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


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When driving to an away shoot I often ask if it is possible to come with the Class "C" motorhome a day or so early to help with set-up, not once has this request been turned down, in two decades...  Some Clubs have started to make it known that if I want to come earlier, that would be just Dandy ...

 

Jabez Cowboy 

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During the 3 years I spent as range master, it was pretty much the same individuals that showed up the day prior to help me with clean up and setup. It is only a one hour drive one way for me. Most of the other also drove a good distance to do the work. I have a bad back, my shoulders were shot and I had a bad hip. After the work day and showing to run the match I was unable to shoot. This was the case for all three years. Thank God for those few that would always step up

 

i since had both shoulders and hip replaced and haven’t shot since 2015. I visited last months shoot and was amazed that mostly the same members were carrying the club. 

 

Its sad sad that others just wont step

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18 hours ago, Deuce Stevens SASS#55996 said:

.......................At the end of the day the leadership needs to be willing to accept the help and help enable those who want to. 

I read this comment by Deuce, and it has really made me think. It is a profound statement that is not easy for the people that have been the "Movers & Shakers" for so long to accept. It has played out in virtually every aspect of life throughout the ages. Transition and change are inevitable, but the way it takes place dictates how effective it will be. If a new person or group comes in and just starts trying to take over, then there is going to be resistance and push-back. Too often we see it happen... someone walks on the scene and right away they think that that know more than the folks that have been making things work for so long. I've seen this happen at all levels in SASS and local clubs. Fact is, the new blood may very well see things from a different perspective and with fresh eyes, but old ideas die hard and very often forcing new ideas rather than working for a smooth and orderly transition will set things back rather than move them forward.   

Edited by Snakebite
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On 7/11/2021 at 11:29 AM, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

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.

This 110%

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Those of you that run annuals understand what is involved, but for those that come up and shoot, or maybe hang some steel before the annual, this is not meant as a criticism, but as education in case you do not know what is involved. They following is a brief list of what your MD/volunteers do to make the annual happen. An annual is NOT a multi-day monthly match

 

  • As soon as match is done, tear down range
  • Take inventory of props and targets, and any repairs/upgrades needed
  • Send SASS championship contracts and wait on reply (planning doesn't stop while we wait)
  • Coordinate with range for dates for match and access to campground
  • Plan Theme and design stages
  • Go over participation in side matches and design side matches based on that (add/take away, etc)
  • Design name tags and coordinate with vendors or club member to make
  • Plan and put together shooter packs
  • Plan and coordinate lunches (when/where/what, anyone have known allergy issues, etc)
  • Find and reserve banquet venue
  • Find and reserve banquet vendor
  • Plan decor for banquet
  • Repair and upgrade props
  • Build new props needed
  • Contact vendors to vend
  • Contact sponsors for door prizes if possible
  • Gather raffle items/door prizes
  • Set up/dress up range
  • Plan posses and schedules
  • Rebuilding the range after a wind storm in the middle of a match if necessary
  • and many other things

 

This post was meant as education, not shaming, as in talking to some shooters at annuals I attended, many saw the work that went into the last couple of weeks, but not the 11.5 months before that. And many of us who need help are not the nest at saying "you do this." Please help your MD and volunteer. Even if you think your only skillset is stuffing envelopes, we have a job for you. We have already started planning our 2022 match, and the dust hasn't settled from Sunday yet

 

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phantom is right (as much as it pains me to say that!) running a match is a lot of work, usually done by a small corps of volunteers. There are about a million little tasks that need to be done. Even a small monthly match with 1 or 2 posses takes a lot of work. Just putting out flags, blankets, pull ropes, spraying for wasps, making sure there is TP in the head etc are things that no one person should have to do. If everyone does a little, nobody has to do a lot! 
 

For a state match, I think a host club could ask other clubs to handle a task. Maybe run a side match, or something like that. 

