Volunteer with VSC!
VSC Volunteer Commitment
VSC doesn’t exist without the support and dedication of our members, primarily through volunteering at our races and other events. Time spent volunteering and the relationships with other parents that are developed are often some of the most memorable experiences parents have with the Club.
The Club’s minimum volunteer expectations for parents is four (4) volunteer shifts per athlete during the ski season as well as participation in all club fundraising activities.
- Volunteer opportunities are on-snow or off-snow.
- Training will be provided for on-snow volunteer positions.
- Off-snow volunteering includes race office, club cabin and club social events.
- Fundraisers include ski swap & raffle ticket sales.
- U12-U18 teams may require more volunteer time from parents depending on number of events hosted in a season.
- U8 parents may satisfy their commitment through acting as “tailgunner” for the team.
- Volunteering at away races does not satisfy the VSC volunteer commitment.
Volunteering is a reward in itself. Volunteering at ski events makes you part of the action. You can ski, enjoy the day, watch your kids race AND contribute to their successes. You will become involved with a great group of people who work hard, play harder and really know how to enjoy the sport.
Funding for our programs comes from several sources, a significant amount of which is generated by volunteers. Thousands of dollars (45%) of our annual program funding is generated by the club hosting major race events and our local Ski Swap. ALL of these events are run entirely by volunteers. We require the support of all of our members to ensure we can continue to run these events and in turn, maintain reasonable membership fees. We want to keep our fees low, but without these volunteer-run events, it is inevitable that our fees will increase. Volunteering means keeping money in your pocket!
In addition to fundraising, race events are a key component of ski skill development and provide the opportunity for our racers from Entry Level to Masters to test their competitive skills on our home course. They are great fun to participate in and are a fantastic introduction to the competitive aspect of our sport. We are very fortunate to have solid support from Silver Star Resort and together we have built a reputation for running really great race events for all racers that participate in our programs.
To underscore the importance of volunteering with the club, we have established volunteer expectations that outline the recommended commitment from our member families. Obtaining a commitment from our membership eases the load on our organizing committees (who are volunteers and parents as well) and greatly simplifies our event planning. The requirements are not intended to be onerous and they have been established with the hope that all families in the club will easily achieve their volunteer commitment.
Contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Allison Goff: ssvscvolunteer(at)gmail.com
I am not an expert skier. How can I possibly contribute to a ski race?
All of our racing events are held on intermediate (Blue) or beginner (Green) runs. If you can ski Big Dipper or Gypsy Queen at Silver Star, you can help with our course set-up and maintenance, gate judging or timing.
I can ski Gypsy Queen, but I’m not a really confident skier.
There’s still an on-snow job for you!
Gate judging, timing assistance, hand timing, time posting and bib collecting/sorting all require very little skiing activity and ALL of these positions put you in a location where you are participating directly in the race. If you are comfortable with electronics or using computer applications…. the timing shack may be the place for you!
I have no race experience,
I wouldn’t know where to start….
There is no need to have a racing background (most volunteers don’t). “First timers” will work along side more experienced volunteers so they can learn what needs to be done. Most jobs simply require a willingness to help and in the case of some course work, a bit of physical strength. We will not put people in positions that they are not able to handle.
Gate Judging? Sounds too technical to me….
Gate judging is one of the most important jobs on the course. BUT the fundamentals of gate judging can be taught in a short period of time using some very basic demonstrations. If you know the difference between the tips and tails of a pair of skis, you can be a gate judge. First-time gate judges will be placed in locations where they monitor as few gates as possible and where visibility is good. We also try to ensure that first-timers have some extra help. When it comes to gate judging, experience is the very best teacher. “Speed” events such as the Over Hill Downhill and the K2 Nationals “Super G” are very easy gate judging assignments. Slalom events are quicker and require a sharper eye, but all of the same fundamentals apply.
What if I make a mistake?
There are no mistakes - only learning opportunities!
Mistakes are made at every race, even by the most experienced volunteers. If mistakes are made, the team works together to rectify the problem and the race goes on. The highest priority on any race course is not timing, not the quality of gate judging and not the course set-up. It’s SAFETY. We all work hard to ensure that we never compromise volunteer or racer safety - achieving this simply means using common sense and listening to basic direction from the more experienced volunteers.
I don’t ski at all, where can I help?
For non-skiers there are opportunities to contribute in the race office or with event support. If you are comfortable working with numbers, spreadsheets and can manage basic computer applications, race administration may be for you. The race office also requires 1 or 2 additional people to help assist with basic office duties. Event support duties include organizing volunteer lunches and apres-ski volunteer appreciation as well as setting up banquets and assisting with the award ceremonies. The amount of event support required will vary depending on the event being held.
I’ve heard that volunteers are required for “camps", why?
Camps are training opportunities for our athletes where we often set up race training courses and use timing equipment. Although we don’t need a fully manned course, it is often helpful to have a few extra people on hand to help run the camp. This is particularly true for the K1 speed camp where we need people positioned in key locations along the course to ensure that the course remains safe for the athletes.
What is the schedule like?
Every race schedule is different, but, generally….
Several Days (or weeks) before: the general course location is confirmed, safety netting is installed for speed events, timing equipment (wiring) is installed and the final equipment list is established.
Day or Two before: final wiring is installed, start and finish areas are constructed
7:30 AM - final course-set and course preparation
10:00 AM - First Race Start
1:00 PM - Second Race Start
3:00 PM - Race complete
4:00 PM - Tear-down and clean-up and complete
We need volunteers to support all phases of the race schedule!
Where can I learn more?
Come see us upstairs at the club cabin on any of our regular training days (Sat or Sun). First thing in the morning, there is almost always someone around who will be very happy to answer questions or provide information regarding our upcoming events. OR contact any of our parent reps or executive members - they will gladly help get you started.
Also, the club will hold a 3 hour Level 1 Officials Course early in the season.
This course reviews the basics of setting up a race course and reviews the fundamentals of gate judging. In addition, the roles and responsibilities of all members of the volunteer crew are reviewed in detail.
This course is a great introduction to running race events.
The course follows the outline provided by the Alpine Canada Officials Program and is the first in a series of courses that have been developed to provide guidance and support to ski racing volunteers.
For more information regarding Volunteering, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator
Allison Goff: ssvscvolunteer(at)gmail.com