reset targets, inspect guns at the unloading table, count hits/misses, fetch water or other equipment, and whatever other volunteer work needs to be done for the day. The majority of the guys at our club are almost twice my age so having a young and spry thirty-something around is of great benefit for our more senior members. Everyone has been real kind to me for the most part, though I will say some people's surly demeanor and curt attitude makes me better understand why not everyone is so quick to volunteer as a non-shooter.

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This is a great thread and Phantom is probably right it won’t change anything. There are many many clubs that stay afloat because of one person that truly loves this sport and he or she doesn’t want to see the club die. So they stay as match director for years, simply because they know if they quit no one I’ll pick up the job. This is NOT how this is supposed to go. Lots of excuses in will I did it back in the day doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the slack again and give some one a break. Or recruit a new member and mentor them for a year or two to help them take over.  The saddest thing I have been involved with is taking over a club and having some spectacular annuals just to see it die when I left simply because no one wanted to take on the responsibility. 
 

again I second phantom that while this thread may open some eyes , unfortunately people would stil rather complain on here than help out at there local club

 

H.Wolf 

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5 hours ago, Blackwater 53393 said:

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!!

Tell all at Black Gold "Hello"!!!

I hear ya!

Many feel like family!

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I agree with Phantom on the lack of volunteers for annuals. A few do the work of many. I also think it becomes an extension of the "volunteer" help for the monthlies.

We have around 25 shooters/ 2 posse's show up for our 2 monthly shoots. We have a growing number of shooters who are physically unable to move steel. So they count or man the unloading table. But not all help.

We have a very small group that actually set and take down steel and that group has shrunk.

A perfect example was last Sundays shoot. The club bought water and ice because it is hot. During the shooters meeting we asked if someone could take the ice chest up to Bay X so we have water. At the end of the shoot the ice chest was still setting in the pavilion. One posse finished about 10 minutes earlier than the other. Half that group split before steel was put away.

We had 2 of the 5 Board members resign. I'm the club President, Secretary, Newsletter editor, Territorial Governor, and club treasurer. We've been asking for 8 months for help with these tasks.  And nothing.

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13 minutes ago, Ezra Hawthorne said:

  I haven't been attending matches for very long since i'm still new and not having any irons to shoot works in my club's favor as that leaves me available to collect spent brass, reset targets, inspect guns at the unloading table, count hits/misses, fetch water or other equipment, and whatever other volunteer work needs to be done for the day. The majority of the guys at our club are almost twice my age so having a young and spry thirty-something around is of great benefit for our more senior members. Everyone has been real kind to me for the most part, though I will say some people's surly demeanor and curt attitude makes me better understand why not everyone is so quick to volunteer as a non-shooter.

There are always some rotten apples in every bushell...find the good ones!

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4 hours 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

IMO, this is one of the best threads we've had for a while.  Thank you for starting it.   Keeping guns working and ammo available, and rule understanding current is important to our sport, but when nobody helps out, and all the work is left to one person or a few, none of the rest matters--the sport itself will die away.   

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18 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

I agree with Phantom on the lack of volunteers for annuals. A few do the work of many. I also think it becomes an extension of the "volunteer" help for the monthlies.

We have around 25 shooters/ 2 posse's show up for our 2 monthly shoots. We have a growing number of shooters who are physically unable to move steel. So they count or man the unloading table. But not all help.

We have a very small group that actually set and take down steel and that group has shrunk.

A perfect example was last Sundays shoot. The club bought water and ice because it is hot. During the shooters meeting we asked if someone could take the ice chest up to Bay X so we have water. At the end of the shoot the ice chest was still setting in the pavilion. One posse finished about 10 minutes earlier than the other. Half that group split before steel was put away.

We had 2 of the 5 Board members resign. I'm the club President, Secretary, Newsletter editor, Territorial Governor, and club treasurer. We've been asking for 8 months for help with these tasks.  And nothing.

