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  1. #41
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    [re: CCC]

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Agree, I'd love to see that a million percent.
    A handout with no action serves nobody, an action that results in a check is a job that builds pride and nation alike.

    Call FDR, I'd give him a fifth term if I could.
    +A whole bunch.

  2. #42
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    Does anyone here have first-hand knowledge of how it goes in a country with this system?
    How about very close second hand knowledge?

    My wife (German) had to do this when she was out of what we call high school. If you do a service job (medical usually), the term is longer. If you decide to do your national service stint for the military, the term is shorter.

    Doing some quick google searching, it appear this program ended in 2011 for military and national service both:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...litary-service

    Both appear to be strictly voluntary now.
    Last edited by Mags; 11-25-2015 at 15:13.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by map man View Post
    .....I don't think differences between generations has much to do with it......

    So true. 5% of the people due 90% of the work in every club or organization I have ever been a part of over the years. Most people are usually willing to do a little bit to help out but few people are willing to do a lot. That is just the way it is no matter what generation they are a part of from what I have seen.

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Studlintsean View Post
    I haven't read the whole thread due to time right now (I'll come back) but had a few things to share. I do volunteer for a few organizations (Board Member/ Treasurer of a local Dog rescue and on my neighborhood finance committee). I personally think everyone should volunteer for one thing they are passionate about (as time permits). I reached out about a local shelter being built in my area offering five 25-30 year old men (5 brothers) multiple times. After over 6 months of trying (and successfully speaking with the head PATC member on the project), I gave up. Is it possible some maintainers would rather not include us younger folks? I look forward to helping more with AT maintenance in the future but unfortunately right now, I'm not able to.
    OUCH. I truly am very sorry about this. I am a PATC member and trail maintainer in the South District of SNP. We certainly would welcome this and any kind of help, long term would be great, but even help on short term projects would be greatly appreciated. If you or anyone you know is interested I recommend contacting Don White (South District Trail Overseer) at rockfish@southshenandoah.net. Most projects won't happen until the Spring/Summer, but again any help down our way will be greatly appreciated. Once again on behalf of PATC I am sorry your offers fell on deaf ears.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  5. #45
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    Sorry if this has been already mentioned, I did not read through the whole thread, but...

    I book has been written about the trend of decreasing participation in social organizations and activities and the negative effects this will have on society. The book is called 'Bowling Alone.'

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling_Alone

    As an active volunteer in my town, and as a member of a shrinking candlepin bowling league, I can attest to this sad trend. The civic organizations that have been the backbone of our democracy are dying.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    I think my boys have the volunteer bug, as they are always volunteering for OA (ORder of the Arrow, a Scouting society) above and beyond what others are doing.
    That is one of the main focuses in OA (service) so its not surprising that someone who is interested (as opposed to just voted in) would sign up for more things. On the main topic one thing not mentioned is that since trails keep expanding (more trails around, not just the trails getting longer) could what looks like less volunteers be partially a similar # of people spread over more places?

  7. #47
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    I agree with what some of the posts have already stated, that if you grow up in an atmosphere of volunteerism you are more likely to become a volunteer yourself. My parents were active volunteers in scouting, little league, church, and school and were raising six kids. I don't think they had extra time. They made the time to do this. I have been working on ATC crews as a volunteer for over 20 years. I carved out the time to do this. Regarding age as related to trail crews, we celebrated the 76 birthday of one of our Rocky Top crew at Birch Springs years ago. For the first time I was the oldest member of the crew this year at Konnarock. We had several 20 somethings that had never hiked a day in their lives and knew nothing about the AT. Kudos to the ATC for utilizing social media to attract this new type of volunteer.

    As far as volunteerism in general, my experience is that some people will never volunteer for anything, be it blood donation, cleaning up the neighbor hood, or being room mother. There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer that do not require a huge time commitment but if one is not inclined, they will not step forward.
    More walking, less talking.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by soilman View Post
    ...I don't think they had extra time. They made the time to do this...I carved out the time to do this....
    Thank you for bringing this up. It's an excellent point.

