Edmonton Outdoor Club - New Coordinator Info

Thank you for your interest in coordinating events for the Edmonton Outdoor Club! We are always looking for new event coordinators.

You probably have a laundry list of ideas for events, some from favorites you’ve attended, and some new ones that you think will benefit the club. We welcome all suggestions and we’ll do our best to work with you. But be aware that certain events are simply not possible as EOC events due to logistical, safety, monetary, or scope reasons. General principles to keep in mind:

  1. The EOC is completely volunteer run, so please be patient, we all do this in our spare time!
  2. We do not have money to run your event. There is no "float" money to pay for events up front.
  3. We do not discriminate based on age, gender, marital status, etc. No singles events! And try to be inclusive of as many members as possible.
  4. The EOC has a wide breadth of activities; mainly outdoor, activity, learning or travel focused in scope. We do not typically do a lot of "hardcore" events, as there are discipline-specific clubs for that such as the Alpine Club or bike groups.
  5. EOC events are open to all members, so expect strangers and newbies in attendance.

Qualifications and Requirements

The EOC does not require specific training or qualifications to become an event coordinator, although we do expect our coordinators to have good organizational, communication and leadership skills. First Aid training or knowledge is helpful, but not required.

Before coordinating for us, we do require:

  1. That you have attended at least 5 active (ie. outdoor or sport) EOC events in the last three months.
  2. If you wish to coordinate events with carpool, at least 3 of your prior events should have had a carpool, with at least 2 of them being in the last three months.
  3. That you provide at least three references from our current volunteer team. Make sure you ask them first if they can provide you with a reference, and ensure that the people you're asking know you well enough to make an informed referral. We will be asking your references if they will be able to co-coordinate one of your training events with you. Please start that process off by asking them personally as well.
  4. That you are familiar with our policies and procedures, and agree to follow our:
    - Coordinator Policies
    - Coordinator Commandments
    - Safety Policy
    - Waiver Process

Getting Started

Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Mark, at volunteer@edmontonoutdoorclub.com, to get started. Once they've confirmed your qualifications and requirements, you will be assigned "Coordinator In Training" status.

When you are a "Coordinator In Training", you will be expected to successfully complete a minimum of three probationary events before you are given full volunteer access to the web site (ie. the ability to post your own events). For these events, the Volunteer Coordinator will assist you in setting up your event, and may pair you up with an experienced volunteer who can help out (depending on the nature/complexity of the event). Generally speaking, we will strive to have you co-coordinate one event each with both of your references, and coordinate your third training event independently.

We prefer that your probationary events be completed within a 3-month time period, so if that won't be possible, please discuss your circumstances with the Volunteer Coordinator.

Choosing an Event

For your probationary events, it is best to choose something that you have completed yourself at least once so you can focus on coordinating the event, rather than figuring out an unfamiliar activity.

It is recommended that you do easier events for your training events. We don’t need to help you with your camping skills or "outdoorsiness", just the nuances of running EOC events.

If you choose something that we already have in our database, we can copy the existing event for you and change the details as required. If you choose something that hasn't been done by the club before, you'll be expected to provide all the required information for setting up the event.

All of your probationary events must be outdoor (or sporting) in nature. No socials.

Let the Volunteer Coordinator know what you would like to do for your first event. You can do that in your initial e-mail, or after you've qualified as a "Coordinator in Training". If you've been brainstorming with one of our event coordinators about something that you may want to co-coordinate, bring them in to the conversation as well.

We generally discourage new coordinators from doing a paid event as one of their first events because of the extra level of complexity (and, unfortunately, frustration) that can go along with it. Exceptions may be made, but for the most part, your probationary events should NOT be pre-paid events.

Note that the EOC has very strict guidelines about co-hosted events... as in... we generally don't allow it. This means that if you have an event that would also be posted on a Meetup group, or on another club, it will not be allowed as an EOC event. There may be some circumstances in which a co-hosted event is allowed, or there may be other people or groups included in the activity, so if you're not sure, just ask.

Preparing for Your Event

Even though you won't yet have the ability to post or edit event information on the web site, you will have full capabilities to manage your upcoming event. You will receive notifications when someone registers, or withdraws, from the event. You will be able to send out an e-mail to your list of attendees, and you will be able to generate and print your attendee list. You will also receive a note from the web site two days prior to your event reminding you to send out a reminder to your attendees, which you can easily do from your Coordinate pages.

When it's time for your event, be sure to be prepared with all the information you'll need, including having the carpool list (if applicable), and the attendee list (the Dtl List includes emergency contact information). Show up at your appropriate carpool/meeting spot - we recommend being there about 15 minutes early so that you will be there as your attendees trickle in, and you will be parked and available to answer any last-minute phone calls from people who may be lost.

If your event has a carpool, you'll be expected to arrange the carpool, and to manage the carpool payments according to our process. If you have a volunteer helper, of course they will help you with these things, but as part of your training, you should do as much as possible yourself.

Running Your Event

Lead the event.

Act as an Ambassador for the club. Make sure new members, especially those out for their first time, are included and made to feel welcome. Be available to answer questions and take suggestions (which can always be passed along to the appropriate club Officer).

Make any adhoc decisions to be made (with input from your group and/or your helper, if appropriate). Be sure your decisions consider the safety and enjoyment of all participants.

Ensure no one gets separated from the group.

Be the "go to" person if anyone has questions or if there are problems or injuries.

Completing Your Event

Once your event is finished, we thank you for your efforts, but you're not quite done yet! You will receive an e-mail from the web site (the next day) asking you to post a write-up, which you can do through the web site. We will need you to update your attendee list - remove anyone who did not attend (follow our no-show policy appropriately). You can send out a follow-up e-mail to let your attendees know that you posted a write-up and to thank them for their participation. If you took photos during the event, you can submit them to our Photo Historian.

If you have collected waivers, they will then have to be turned in to the club (the Volunteer Coordinator will provide information). If you've collected questions or suggestions, please be sure to follow up on those.

Next Steps

Until you've completed your probationary events, you will follow essentially the same procedure.

Once you have completed your probationary events, be sure to follow up with the Volunteer Coordinator regarding getting your volunteer status (we call that "Getting Your Star" because of the icon - default is a star - which appears next to your name when you're a volunteer). They might remember and follow up with you, but just to be sure, be pro-active! We don't want you slipping through the cracks. You will need to submit an appropriate photo and bio before you can be added to our volunteer team, so be ready with those items.

Once you have your star, you will be expected to manage your own event data and coordination activities. We have extensive assistance and documentation available to you as you become more familiar with our processes. Eventually, we will be looking to you to help other newbies get started!