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Since the mid 80s I have started three SASS clubs and spent a lot of time organizing matches and doing other club functions.  But, my professional and family life have changed (for the better and busier) and I am now lucky if I can make it to a match.  In addition, I broke a hip some years back, which makes it hard for me to carry steel.
 

I always help out in spotting, picking and tearing down when I go to a match.  I wish I could do more, but right now I can’t. I think this is true of a lot of folks, especially folks who still work and have kids at home. While I think it’s important for everyone to help, people should be free to do what they can, even if that means just showing up and shooting.  

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5 hours ago, Snakebite said:

I read this comment by Deuce, and it has really made me think. It is a profound statement that is not easy for the people that have been the "Movers & Shakers" for so long to accept. 

You are so correct Snakebite.  This is my 25th year in the game and like you, I've seen a lot of changes, some good, some not so good. 

 

Everyone has a skillset that can be offered in setting up events, both small and large BUT, the folks in charge must be able to channel those skillsets in a productive way and be open to fresh ideas. 

 

Sometime back when there was a workday at a local club I got the "Oh, you're going to come out?"  I'm not quite sure what that statement was intended to mean but I felt like help was being asked for but only from certain folks.  Once I got there, I wished I had done something else with my time since it was disorganized with no real plan of attack to get the job done.  It was an  adventure in herding cats until a couple of guys took charge and others fell in place behind them.  

 

So, all that being said, the folks in charge need to be able to delegate responsibility to folks and be a team leader.  A good team leader is also one who can motivate others to get involved. 

 

Phantom starting this thread shows that he is a team leader who is trying to motivate folks into becoming more involved in the behind the scenes work to keep this game alive and vibrant for years to come.  Will it help?  I hope so.

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Leadership is like moving a piece of string across a table, it moves much easier when it is being pulled and not pushed.  That said, leadership starts with understanding and knowing your people and your goals, then leading everyone to achieve that goal, while giving them a sense that they’re making a contribution.  The best leaders listen to others and when a new idea comes up doesn’t dismiss it “just because”, not all ideas are good, but it does show an interest in what’s going on.  

How does this relate to a state + match?  No one can do it alone and you’re not a leader if no one is following, so task people, ask them to help out in a specific way, and then follow up with them on how they’re doing with it. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Leadership is like moving a piece of string across a table, it moves much easier when it is being pulled and not pushed.  That said, leadership starts with understanding and knowing your people and your goals, then leading everyone to achieve that goal, while giving them a sense that they’re making a contribution.  The best leaders listen to others and when a new idea comes up doesn’t dismiss it “just because”, not all ideas are good, but it does show an interest in what’s going on.  

How does this relate to a state + match?  No one can do it alone and you’re not a leader if no one is following, so task people, ask them to help out in a specific way, and then follow up with them on how they’re doing with it. 

 

 

Pretty hard when you've got your door open...donuts and coffee...and no one shows up. Is it the sneer on the Leadership's face that makes folks say "hell no - I'm not helping"???

 

It's easy to blame lack of leadership when things don't go well and one has able bodies to pick from. 

 

Somehow this lack of involvement got turned around onto those that are trying to get a nice match done for the masses...okay...might be correct in some cases. Sure would be nice if this was the most prevalent cause for lack of help.

 

More than trying to place the blame...or responsibility on lack of help on "Someone", I'm just hoping that folks think about the possibility that clubs need help with their matches...their annual...not asking you to enter into a Long Term Relationship with the club's "Leadership".

 

If you don't like the "Leadership", think about your fellow Cowboy Shooters...and get over the "Leadership".

 

Phantom

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6 hours ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

Since the mid 80s I have started three SASS clubs and spent a lot of time organizing matches and doing other club functions.  But, my professional and family life have changed (for the better and busier) and I am now lucky if I can make it to a match.  In addition, I broke a hip some years back, which makes it hard for me to carry steel.
 

