Agility bloggers have been asked to speak out on the topic of volunteers and volunteerism.
My focus, as a 2-minute dog trainer, and administrator for Teacup Dogs Agility Association (TDAA), is on the little actions that can result in big benefits.
I’d like to draw attention to the unsung heroes of the agility world, the agility trial committee.
The agility trial committee is responsible for everything from publicizing the trial to cleaning the bathrooms, and are often seen in the background at trials.
Trial committee members attend countless meetings, spent hours of their own time preparing for the trial, and devote themselves completely to their club on the weekend of the trial — often diminishing their own dogs’ agility trial experience.
I make a point of noticing the efforts of the trial committee, especially when it comes to the cleanliness of the trial site and the comfort level of trial exhibitors and workers. I notice because Bud and I don’t have a trial committee and we have to do it all ourselves.
When you attempt to do everything yourself, or be all things to all people, you realize the importance of having a committee of like-minded, cooperative, and hard-working individuals.
There are many ways exhibitors and guests can assist the trial committee volunteers with their work.
As the “2 minute dog trainer” I’d like to focus on those that take just a couple of minutes.
1) read your confirmation and observe rules regarding parking, pottying your dogs, and crating …. if you bend the rules a committee member has to note that and (perhaps) do something about it.
2) notice the status of toilet paper in the restroom, or bottled water available to judges/scribes/timekeepers, and offer to replace and refill supplies.
3) as you learned in kindergarten, say “thank you” when services are rendered to you, whether it’s the trial secretary setting out course maps, the awards table volunteer hanging ribbons, or the hospitality volunteer cleaning up after lunch … knowing their work is appreciated is often the only compensation coming to the trial committee.
If exhibitors become more aware, engaged, and attentive, we can enhance the trial experience for the trial committee.
If the trial experience is enhanced for the trial committee they’ll offer more opportunities to show our dogs.