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Volunteering 101

The Corvallis Aquatic Team is a parent-run, volunteer organization.  Because of this, there are many instances where our families are asked to donate their time to the organization.  Some of these jobs are required service hours to the team, while others are optional.  All of them are essential to having a well-run organization and are highly appreciated by the CAT board and coaches.  This document seeks to explain the different types of jobs/duties which are needed and to clearly classify them into the two categories (required service hours and optional volunteering.)  The required section refers to our Osborn Division only.

1.     Required Service Hours – Fundraising Meets.  CAT hosts five fundraising meets each year.  The dates and names of the meets for 2018-19 are listed below.  It is important to emphasize that these events are fundraisers and important to CAT's overall annual budget, and that the profit from these meets benefits all CAT swimmers by keeping dues reasonable and providing funding for equipment, coach travel and professional development, team events, and other expenses.  Some CAT swimmers will actually compete in each of these meets, but not all are eligible due to age or qualifying time.   This is a completely separate issue – these meets are required service hour obligations for ALL Osborn CAT families due to their fundraising nature, regardless of whether or not the family has a swimmer competing in the meet.   In the event your family does not fulfill your hours, a penalty of $25/hour for each unfulfilled hour may be assessed.  Hours worked at other home meets, at away meets, or at CAT events, while appreciated and needed, do not fulfill this obligation.   Please also note that unless specifically stated prior to a fundraising meet, working as a lane timer at our own fundraising meets does not fulfill the obligation, as it is a job normally done by parents of visiting teams. 

There are many types of jobs available at the fundraising meets, ranging from those which require training and/or experience (clerk of course, computer, and announcer) to those which do not (awards, bull pen, deck marshal, deck setup, deck takedown, concessions, grill, heat sheet sales, head timer, hospitality, and trash monitor.)  In addition, the jobs occur throughout the meets and shifts are available in a variety of lengths, so that families can pick jobs that suit their schedules.  Anyone over the age of 13 can fulfill the service hours for the family, although some jobs require the worker to be 18 or over. 

The hours can be worked at any or all of the meets, in any combination that you wish.  For example, you may choose to work all of your hours at one meet; a few hours at three of the meets; or a few hours at all five meets. The requirement is per family, not per swimmer.  The total number of hours required is based on the squad of the highest level swimmer in the family, as well as your length of time on the team.  Hours are prorated if you join or leave the team between December and May. Below are the hours which are required for the 2017-18 year.

Families new to the team since the start of the previous summer:  
           Any squad:  12 hours
Families who joined prior to the previous summer:
           Senior 1 (Spring):  8 hours
           Novice, J1A, J1B:   16 hours
           Senior 1 (Winter & Spring), Junior 2, college swimmers:   20 hours
           Senior Prep:  24 hours
           Senior 2:   26 hours

Families with parents working as certified USA Swimming officials and meet director are exempt from the above requirement, as it is assumed that they will automatically be working far more than the above number of hours due to the nature of their positions.  

Job sign-ups for the fundraising meets are done on the CAT website by clicking "Job Signup" under the meet name.  The job signups will be available approximately 3-4 weeks before each fundraising meet, and each meet's signups will go up individually.   An email will be sent when the signups are "live".   For some of our meets and some positions, the jobs may go fast – so it is worthwhile to sign up as early as you can.

More information about fundraising meet service hours, including job descriptions for the various meet positions, can be found on the website under Team Info – Fundraising Meets.

The fundraising meets for 2018-19 are as follows:

  1.  November 30 - December 2, 2018:   Comfort Suites Corvallis Oregon Senior Open

    Meet runs all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
    Service hour jobs available from 5:00 pm Thursday through Sunday evening

     
  2.  January 25-27, 2019: Comfort Suites Corvallis CAT Short Course Open

    Meet runs Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday
    Service hour jobs available from 1:00 pm Friday through Sunday evening
     
  3.  February 21-24, 2019: OSI 11-14 Championships

    Meet runs Thursday evening, all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday
    Service hour jobs available from 1:00 pm Thursday through Sunday evening
     
  4. March 9-10, 2019:   CAT Spring Invitational

    Meet runs early Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning
    Service hour jobs
    available from Saturday morning through early Sunday afternoon
     
  5.  May 17-19, 2019:   Comfort Suites Corvallis CAT Long Course Open

    Meet runs Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday

    Servicehourjobsavailable from 1:00 pm Friday through Sunday evening

2.    Not Required – Other home meets, away meets, team events.  There are several other volunteer needs for the team that are separate from the fundraising meet obligation.  Volunteers for these jobs are necessary for us to host well run meets, to be good visitors when at other pools; and to have enjoyable events for our swimmers and families.  Our board of directors is also made up of volunteers who donate their time to the team.

We greatly appreciate any time you have to donate to these positions, but the time spent working these jobs does not count towards your fundraising meet obligation mentioned above.  

Signups for these meets and events are usually handled by email, a handwritten sign up sheet, or online at SignUp.com. 

These volunteer needs/requests include:

  1.  Non-fundraising home meet (Red & Black, tri-meets in November, Trophy League meets, Friday Fun meets, etc.) needs:  Announcing, computer, clerk of course, bull pen, hospitality, head timer, and lane timing. 
  2. Away meets:  As visitors to meets at pools other than Osborn, it is our obligation to help fill the lane timing spots.  Unless someone from your family is working as an USA Swimming official, please plan to take a shift as a timer when your swimmer attends meets at other pools. 
  3. Team events:  We host several events each year that may require volunteer assistance, usually in the form of setup and takedown, including the CAT Prowl pool party and team awards banquet in April and the CAT picnic in July.  
  4. Chaperoning and food prep/donations:  We take several travel trips each year which require the help from parents as chaperones and/or drivers.  We also ask for help from families in the form of providing or preparing food for trips and winter training for the senior squad.  
  5. We also may occasionally ask for assistance with community projects planned by CAT or organized by outside organizations (i.e. Special Olympics), as well as volunteer time from the older swimmers (car washes, Dog Days, swim clinics, HOTV Triathlon, Masters meets, Special Olympics, etc.)