Unhappily, that is becomming a norm across our sport.  Typically we see lots of folks willing to spot, fewer willing to TO, a few willing to walk out and reset targets, a few willing to pick up brass, Several willing to staff LTs and ULTs, ONE or TWO (usually only Cowgirls) willing to keep score (with only rare persons offering to relieve them or even knowing how), a handful willing to carry steel, ONE willing to drive up early to set up target stands and tables in advance, ONE willing to drive to buy ice, water, etc. and take it to the range, ONE willing to haul off trash and clean up bays, and a whole bunch willing to stand around and chat with friends, or leave the last stage as soon as they've shot.  

 

like Phantom said,

It,'s The Cowboy Way !

And not saying anything just perpetuates it.  

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49 minutes ago, Ezra Hawthorne said:

  I haven't been attending matches for very long since i'm still new and not having any irons to shoot works in my club's favor as that leaves me available to collect spent brass, reset targets, inspect guns at the unloading table, count hits/misses, fetch water or other equipment, and whatever other volunteer work needs to be done for the day. The majority of the guys at our club are almost twice my age so having a young and spry thirty-something around is of great benefit for our more senior members. Everyone has been real kind to me for the most part, though I will say some people's surly demeanor and curt attitude makes me better understand why not everyone is so quick to volunteer as a non-shooter.

 

Good on you for helping out with the non shooting stuff, but is there any reason why you don't borrow some guns and participate in the shooting part?

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What Mr. Tyrel just said. Around here we only require someone new to the sport to observe one match before shooting.

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Glad @Phantom, SASS #54973 took the time to post this. I am glad my club got me busy the first match I was at. I just ordered a nice brass picker from Amazon so I can actually have it there to help, whether spotting or picking up brass.

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1 minute ago, Mudflat Mike, SASS #20904 said:

About 30 years ago when I started cowboy shooting, I was told

"If your club has 15 members, 7 of them will be workers, if you have 200 members, 7 of them will be workers"

True then, and true now

I'll take 7!!

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44 minutes ago, Snakebite Dust SASS 75484 said:

I see it more at monthly matches. Don't think I have ever been to a large match where their was not plenty of help.

I have seen it at about every large match I've attended... Have you spent much time during setup of larger matches?

 

Phantom

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The other interesting aspect of annual matches is the local club members not signing up to shoot. It's local, it's 12 stages, its side matches. Many of our members don't go to out of area shoots. You'd think that they would want to signup for the annual but no. So then it becomes I'm not shooting, why drive out and help!!!!!!!

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16 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

The other interesting aspect of annual matches is the local club members not signing up to shoot. It's local, it's 12 stages, its side matches. Many of our members don't go to out of area shoots. You'd think that they would want to signup for the annual but no. So then it becomes I'm not shooting, why drive out and help!!!!!!!

Interesting...isn't it.

 

 

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Lack of RO courses is a discussion worth having, but it probably deserves its own thread.  Although I'm a relative newcomer to SASS, I suspect the number of RO instructors and the number of RO courses have been trending down for years, with the trend accelerating.  I know there is resistance to online ROI and ROII training, but instead of rejecting it we need to find a way to make it work.  It can be done effectively.  Online education would allow SASS to educate a broad swath of its membership with ease, likely increasing the number of initially trained people exponentially.  Frankly, most of us are fairly knowledgeable about gun safety, we need to know the rules and nuances of them.  Online courses can accomplish that.  

In my opinion, training a large number of people online is much better than only training a few in-person.  I suspect that even with in-person training, the real education comes after the course when the person begins to apply his/her knowledge locally under the tutelage of a mentor.  

I'm not suggesting SASS move to on-line education exclusively - it should continue to offer in-person training for those that prefer it.  I am suggesting that it is time SASS rethink how it provides effective education to its membership so that as many people as possible can take it.   

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21 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

Good on you for helping out with the non shooting stuff, but is there any reason why you don't borrow some guns and participate in the shooting part?


I don't have any guns to borrow. The last event I attended I was offered to share someone's .22 rifle and pistols and the two of us alternated use of them, however the rifle jammed at one point and took so long to get working that I opted not to do any more stages in case it had problems again which would result in the matches being further delayed.

