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Volunteer Opportunities/Requirements

Annual Crew dues pay for coaches’ salary, regatta fees, insurance, storage fees, and some maintenance fees. Fundraising for the year (Craft Show, Tag Days, Scrip sales, Corporate Sponsors, Restaurant sponsored dinner nights and others) allow us to remain competitive by improving our gear (e.g. new shells, oars, and ergs).

Still, we can’t succeed without volunteer assistance from all members of the Crew Family. To have a quality program,, we depend on rowers, coxswains and their families/ guardians to pitch in and help. There are two categories of volunteering, VASRA and Regular Program Volunteering..

VASRA. Page 12 of the handbook describes VASRA volunteer requirements. We depend on families/guardians to man volunteer positions during regattas allowing our athletes to compete. A description of VASRA duties is on our website under: regattas/regatta job descriptions. Most families/ guardians are required to do two (2) VASRA jobs during the year. Holding a board position alleviates some VASRA duties (see pages 27, 28 of the handbook). The Regatta Volunteer Coordinator manages VASRA volunteer requirements. Usually we are assigned VASRA volunteer requirements in February for the upcoming spring season. The volunteer coordinator manages a sign--up genius to ensure we meet our VASRA volunteer duties.

Regular Program Volunteering. Along with VASRA duties, we also have other volunteer duties in support of our program. These are varied tasks that begin in the fall and include those things required to ensure a dynamic program through the spring season. Refer to page 13 of the handbook for annual Family/ Guardian volunteer requirements. Below is a short description of the duties involved per volunteer task to give an idea of the requirements. The Point of Contact (POC) of an event will provide more focused guidance. We use a sign-up genius site for each event to manage volunteers and give proper credit.
  • Boat House Workdays. Three to four scheduled per year. Parents and Rowers/ Coxswains meet at the boat house and do various tasks in support of the program. These could include putting coaches boats in the water or taking them out, putting coaches engines in the shed, sandbagging the boat house, cleaning and organizing the coaches closet area, inventorying the Chuck Wagon, setting-up and cleaning tents, or moving shells. The Equipment POC works with the coaches to determine needed tasks and supervises all efforts at Boast House workdays. Usually two to three hours required. One volunteer credit per workday executed.

  • Erg Rental and Return. The WTW Crew program allows rowers to rent Ergs for the summer/fall and then return them prior to Winter Conditioning. Under the guidance of the Equipment POC, several rowers and parents help sign out Ergs to family members (using hand receipts). Task takes approximately two hours. On return day in the fall, volunteers ensure they are not damaged and store them in the Erg Shed at the school. One volunteer credit per day worked. 

  • Swim Test. All rowers must pass a swim test one time to be able to row with the program. Annually after recruiting (early fall), the Vice President for Liaison and Team Activities coordinates for pool use. Parent Volunteer attends the swim test, assisting the coach with sign-ins and monitoring rower’s progression. The program also runs a swim test in February for those that joined after fall swim test were complete. Usually one to two hours work. One volunteer credit per test worked.

  • Launch Drivers Training. Invariably because we have extra launches, we tend to get tagged to be Launch drivers for VASRA regattas. The head coach has volunteered to teach drivers. One volunteer credit for taking the training. NOTE: You will likely be a launch driver during VASRA regattas in the spring season satisfying VASRA required volunteering. 

  • Football Concessions. As part of our authority to be a Woodson Club sport, we work one concession stand at night per football season. Two shifts of nine (9) person each, each shift takes approximately 90 minutes. The Woodson High School Booster Representative will coordinate dates and times with the HS Booster Club. One volunteer credit per shift worked. 

  • Craft Show. Executed the first weekend in November each year, there are a host of duties: Concessions Chair, Publicity Co-Chair, Concessionaire Coordinator, set up, greeting station, advertisements, signage, manning stations (Raffle, Bake Sale, Button sale, 50-50), tear down. The POC in charge of the Craft Show provides more guidance. 

  • Tag Day Driver. Six (6) Tag days per year with one makeup day. Each tag day has two shifts (morning and afternoon). Drive three to four rowers along a selected route as they gather donations for the Crew program. Tag Day POC provides more detailed guidance the day of your driving task prior to beginning your route. One volunteer credit per shift driven. 

  • Student-Athlete Pre-Regatta Dinners. Held before each home regatta, dinners are social gatherings organized to build team spirit the night before a regatta and ensure athletes receive a good meal. Dinner runs from 7 – 9 PM. Dinner hosts receive two Volunteer credits while Dinner assistants (usually 4) receive one volunteer credit. Food for the dinners and the Rower-Athlete Food Tent (RAFT) at regattas is provided potluck style by parents on a rotational basis outlined/defined in emails the week prior. Host parents must adhere to the school policy of providing chaperones and not allowing drugs, alcohol or smoking. Details will be provided to student- athletes and their families well in advance of the spring racing season. 

  • Rower-Athlete Food Tent (RAFT). For each home regatta at the Occoquan, we set up a tent near the boat house. Two people man the tent for each shift, usually there is a morning and afternoon shift; times TBD. Duties include setting up the Woodson Tent, tables, and coolers all located inside the boat house. In addition supervise the set-up, display and consumption of specific food items, delivered by the Captains to the RAFT the morning of the race. During the race, monitor athlete’s actions around the boat house. It does get busy so monitor any sort of rough play or bothering of other teams. At the end of the regatta, clean up refreshments, empty coolers, strike the tent and place it back inside the boat house. 

  • Away regatta(s). Primarily for the two major away regattas (Stotesbury and Nationals) and to a lesser extent (St Andrews and possibly attendance at the Naval Academy one day visit), there are a host of duties required for successful completion. The Vice President for Team Liaison and Activities is the POC for these events.

    • Luggage Assistants. Check luggage for contraband and manage medicine the night before the travel to the event. Store luggage in the WTW Director of Student Activities (DSA) closet. Load baggage on buses. 
    • Bus chaperones. Travel with rowers/ coxswains to away events providing adult leadership/ guidance. Load/ Unload buses/ accountability. Ensure accountability during travel – particularly after rest stops.
    • Boat Parents. Supervise a boat while at the regatta. Ensure attendance at meals, bed check, and wakeups. 
    • Food Coordinator, and Assistants, Virginia. After menu selected, gather food from family volunteers and store it (coolers). Be available and assist in loading food in Chuck Wagon 
    • Food Coordinator, and Assistants, Away site. Set up food tables and grill. As required cook and serve food. Clean and dismantle cooking material for transportation back to home site.
    • Hotel Meal Chaperones. As required go to restaurant and obtain food for meals and deliver back to hotel. Be in the dining room during meals monitoring crew behavior. 
    • Site Setup. Under supervision of Equipment POC, unload and set up tents, cooking grills, and as needed straw and ensure water available to rowers at entrance site.
    • Check in, Check out of hotel. Arrive early enough to gather keys at hotel to expedite assigning rooms to the team. At end of stay inspect rooms to ensure there is no damage.

  • Annual Award Dinner. We highly encourage attendance at the spring award banquet where our rowers are recognized in front of the school. We also run an awards banquet. It typically includes a dinner, raffle, award of letters and specific awards to the rowers, and selection of leaders for the following year. The WT Woodson Secretary is in charge of the annual awards dinner and will provide more detail as the event approaches.

  • Frost Fair, Cav Kickoff, HS Back to school nights. These are all recruiting efforts. President and Membership should plan on attending to inform perspective rowers and their families. Key is to get enthusiastic Captains involved to convince students to explore the program.