I always help out in spotting, picking and tearing down when I go to a match.  I wish I could do more, but right now I can’t. I think this is true of a lot of folks, especially folks who still work and have kids at home. While I think it’s important for everyone to help, people should be free to do what they can, even if that means just showing up and shooting.  

This is my biggest challenge. I enjoyed being an MD. I enjoy teaching RO classes.  But, with two kids in high school and one in middle school, I’m pretty busy.  We’re probably going to have to cut back from shooting 4-5 matches a month to 3 max. I hate to do it but school and work take priority.

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22 hours ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

Since the mid 80s I have started three SASS clubs and spent a lot of time organizing matches and doing other club functions.  But, my professional and family life have changed (for the better and busier) and I am now lucky if I can make it to a match.  In addition, I broke a hip some years back, which makes it hard for me to carry steel.
 

I always help out in spotting, picking and tearing down when I go to a match.  I wish I could do more, but right now I can’t. I think this is true of a lot of folks, especially folks who still work and have kids at home. While I think it’s important for everyone to help, people should be free to do what they can, even if that means just showing up and shooting.  

But what if everybody does that (only shows up to shoot)?  Everybody can do something to help, but often not if they wait until they arrive at the match to ask. 

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35 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

But what if everybody does that (only shows up to shoot)?  Everybody can do something to help, but often not if they wait until they arrive at the match to ask. 

Then the sport dies.  But, it also dies if we don’t have enough shooters. To be clear, I am not saying that people shouldn’t help.  I am saying that not everyone has the bandwidth to do much more than shoot. If they are criticized for that, we are likely to loose them.  Maybe some would say good riddance, but there would be a cost.  

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16 minutes ago, Doc Coles SASS 1188 said:

Then the sport dies.  But, it also dies if we don’t have enough shooters. To be clear, I am not saying that people shouldn’t help.  I am saying that not everyone has the bandwidth to do much more than shoot. If they are criticized for that, we are likely to loose them.  Maybe some would say good riddance, but there would be a cost.  

Don't see where anyone is criticising those that can't help... If you can't, you can't.

 

Thought most of us where saying that those that can help... Should help.

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20 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Pretty hard when you've got your door open...donuts and coffee...and no one shows up. Is it the sneer on the Leadership's face that makes folks say "hell no - I'm not helping"???

 

It's easy to blame lack of leadership when things don't go well and one has able bodies to pick from. 

 

Somehow this lack of involvement got turned around onto those that are trying to get a nice match done for the masses...okay...might be correct in some cases. Sure would be nice if this was the most prevalent cause for lack of help.

 

More than trying to place the blame...or responsibility on lack of help on "Someone", I'm just hoping that folks think about the possibility that clubs need help with their matches...their annual...not asking you to enter into a Long Term Relationship with the club's "Leadership".

 

If you don't like the "Leadership", think about your fellow Cowboy Shooters...and get over the "Leadership".

 

Phantom

Wow, you shared a mouthful of insightful wisdom, likely arising out of some unhappy personal experience. 

 

It's easy to play Monday Quarterback, sit back, do very little to support a club,  and  complain that the club leaders somehow lack needed leadership talent to get you motivated.  (???!!!)  But where did those leaders come from?   It gets lots more personal when your chance to lead comes up at club election time and you make more excuses.  If the leadership isn't capable or effective, in your view, but you are unwilling to inconvenience yourself to step up to the substantial work of leading, what then?  How many CAS club officer positions are occupied by the only people willing to take on the responsibility, often do the work, and then put up with the non-self-starters criticizing their leadership?

 

The simple truth is that club operations require someone to do very substantial work.  And work is a lot easier (and more fun) for a willing crew than for one harried "leader".  Your club's survival is EVERY member's responsibility, so pls stop here with the scapegoating.  When the drones have chased away the worker bees, what happens to the hive?  

 

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We just had our annual last weekend.  We don't have the problem of nobody Volunteering.  On our posse of 14 we had 4 different people running the clock and 6 different picking brass fast moving posse for sure.  I went to input the scores and by the time I had awards straightened out the targets where picked up and put away.  Wish all clubs ran that way.