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26 minutes ago, Popcorn Kelly said:

Lack of RO courses is a discussion worth having, but it probably deserves its own thread.  Although I'm a relative newcomer to SASS, I suspect the number of RO instructors and the number of RO courses have been trending down for years, with the trend accelerating.  I know there is resistance to online ROI and ROII training, but instead of rejecting it we need to find a way to make it work.  It can be done effectively.  Online education would allow SASS to educate a broad swath of its membership with ease, likely increasing the number of initially trained people exponentially.  Frankly, most of us are fairly knowledgeable about gun safety, we need to know the rules and nuances of them.  Online courses can accomplish that.  

In my opinion, training a large number of people online is much better than only training a few in-person.  I suspect that even with in-person training, the real education comes after the course when the person begins to apply his/her knowledge locally under the tutelage of a mentor.  

I'm not suggesting SASS move to on-line education exclusively - it should continue to offer in-person training for those that prefer it.  I am suggesting that it is time SASS rethink how it provides effective education to its membership so that as many people as possible can take it.   

RO's...and any shortages that may exist is not really the subject that I was trying to expose here.

 

The issue I was addressing is the "Help" needed to produce the actual matches (primarily Annuals +).

 

I understand (because I'm often the cause), that threads become re-routed...would hope that this one stays focused on the help needed to produce matches rather than the help needed on posses.

 

Phantom

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Just an idea, but I'm wondering if split loyalties are to blame for some of this. In our area, we have folks that shoot at different clubs almost every weekend. I'm wondering if the fact of participating at several clubs and not having a "home club" could have anything to do with it. Hmmm

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I belong to 2 clubs that I shoot monthlies at and I feel lucky that both are permanent cowboy towns.  One club can’t have anything larger than the monthly because of the location (no on site camping, no water or plumbing, limited electric, etc); the other is getting ready to host a state match later this year.  Since I’m retired and have time on my hands I volunteered to help out any way I can.  Besides being a T.O. , spotter, brass picker, score keeper, table monitor and the like for every monthly match along with a bunch of other members, (I’m not special) we have a lot of folks willing to help.  For the state match though I volunteered to run a side match, help with painting and set up, be a Posse Marshall or anything else that they need help with and the only thing I was asked to do was bring water down to the range, kind of makes me think my help is either not needed or not wanted.   

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I've been watching this thread the past couple days. It's very interesting and should prove thought provoking to anyone that is reading it. I started our club close to 30 years ago. We have a facility that is second to none, in fact very few clubs anywhere enjoy the level of props, bays, a huge selection of first class targets that we have. The reason that we have all of this is because of the vision of a few folks over the years and the tremendous amount of "Buy In"/Club member participation that we have enjoyed over most of those years. We virtually never had any trouble getting any amount of help we needed to accomplish any task, no matter how big. All that seemed to change just a few years ago. I'm not totally sure what happened, but I do see a few things that I think hurts us. The bottom line is this: Now, most of the work is done by a couple of energetic guys that work their asses off. As the old crowd has faded away so has the sense of team work and the thrill of being a part of something that was a fascination for many years. The extreme comradery that we use to have is no longer present. We use to all be very good friends, doing things together both on and off the range, now we are more like acquaintances.  No doubt that this COVID thing came along at a time when it just knocked the wind out of many clubs. I read Tex's article in the current Chronicle, and it struck a real note with me having seen a good deal of what he was talking about. There is movement toward getting things going again and it looks like some good ideas are surfacing. The Team is smaller than it use to be, but if it can be coached into pulling together as a team and not overtaxed, then there is a good chance that things will turn around. The same holds true for SASS in general. Our club is a perfect Microcosm of SASS and the only chance that either of us have at succeeding is to find common ground and pull together.  It takes longer to build/rebuild than it does to tear down. If you want to be here, then you must step up and be a part of it.  

 

Snakebite  

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All I can offer is words of encouragement. I think many think that they don't have anything to offer. You don't have to write stages or be a Rolodex of the rule book to help. Maybe you have excellent carpentry skills, maybe you're an excellent welder and fabricator. Or maybe you're  a tech genius and you can help with scoring. There are so many things that need done that just like the shooting itself there is something that someone can do. Encouragement and finding what folks are best at has served our club and matches well. At the end of the day the leadership needs to be willing to accept the help and help enable those who want to. 

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We do not hold any multi-day shoots.  We are only set up for our once a month Saturday shoots.

The folks who shoot at with us are absolutely great at helping the tear down and put away.

