This has been the final weekend scheduled for me to volunteer with a certain organization. Since the end of September, one day a weekend — sometimes two days — was spent running marching band competitions for various high schools throughout New Jersey and New York. Normally I get a lot of personal satisfaction from organizing the shows, but this year, the organization seemed a bit disorganized. Each weekend, I had to drive back and forth, picking competition judges up from airports, taking them to the schools, and the dropping them off at hotels later.
This past weekend involved a pretty frustrating fiasco with a judge who was originally scheduled to fly into JFK and later the mode of transportation was changed to train in order for me to pick her up from Newark. When dropping her off, there were problems with the trains coming out of New York, and to make a long story short, we had to walk away from the station around midnight to find a hotel that wasn’t fully booked.
This major time committment during the fall ins’t completely “volunteer” work. We do get small “honorarium” fee for each show we work, and any driving is reimbursed, but only if it’s over 200 miles. Needless to say, the type and amount work involved in order to make these competitions happen is completely foreign to people who have never been involved with the activity; even many who have been involved for years are unfamiliar with what it takes to organize world-class competitions — whether they take place at a high school or in Giants Stadium.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published November 6, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.