A call to arms
The 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games have entered the home stretch, with just under 70 days remaining until the opening ceremonies on Aug. 18.
Teams are starting to take shape and energy is building around the games.
But, one thing is still hanging over the head of event organizers — the amount of volunteers that have come forward is alarming.
If you are making the trip into Carbonear, by way of Harbour Grace, have a look at the volunteer thermostat set up on the road next to the soccer pitch at St. Francis.
When you see this thermostat, notice the number of recorded volunteers. It reads about 150.
Now, this number and the actual number of volunteers could differ, but the fact of the matter is that is simply not a number that can work for an event of this magnitude. Not with upwards to 1,000 athletes, coaches and parents descending on the towns of Harbour Grace and Carbonear.
Now, as co-chair Milton Peach eluded in these pages a couple of weeks prior, volunteers are not as easy to come by as they were 20 years ago. In the two decades since the last Games in the region, the volunteering process has become a wasteland of paper work and record checks.
No longer is it show up, put your name down on a sign-up sheet and await marching orders.
With that said, I don’t think that will prevent people from showing up. What I do think will prevent people from signing up is a lack of knowledge of how to become a volunteer. If people lack the knowledge, how can they expect to know what to do?
There needs to be signage of some sort littering the highways, bi-ways and everywhere in between. These signs need to implore people to donate their time to a worthy cause and what is sure to be a magnificent event. What the organizing committee needs is a call to arms — a battle cry to rally the troops and to drum up interest.
Maybe, an Uncle Sam type character to draw people in … OK, maybe not one of those.
Let this serve as a cry. What is it they say about giving blood? It’s in you to give. The same goes for time.
Yeah, I think that works. Time, you have it so give it up and volunteer. Nicholas Mercer is a reporter/photographer
with The Compass