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39 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Wow, you shared a mouthful of insightful wisdom, likely arising out of some unhappy personal experience. 

 

It's easy to play Monday Quarterback, sit back, do very little to support a club,  and  complain that the club leaders somehow lack needed leadership talent to get you motivated.  (???!!!)  But where did those leaders come from?   It gets lots more personal when your chance to lead comes up at club election time and you make more excuses.  If the leadership isn't capable or effective, in your view, but you are unwilling to inconcenience yourself to step up to the substantial work of leading, what then?  How many CAS club officer positions are occupied by the only people willing to take on the responsibility, often do the work, and then put up with the non-self-starters criticizing their leadership?

 

The simple truth is that club operations require someone to do very substantial work.  And work is a lot easier (and more fun) for a willing crew than for one harried "leader".  Your club's survival is EVERY member's responsibility, so pls stop here with the scapegoating.  When the drones have chased away the worker bees, what happens to the hive?  

 

Yeah...that's what it is...'unhappy personal experience".:lol:

 

And perhaps it's the written word and being somewhat ambiguous, but are you saying that my comments are "Scapegoating"? Or are you saying that those that blame Leadership are scapegoating...?

 

Phantom

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Hunt Mountain Drifter said:

We just had our annual last weekend.  We don't have the problem of nobody Volunteering.  On our posse of 14 we had 4 different people running the clock and 6 different picking brass fast moving posse for sure.  I went to input the scores and by the time I had awards straightened out the targets where picked up and put away.  Wish all clubs ran that way.

Again...this isn't about volunteering for Posse duties. It's about volunteering to help setup and run a match (emphasis on Annual + matches).

 

Phantom

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Here's a short self quiz.

(As a general overlay, let's recognize and accept that all of us have work, family or other home obligations that we need to meet. )

 

1.  During the week before a monthly match or the month before an Annual Match, does the thought of folks out at the range preparing for the match normally enter your mind?

 

2.  How often have you pro-actively contacted the folks doing the work in 1, to ask what you can do to help? 

 

3. Do you routinely show up early at matches, to offer to assist in match administration?  Or do you arrive when registration opens -- or even later?

 

4.  How recently was the last time you emptied a trash can in a shooting bay?

 

5.  After you shoot and get yourself a drink or snack, what do you do next?  Do you go to the scoring table to see if folks there need to shoot, or do you head to the firing line to relieve the jobs up front, where you can watch the match and visit?

 

6.  Do you know how your club  keeps and tabulates match scores?

 

7.  Do you show up at work days ? And do you take your own gloves,  tools, shovel, etc. ?

 

8.  Have you ever helped set up or take down a stage prop, other than a target?  

 

9.  Have you ever run for a club officer position?

 

10.  How often have you driven to your club range on a non-match day, other than for practice?

 

11.  Are you aware of repairs, repainting, etc that is overdue at any of your clubs?  Do you just coordinate and then go and do it, or do you wait for someone to set up a work day?

 

Look over your answers above and draw your own impressions.  

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5 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Yeah...that's what it is...'unhappy personal experience".:lol:

 

And perhaps it's the written word and being somewhat ambiguous, but are you saying that my comments are "Scapegoating"? Or are you saying that those that blame Leadership are scapegoating...?

 

Phantom

 

 

 

I'm absolutely saying the latter.  Clearly, you are not the one scapegoating.  Sorry if I was unclear.  

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17 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I'm absolutely saying the latter.  Clearly, you are not the one scapegoating.  Sorry if I was unclear.  

Not sure you were unclear...I'm just trying hard not to jump to conclusions.

 

;)

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Assuming a person would like to help their club but has reached a point where they physically cannot do much, barely able to handle shooting a match. There is other help needed for big matches, computer work, making phone calls to coordinate everything including vendors, food, portapotties etc. One other thing that clubs could perhaps need is financial. Buy and donate some tools the club needs or a couple of targets, a timer. Just as some people can/can't physically help some may be in a position to help this way. I recently donated a couple hundred dollars of equipment to a new local club and it was greatly appreciated. 

