Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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Tag Archives: volunteers

Giving back to the community by being a drunk!

Today is one of those rainy wet days you’d expect living here in the Seattle region. Luckily, today I’m giving back to the community as an alcoholic drunk. As a volunteer, I’ll be hoisting multiple alcoholic beverages (whisky and scotch are my drinks of choice) and doing my civic duty in the “wet lab” at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC) in Burien. Basically, I get to drink all day, eat lunch, hang out with other volunteers, and allow the trainees to give me some field sobriety field tests, etc.

I have to drink until I’m drunk or to a mutually agreeable upon level of being trashed. I couldn’t drive myself here and I can’t leave until I am at .03. In Washington State, DUI/DWI is .08. Now, I’m no expert at drinking or DWI/DUI law and I can’t even tell you which crime is worse: a DUI or a DWI. I just know I don’t want to get one!

Anyway, this is my first time doing this type of volunteering. Most of my other volunteering work is on the tamer side where I need to be sober 24/7. This definitely will be a change of pace and an interesting way to start the weekend.

Have a great Friday!

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These Yearbooks Will Be The Death of Me!

Well, I’m sorry I haven’t been posting lately. I have been slammed at work and this has resulted in me becoming a little bit behind in my blog posting. My yearbook company’s website crashed and was offline for three weeks. Now, I don’t have to design and create the yearbooks. The design, corrections, etc. is left up to the yearbook PTA mom who got roped into the job at school. It is a volunteer job where everyone complains about the mistakes yet is strangely absent when help is needed.

Really? You have the gaull to complain about the yearbook but you can’t help out to create it?

I have three newbie moms putting together the yearbooks at their respective schools. I feel bad that they have been thrown into this job. I tell them that they must remember that this is their first year and that they are unpaid volunteers. Don’t panic and don’t stress is my advice. If parents complain about their yearbook, then they can help work on it next year!

Overall, it has been a huge time black hole for me. On top of putting together yearbooks, I have to stay on top of my own work projects.

It hasn’t been easy. I was putting in 14-16 hour work days last week in a futile attempt to catch up and get everything back on track.

Alas, it wasn’t all futile and I have caught up quite a bit. I’m stuck in the middle between the yearbook company and the yearbook folks working on their yearbooks. It wasn’t the school yearbook ladies’ fault that the yearbook website crashed and certainly wasn’t my fault. However, we are stuck because I don’t know any other yearbook programs to create a yearbook on. The learning curve is steep and I don’t have time to learn something new.

So now I am assisting the newbies and trying to crank out these yearbooks. Wish me luck!

Girl Scout Day Camp is Over!

Well, Girl Scout Day Camp is over and we all survived!  It was actually a very well run camp and I would go back next year.  It isn’t easy have running any kind of camp and a day camp is especially hard.  Luckily, this is Girl Scout Day Camp and as a father, I can skip out on being a senior manager of such a function.  I don’t mind helping but don’t stick me in charge of anything.  Let me be a warm body that makes sure your kids don’t kill themselves.

Trust me, I like to be in charge but at Girl Scout Camp, I firmly believe that the mothers are totally capable of handling all functions of the day camp.  Heck, we have lots of great moms in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts so I know they can handle a Girl Scout event.  Both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts events are tough.  You are a volunteer leader running a bunch of teenagers and other clueless adults (not really) and everything has to run smoothly.  Nothing ever runs smoothly when you are a volunteer.

However, my hat is off to the wonderful mothers and daughters that ran the Service Unit 026 day camp this past week.  They did an awesome job and I was very pleased with everything.  I will recommend this day camp to all of my Girl Scouts.

As always your comments and thoughts are welcome on my worthless advice blog!

Volunteering: Only for the Brave and Stupid!

I recently found out one of my best friends didn’t listen to my advice and has decided to “step up to the plate” and become the Cubmaster for his son’s Cub Scout Pack.

Hey, I’m known for being sarcastic but it when it comes to volunteering, I’m all in.  I like being involved in a worthwhile activity.  I like being with my daughter at her Girl Scout Troop and I like being with my son at his Boy Scout Troop.

I admire my friend’s decision to become the Cubmaster.  He’ll do a great job.

But then you also have to be Brave and (a little) Stupid to take on leadership job.  I’m all for volunteering but that is way too much responsibility for me.  I prefer to help out in a support role where I can be the muscle, but not the one in charge.  If you are the one in charge, you get blamed for everything that goes wrong.  Who needs that?

(Disclaimer:  I was the Den Leader for my son’s Cub Scout Den and now I’m an Assistant Scoutmaster in his Boy Scout Troop.  And I’m also the Girl Scout Troop Leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout Troop.  So I speak from experience on being Brave and Stupid when it comes to volunteering!)

How many times have you gone to a volunteer function and heard some attendee complain how much it sucked?  This could be an auction event for parents or a kid’s day camp for Girl Scouts.  These critics complain about everything: the volunteer staff, the weather, the setting, the accommodations, the kids.

They complain that the kids didn’t have fun at day camp or the staff wasn’t trained enough.  Um, excuse me, they are volunteers.  They do this job because they believe in the cause; not because they get an awesome paycheck!

If you don’t like what is going on, they do something about it.  Stop the complaining, volunteer, and help out!

I do agree that some volunteers are worse than others.  If they are goofing around and not teaching the subject (as it is with some teenagers), then I can see how the event sucks.  If the volunteer isn’t into the job, of course they aren’t going to do a good job.

Nowadays, it is hard to get people to volunteer to help.  With both parents working or a lack of childcare for the other kids in the family, it is hard to be able to volunteer.  No one seems to have the free time to help.  Some people are nervous to volunteer, thinking that they won’t be able to help in any matter.

I admire my friend for taking on the Cubmaster job; it isn’t an easy job.  He’ll have to plan meetings, deal with whacko parents, solve disputes, handle numerous meltdowns (by parents and kids), and still have a great attitude.  He’ll do all of this on top of his full time job.

So hats off to all volunteers, but a big “Thank You” to all the volunteers that hold a leadership role.  I wish you all the best in this unpaid position of parent complaints and whiny kids.

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