    It's like when so many say, "I would hike the AT but I just don't have the time." I reply that I don't have the time either. Making the time is one of the hard things about it, and a worthy challenge. Can you imagine the sort of life where you just have five or six months with nothing else to do? That would be horrible.

  9. #49

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    What a great topic, and thanks to all who have participated. Yes, many clubs are having difficulty in attracting younger and more diverse members. But others are meeting that challenge. Clubs with an urban base are at an advantage than more rural clubs, as there are larger populations to draw from. I think most clubs (mine, certainly) love to see anyone walking through our doors--but we need to find ways to make them welcome on their terms, which probably are going to be somewhat different than the way we are doing things now.

    That said, what attracts many of us (meaning people like me, I guess) to volunteering for the Trail is the autonomy of what we do and that our work really matters (at least in the Trail world). We want the work we are, and have been, doing to continue at the high standards we've met. This means people who work with us need the training and experience we offer--implying then, a commitment to the effort. This is difficult to achieve in today's world, when there are so many things competing for our time.

    I waited for several years before I got "my" section of the Trail to maintain. During that time, I participated in many of the projects that the club supported--from boundary maintenance to clearing fence lines, to building a shelter. I learned about how the Trail is managed and the roles of our many partners. I got to know the other members of the club. I learned woodscraft, trail craft, rudimentary surveying, map and compass, how to move rocks weighing more than myself, and a bunch of other stuff--mostly by being there.

    There were two important contributing factors. Once the kids started driving themselves, I had the time. I also live less than a mile from the Trail, and in an area (Mass), where access is easy--I can be anywhere on the AT in Mass in less than two hours. So I was able to be there when there was stuff to do and learn. And, frankly, the other members of the club were like me, socially and culturally--so I fit in easily. Not sure I would have stuck around if the only thing I had in common with the rest of the group was a love for the Trail. The work, frankly, can get tiresome, and not particularly rewarding (how many years have we been cutting brush in this same field?). It the camaraderie that keeps me coming back. How that's going to translate into welcoming the next generation of Trail stewards, I'm not sure--trail clubs my find themselves less and less able to meet their management obligations as their number of participants dwindles. One way to counteract that is to make participation welcoming to the entire population that lives near the Trail, clubs that learn how to do this will thrive, those that don't will become increasingly isolated in a changing world.

    Best wishes for the Holiday,

    Cosmo

  10. #50
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    And if I get my 'druthers, when I do get down to serious trail work, it'll be in your neck of the woods, Cosmo. Somewhere along the AT in MA, just not sure north or south, or in between.

  11. #51

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    The volunteer organizations I've been involved with have shown me that the old adage is true: 10% of the people do 90% of the work. The other 90% like to start sentences with "You should..." or "I would..." I've learned the the proper response to this is "That's a great idea, I'm putting you in charge of that project." Some people are unfortunately turned off by volunteer organizations because people that have been involved and done most of the work for a very long time consider it their own personal fiefdom and they've come to the place where, whether they are willing to admit it or not, they don't want to give up the power, control and position they are in, even though they may complain that they have to do it all...they love it. They don't want to grow the organization because they risk it slipping away from them if they do that. Anybody new that comes along and wants to get involved and do the work is perceived as trying to take over what they have and infringing upon their turf. Its hard for many people to understand, but in order for people to be motivated to volunteer, they have to get something for their time and effort, and in many cases the reward that they get has to be something along the lines of working on a project that they enjoy and being able to do it their way...if they wanted to take orders they'd just get a second job.