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On 7/12/2021 at 12:46 PM, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

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

Not likely.  In my experience, and it's been a long time since I have shot, it's the same people setting up the matches at all of those clubs.  The same people show up to help as much as possible at other state's and other club's annual matches as well.

There is quite simply those that do and those that don't.  Those that do volunteer and pitch in every where they go usually.

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I used to be the director of children/youth education at a large church.  I was a staff person - got paid to develop programs etc. the only thing was …I couldn’t teach 6 different age groups AND run the nursery.  It was very frustrating to have Mama’s want first rate programs for their kids yet they didn’t want to do their share or even a portion. And, to add insult to injury, some of them would treat me like the help. 
 

sometimes, the “one man shows” are because the “one man” is a control freak and won’t delegate. Sometimes the “one man” is a jerk and hard to work with… and sometimes the “one man” is salt of the earth and will do whatever it takes to and the match happen. 
 

We HAVE TO ASK for the help we need. We have to step up if we want this game and our matches to be first rate and fun. I like the guy who put one piece of steel in each bay. That drives the point home. 
 

Big hugs!

 

Scarlett

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50 minutes ago, Camille Eonich SASS # 48444 said:

Not likely.  In my experience, and it's been a long time since I have shot, it's the same people setting up the matches at all of those clubs.  The same people show up to help as much as possible at other state's and other club's annual matches as well.

There is quite simply those that do and those that don't.  Those that do volunteer and pitch in every where they go usually.

No where's the Rub...dang, I think I've use the word "Rub" twice in the last couple days...

 

Anyway, yes it always the same people. But they are getting OOOOOOLLLLLLDDDDDD!! 

 

They (we...), need help!!!!!

 

Now go to the end of the original "The Fly" movie and at the end of the movie the fly with the human head is pleading for help...that us...

 

Phantom

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55 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

From some angles you do look sort of like David Hedison.

 

 

the-fly-1958-help-me-1.jpg

Funny...I've had some tell me I look more like the spider...

 

 

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On 7/17/2021 at 4:47 PM, Camille Eonich SASS # 48444 said:

Not likely.  In my experience, and it's been a long time since I have shot, it's the same people setting up the matches at all of those clubs.  The same people show up to help as much as possible at other state's and other club's annual matches as well.

There is quite simply those that do and those that don't.  Those that do volunteer and pitch in every where they go usually.

Not what I see in our area. We have four clubs in the "metro" area, all run by core groups of folks for each one. Having leaders at each club is great, but when you have leaders and the few that help and then those that attend all the clubs' matches and are not core to any... THAT is what I see. Maybe the folks that are not core to a club are former core and they feel they've "paid their dues". IDK

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1 hour ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Not what I see in our area. We have four clubs in the "metro" area, all run by core groups of folks for each one. Having leaders at each club is great, but when you have leaders and the few that help and then those that attend all the clubs' matches and are not core to any... THAT is what I see. Maybe the folks that are not core to a club are former core and they feel they've "paid their dues". IDK

That’s the way I see it. Different groups of core people at each club.
 

We have been splitting our shooting 4-5 times a month between 6 clubs, two of which are 2 hours away.  We’re not really ‘core’ at any of them. I rarely help with setup anymore, sometimes I get froggy and help tear down. I did Saturday and the gods smiled on me because I felt fine Sunday.

 

But yeah, we pretty much show up, shoot, do Posse chores. Help a bit with tear down and go home. Tourists basically.

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If folks were only as fast with "working" as they are "giving opinions", there would NEVER be a shortage on "working help"...there would be a STAMPEDE on working help!

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On 7/13/2021 at 3:25 PM, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

It's easy to blame lack of leadership when things don't go well and one has able bodies to pick from. 