And almost all of them will TO, LT,  ULT, brassing, keeping scores.

And I set up almost 100% of the shoots because only 2-3 of our shooters are Izaak Walton members.

But non-members are are not allowed to be on the range unless accompanied by a member.

The Ike's just reminded me that I am not allowed to set up the night before.

So I reckon that I'll just show up in every day duds and work gloves to set it all up and say the hell with shooting. 

If I spend a couple hours+ setting stuff up and do the admin, there's no use trying to shoot and do worth a damn.

 

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11 minutes ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

All I can offer is words of encouragement. I think many think that they don't have anything to offer. You don't have to write stages or be a Rolodex of the rule book to help. Maybe you have excellent carpentry skills, maybe you're an excellent welder and fabricator. Or maybe you're  a tech genius and you can help with scoring. There are so many things that need done that just like the shooting itself there is something that someone can do. Encouragement and finding what folks are best at has served our club and matches well. At the end of the day the leadership needs to be willing to accept the help and help enable those who want to. 

Very well said.   There are many aspects to a match.   

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7 minutes ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

All I can offer is words of encouragement. I think many think that they don't have anything to offer. You don't have to write stages or be a Rolodex of the rule book to help. Maybe you have excellent carpentry skills, maybe you're an excellent welder and fabricator. Or maybe you're  a tech genius and you can help with scoring. There are so many things that need done that just like the shooting itself there is something that someone can do. Encouragement and finding what folks are best at has served our club and matches well. At the end of the day the leadership needs to be willing to accept the help and help enable those who want to. 

Can't disagree with this...but when all you have are tumbleweeds and crickets, it's sometimes hard to accept nothing and helping enable folks to give what they can becomes moot.

 

I think that there are many different environments out there. Some clubs have help offered and don't take honest and good advantage of the offerings. Then there are environments where folks just don't seem to care enough or think that help isn't really needed. Even when it's made known that help is indeed needed.

 

Match "leadership" and just "regular" folks can both do more...hopefully in the future they will and our "larger" matches around the nation will benefit.

 

Phantom

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Several years ago SASS increased dues, we lost 20-25% of our membership.

New shooters are the key to growing any organization. When is the marketing campaign going to start? I've been told we're implementing a marketing blitz utilizing social media and we have this new person that is great at social media.

Sorry, I haven't seen squat. This was supposed to start 6-7 years back.

I know I've hit a nerve because I was called and asked to tone down my rhetoric. 

 

Those of us that enjoy hosting matches are getting burned out and after years of dedication need someone to take the torch. There's no one standing in line.

We need more members that are as excited as I once was. I'm not an expert in marketing, management, or much of anything. However, I do know increasing dues does not increase membership. Marketing increases membership and membership increases workers. Good grief, come on SASS HQ, let's get this marketing campaign into gear and start rolling. This stagnation is killing the game.

 

 

 

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I have very little to add other than to echo most of what has already been said.  But - I attended an out of state shoot several years ago, don't know if I just got on a good posse or what - however after someone had shot, cleared and put their gear away they would come up to the stage and ask "Does anyone need relief, have you shot yet, do you need a break"?  First time it happened it took a while for it to register as truly - I had never witnessed it before.  I tried to take this behavior back home and follow it.  I don't always get it done myself but maybe my doing it will rub off on someone else. 

I've shot with one posse marshal several times who is not bashful about calling people out to pitch in. 

From other volunteer organizations I've been involved in some people will just not work or contribute, a very few will come forward and say "What can I do?"  Others will work if asked directly and told what to do.

 

 

 

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A few years back Sawmill Mary and I dropped in at the two day shoot at Parker Kansas as it was a small detour on the trip we were taking.  One of the posses had several shooters from our area and we've shot together a lot. I asked if I could spot for them for a while. At first the person I asked didn't know.  I showed him my Ro1 and 2 badges and I was given the ok. Small gesture of assistance.  

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On 7/10/2021 at 10:15 PM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

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

 

Look ^

 

Yes, I've "carried the torch". 

 

"Big" matches and monthlies.  

 

IME, there's usually help for "tear down" after a match (after their gear is put away, if there's anything left to do by that time).   

 

Work days?  Core group.  Always the same people.

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