    We do need more young people involved in volunteer work. For years there were organizations I belonged to where I was the youngest person in the room...and I was 30 to 35 years old...most of the others were in their 60s or older. But I think this is reflective of the fact that retirees have more free time to be involved in such activities. But if you are moving to a new area, getting involved in volunteer work is a great way to meet people.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    The volunteer organizations I've been involved with have shown me that the old adage is true: 10% of the people do 90% of the work. The other 90% like to start sentences with "You should..." or "I would..." I've learned the the proper response to this is "That's a great idea, I'm putting you in charge of that project." Some people are unfortunately turned off by volunteer organizations because people that have been involved and done most of the work for a very long time consider it their own personal fiefdom and they've come to the place where, whether they are willing to admit it or not, they don't want to give up the power, control and position they are in, even though they may complain that they have to do it all...they love it. They don't want to grow the organization because they risk it slipping away from them if they do that. Anybody new that comes along and wants to get involved and do the work is perceived as trying to take over what they have and infringing upon their turf. Its hard for many people to understand, but in order for people to be motivated to volunteer, they have to get something for their time and effort, and in many cases the reward that they get has to be something along the lines of working on a project that they enjoy and being able to do it their way...if they wanted to take orders they'd just get a second job.

    We do need more young people involved in volunteer work. For years there were organizations I belonged to where I was the youngest person in the room...and I was 30 to 35 years old...most of the others were in their 60s or older. But I think this is reflective of the fact that retirees have more free time to be involved in such activities. But if you are moving to a new area, getting involved in volunteer work is a great way to meet people.
    Brilliant!

    After being on the BoD for a couple of not for profits that mainly rely on volunteers your description hit the nail on the head.


    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed that is the only thing that ever has."
    - Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

  13. #53
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    "Volunteers who are Baby Boomers and the "greatest generation" before them are literally and figuratively a dying breed not being replaced one-to-one or even close to that. That's a fact, no need to debate it. But are there any practical ideas at our cyber campfire for improving that situation?"

    1) If we're to assume Bonk is correct in that a small percentage of the people do the vast majority of volunteering IDENTFY WHO and WHERE and Under What CIRCUMSTANCES define those volunteers or the act of volunteering. This can help us tap into or enlist those who tend to volunteer. It is NOT just RETIRED FOLKS that volunteer!

    I disagree with those that say it is only retired empty nesters that do the brunt of volunteering in general. When I look at those currently involved in longer term volunteering commitments who are retired they didn't always jump directly into these longer term commitments. Only after positive fun enriching logistically easier short term volunteering while furthering altruistic, self-sacrificing, empathetic team oriented traits in these volunteers where all had a say and where a volunteer's personal skills/traits were assessed and attempted to be aligned with tasks needed to be completed by savvy PEOPLE MANAGERS did they step up to longer term commitments. When folks of all ages INTIMATELY KNOW and SEE and FEEL they can make a positive difference they can be inspired to step up into that role. It is NOT just a matter of younger volunteers getting older with so called more "free time." The short termers were DEVELOPED by organizations into longer term commitment volunteers who OFTEN widened their volunteering efforts to other causes.

    I disagree that < 30 yr olds are entirely self absorbed or all(most?) have a sense of entitlement. I observe segments of youth in the U.S. and abroad that commit not only to short term self sacrifice but also long term WHEN THEY FEEL A SENSE OF BELONGING. It's easier when altruistic, self-sacrificing, and empathetic traits have been cultivated from an early age. What categorizes these people?
    a. those associated with organized religion usually have a strong sense of self sacrifice. Hence, many volunteers not only in the U.S. but also globally come from religious back rounds.
    b. those involved in civic/community, fraternal, non-profit, etc organizations ie; Boy/Girl Scouts, Elks Club, Rotary, 4-H, AARP, Kiwanis, Lions Club, Fraternal Order of Police, College/University Fraternities/Sorrorities, 501 C(3)'s, NORML etc

