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Re: MG


Where did I say that people who worked regular daytime jobs make poor volunteers?

I was reacting to your comment that  >>The fact that they offer only weekday
classes is a strong indication IMO that the instructors aren't interested in
going the extra mile (spending their evenings in the classroom) and/or that
the program has been geared to utilize MGs mainly during weekdays.<<

We offer evening volunteer opportunities. We offer weekend volunteer activities. We have a Lunch 'n Learn every month with time to socialize as we eat lunch and before the program. We have casual suppers and summer weekend barbecues.

We give our new MGs opportunities to "own" the project that they're interested in if they wish to do so. As you've found, if they don't get interested and have a chance to take responsibility right away, the program is likely to lose them.

They can also propose projects and project funding if there is something that's not already being done. We have a coordinator system, rather than all projects being chosen by a head honcho. We have 5 coordinators with many committees/projects under each. MGs can run for a coordinator position as soon as they've completed their first 50 hours of volunteer time. And yes, it's 50 hours in our state.

We don't throw them out if they don't get their 50 done in the first year, but always encourage them. Most of the morning class people complete their 50 in less than 9 months. Most of the evening class people have not completed the 50 required for certification, but it's not for lack of opportunity.

And yes, they learn that it's a volunteer training program early and often, and we get them involved in volunteering while they're still in class. It may be that they can only help with sign-ins and clean-up for our public programs at the library, but they know that they are an integral part of the team.

And as for working and volunteering, I regularly did several hundred hours per year while working ( and one year over 1500) , but you and I are not the norm.

My point is that it's not right to diss a program and say that the instructors are not willing to go the extra mile just because it doesn't provide evening classes.

d


----- Original Message ----- From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 11:42 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] MG


Well, Daryl, I take issue with your idea that people who work regular daytime jobs make poor volunteers. I'm one of them, and after I took the evening classes I put in over 700 volunteer hours the first year. A lot of the people in my class are still there, putting in their hours when they can.

I can agree with you though, that it's tough to get volunteers who really want to work. It doesn't matter what time of day they took their class, what age or gender they are, they all have lives and other things they'd rather do. The trick (which I have yet to master) is to make them WANT to volunteer in MG activities more than the other choices they have.

Have the new recruits been asked how they'd like to contribute? Or have they simply been asked to sign up and help with projects someone else is running? Yes, they're new and have to get a few hours under their belts before most of them can take a leading roll, but for many, if they don't see any personal advantage in it, they won't bother. They don't fully grasp the concept of helping others - they're still in helping self mode. I can't tell you how to do it, but the potential is there if you can find the key.

If most activities in a county are weekday, as Jim mentioned re phone response is in his, evening class people will not see a lot of opportunity. Does your MG group host social activities in addition to volunteer work? This gives them a chance to get to know each other and the other MGs. When you actually know each other (rather than just being a number on a call list), there could be a better chance of wanting to commit to volunteering.

Just like every other county in every other state, we have a problem with retention. But, for as much as I understand it, virtually all our candidates finish the class and then as interns, nearly all of them contribute their 40 volunteer hours. Some take a bit longer than a year to do it, but they don't just walk away after the class is over. A week or so before the first class, they must attend orientation. At that meeting it is explained to them "why" they are receiving the training. It's not just mentioned in passing. To tell you the truth, I almost quit after orientation as I had no interest in teaching - helping others grow, and I felt it would be wrong to take the training and not fulfill that obligation. I just wanted to work with other gardeners. But I soon learned there were other things that I could do, so I went ahead with it.

Well, this is much too long. But I don't think all evening class people are deadbeats.

Kitty
neIN, Zone 5
----- Original Message ----- From: "Daryl" <dp2413@comcast.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:08 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] MG


Kitty,

I take issue with that. I've been on both sides of the fence, both
administering the program, and waiting for more than a decade to be able to take it. I first heard about the MG program shortly after it was started in Oregon, but wasn't able to take it until 1989. For many years, even after I
was certified, I railed against the "unfairness" of only having morning
classes.

We tried holding evening classes. many, many times.  (Our program  runs 2
days per week for 11 weeks, and we've done morning , afternoon and evening classes. ) We've gotten almost no volunteer hours out of the members of the
evening classes, and significantly fewer with those that have taken the
afternoon classes than those that have taken morning classes.

It may be different in your state, but if so, that bucks the norm, from what I've heard from MG coordinators in other states. I was Advanced MG Training Coordinator for several years, and had a lot of contact with MG coordinators
from other states. The stats were dismal.

I  know that there are many volunteers that could have fulfilled their
hours, even with evening MG training, but percentage-wise, they haven't done
so.  All of our evening classes have been dismal failures as far as
returning volunteer hours is concerned, even though many professed to be
available. It was always, "No, I can't help, my son/grandchild has a soccer
game on Saturday" or some such.

d


----- Original Message ----- From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 7:16 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] MG


They can offer it any time they want.  The fact that they offer only
weekday classes is a strong indication IMO that the instructors aren't
interested in going the extra mile (spending their evenings in the
classroom) and/or that the program has been geared to utilize MGs mainly
during weekdays.

Kitty
neIN, Zone 5

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  • Follow-Ups:
    • Re: MG
      • From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
  • References:
    • MG
      • From: james singer <islandjim1@comcast.net>
    • Re: MG
      • From: "Jesse Bell" <justjess01@gmail.com>
    • Re: MG
      • From: "Pam Evans" <gardenqueen@gmail.com>
    • Re: MG
      • From: james singer <islandjim1@comcast.net>
    • Re: MG
      • From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>
    • Re: MG
      • From: "Daryl" <dp2413@comcast.net>
    • Re: MG
      • From: "Kitty" <kmrsy@comcast.net>

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