 

Phantom

I've read this several times since it was posted and have given it plenty of thought. I can relate to it from both sides. I've been blamed, and I've been the blamer.  Yes, it is easy to blame leadership for what goes on or doesn't go on in the club or organization. But the fact is that one of the prime objectives of any leader is to get people motivated to follow them.  I do know that to a degree people want to just sit back and be led and not be bothered with deciding how to drive the bus. However, most of them want a say in where the bus is going. It is important for any leader to find out where they want to go. When I was running things I tried to do just that, and together we enjoyed a great deal of success. When I failed to do a good job in my communicating it always came back to bite me. Management styles differ, but one thing that I know very well is that just telling a group of volunteers what they must do, will not work. 

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36 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

I've read this several times since it was posted and have given it plenty of thought. I can relate to it from both sides. I've been blamed, and I've been the blamer.  Yes, it is easy to blame leadership for what goes on or doesn't go on in the club or organization. But the fact is that one of the prime objectives of any leader is to get people motivated to follow them.  I do know that to a degree people want to just sit back and be led and not be bothered with deciding how to drive the bus. However, most of them want a say in where the bus is going. It is important for any leader to find out where they want to go. When I was running things I tried to do just that, and together we enjoyed a great deal of success. When I failed to do a good job in my communicating it always came back to bite me. Management styles differ, but one thing that I know very well is that just telling a group of volunteers what they must do, will not work. 

I agree with what you have said here.

 

However...yeah...I seem to always have a "however"...Getting folks to help is hard, finding someone to take on the responsibility of leading a CAS Club can be even harder.

 

So while we all want nothing but good and effective leadership, sometimes we have what we have...cuz that ALL that we have. They may not be the spectacular motivator...the one to inspire others to do great things, but they're the ones to at least accept the responsibility that comes with the position.

 

So the irony exists. When we say we need help...we need folks to volunteer...that there is a lack of these things, and the topic gets turned around to point attention towards "Leadership", don't these folks realize that "help" includes help at the Leadership positions?

 

Phantom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Our club is pretty small so there is a couple of us that get the job of setup. I love this game and I have a genuine good time writing our shoots every month. With the layout of our range we can set up and use targets for multiple stages which cuts down on set up time.  
 

We do announce at the beginning of the shoot that we’d love to have help putting it all away. Usually a quick reminder results in lots of hands hanging out for ten minutes to put it all away.  Even shooters from a ways away stay and help, cause we help when we travel to their club.

 

Annuals are a LOT more work so I throw in as much as I can. I’ve called a couple of the closer clubs (couple hours and offered to pitch in on their annuals in whatever capacity I can serve.

 

We started in a small club and just dove right in. ROI and ROII in our first year, learning to write stages, work days t the range - just sort of what we did. Then when we moved cross country we didn’t know any better and found the club in our hometown had stopped because of reasons Phantom started the thread with. We’re 90 minutes from our club now but we do what we can.

 

I’ve been shooting eight years now no I’m just getting to the point I’d feel comfortable running a posse at a major match. After all, the big guys need help too. 

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I've only been involved in Cowboy Action Shooting for just over two years, but am lucky enough to have the time and interest in helping out where I am able. 

I'm sure most reading this are already in the choir and innately understand amount of work involved, but for others who've been on the outside looking in, the attached Gannt Chart may provide a little  insight into the work leading up to a larger match.  I created the attached Gannt Chart to help me identify and organize the various tasks leading up to an annual match we are planning next year.  

Perhaps we're luckier than some clubs in that we have a handful of volunteers to which we can assign many of these tasks so it is not overwhelming for any one or two people. I'm sure most reading this are already in the choir and innately understand amount of work involved.  

I would only add that by the time the actual match rolls around, volunteers have already spent dozens, really hundreds of hours collectively, preparing to host the match, and really appreciate even small gestures by others to help out whenever and wherever someone is able.   

Annual Match Gannt Chart.xlsx

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