    Some other areas would seek enlisting help from:
    1) Corporations! They often have vast resources at there disposal. It makes sense to enlist assistance from companies that would benefit from having their biz associated with community outreach. REI, Outdoor Gear Co's, Sunglasses, Chemical Co(Insect Repellent), RUNNING Shoe Co's, Grocery Store Chains, Fast Food Chains, Alcohol Co's, etc
    2) Hunting and Fishing Organizations. NPS does it EFFECTIVELY.
    3) Chambers of Commerce(near trail towns)
    4) Equestrians and associated Orgs
    5) Bicycling Co's and associated Orgs(well done cooperation on the AZT and CT!)
    6) Organized Campground Associations such s KOA, etc.
    7) Environmentally conscious groups
    8) Hardware Stores (Home Depot, Lowes, ACE, etc
    9) Landscaping Companies
    10) Wildlife Orgs

    If Trail Clubs and develop ties with these entities might make a trail maintenance MUCH easier?

    Take some kids out on a hike, on a bike, camp in the yard, to the local Nature Center, Arboretum, Aquarium, build a responsible small campfire and roast some marshmallows, teach a kid about clouds or the weather, go stomp in some puddles JOYOUSLY with some kids letting all know IT IS OK, take a kid fishing, go climb a tree with kids, start community/cul de sac garden(maybe in your own backyard?), grow something with someone, etc.


    It's my contention IF each one of us on WB just does one of these for our community for our youth it's likelier these kids will get older and be more prone to being better balanced as adults, happier, more connected to Nature, and maybe, just maybe be more likely to volunteer and respect others more. We will be teaching kids to embrace a LIFE more fulfilled.

  14. #54
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    11) Celebrities. YES, celebrities, of many types, whether they be involved in the Entertainment Industry(Producers, Directors, Actors/Actresses, Musicians, News Announcers, etc), Professional Sports/Olympic and Sponsored Athletes, Biz Leaders, etc can be GREAT allies. Before some of you get bent out of shape assuming Trail Clubs don't have " Hollywood insider" connections consider ON THE AT ALONE I've met and considerately shared with ALL these types of professionals. Some were born, live, or grew up in the Appalachian Mountains with these mountains still deeply cherished in their souls. YES, some of these categorized people can and do camp, hike, etc. Personally I've met two Academy Award Winners, Grammy Winners, and a Emmy Winner, major high net worth Biz Leaders, and Olympic and Professional Athletes while backpacking. Fostering respectful relationships with individuals like these can lead to GREAT trail awareness and support!


    Consider, these individuals and groups have great resources including a platform that can be vocally far reaching and inspiring to a call for volunteering action! It's not just about money but it's easy to see how financial contributions can easily translate to more boots on the ground trail maintenance, conservation, and preservation.

    When we invest ourselves into developing environmental responsibility and connections we Nature in children it can pay off handsomely as in just one of many positive examples Edward Norton's case.
    http://blog.nature.org/conservancy/2...edward-norton/

  15. #55
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    I agree with you Dogwood that most retirees who volunteer don't just decide one day to volunteer. They have lived a life of service and citizenship and continue into their golden years. I think that people regardless of age who have a view that extends beyond their self are more likely to volunteer. I used to be concerned about the future of the AT because it seemed like most trail maintainers were AARP members. One positive that may result from the recent publicity from AWITW and increased popularity of thru hiking the AT is that more people will be exposed to the trail. That means there is a larger pool of potential volunteers.
    More walking, less talking.

  16. #56
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    scouts.jpg

    Scouts camped near our AT relo in Harriman Park, Bob fuller, our PR man....explains what is going on.

    20--scouts-help-by-gatherin_med.jpg

    On Sunday they came out in Patrols and helped build an AT relocation.


    Some will work again. Some won't. Some will need an Eagle project.

    Most of our crew are old white guys, yea.....we all have tall tales to tell. We still like to get out, this gets us out, but we want to contribute to the greater good now....it is much more obvious at our vintage.

    Rafe....maybe that cutie that helped with the waterbars will take up trail work!!!!

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