There are many ways you can contribute. Read the volunteer job types to get a sense of how you can help Foothills Nordic. Please visit the Volunteer Opportunities page to see what is available.
Race Day Volunteer
Being a race day volunteer is a piece of cake! Just show up on the day of the race, or maybe the day before, and some smiling organizer will give you instructions. You might be handing out bibs or cookies or water, recording finish times, setting up a snow fence, shoveling snow, stirring soup, or standing at a trail junction pointing the way to go. These types of jobs require no previous experience and no special knowledge – you’re definitely qualified!
Those that love to ski can choose a job that requires skiing like course setup, or course sweeper. Some races require volunteers to drive a snowmobile, or pull a trailer behind a truck, so if you have such skills you will be highly valued. A job like this usually requires 2 to 8 hours of your time. Several times a year we will put out calls for volunteers so you’ll have lots of opportunities to help in this way. For example, 130 people volunteered for the 2016 Cookie Race.
Program Volunteer (Parent Helpers)
A great opportunity to get to know the coaches and watch your children in action! Coaches and Program Managers will often communicate requests for assistance to parents throughout the ski season. These are simple jobs that typically occur while you are at your children’s ski program anyway. For families in their first years with the club there are many Bunny and Jackrabbit volunteer positions. Volunteering enables the coach to better focus on the delivering their ski program to your children/youth.
- Jackrabbit Session Manager (5 positions) – attends all sessions within their time block (i.e. Tuesday after-school). Responsibilities include: communicating with coaches and parents (via email) and on-snow as directed by the JR Manager and JR Program Coordinator; distributing welcome packages to coaches and skiers; assisting late arrivals with locating their group; communicating with and educating and directing Coaching Support and Grid Monitors on their responsibilities and compiling and distributing sticker awards for end of season evaluations.
- Bunny Parent Coordinator (8 positions) – responsible for setting-up and communicating (via email or the forum) the parent helper schedule with parents of Bunnies in the same session (i.e. Tuesday after-school).
- Bunny Parent Helper (all parents of Bunnies) – This is a required position for all parents of Bunnies. Two parents from each Bunny group are required to be on-snow (skis not necessary) to assist Bunny coaches with non-coaching tasks.* Bunny parents must sign up for 2 or 3 on-snow sessions throughout the season. (*Assist with clothing and/or equipment, bathroom or warm-up breaks.)
- Coaching Support (on skis) – Parents sign up to assist with any group (this can be with your child’s group, or another ). You will stay with the same group for each session you sign up for. Role is to support coaches with game set up, ski activities, supervision and to coordinate handoffs with Ski Chaperones for warming trailer and bathroom trips.
- Ski Chaperone (on skis, previously known as Grid Monitor) Being available in the Jackrabbit main teaching area (driving range and hill areas) and between this area and the warming trailer. Responsibilities include Coordinating handoffs with Coaching Support parents, to chaperone skiers to and from warming trailer and bathroom.
We love volunteer coaches! Our Jackrabbit, Ski Fitness and Para-Nordic programs are led entirely by volunteer coaches, but other programs need volunteer coach support too.
If you love skiing and want to share your passion with others, this is the job for you! Don’t think you have enough experience? Start your coaching career as a Bunny Rabbit leader and progress from there. One of the many benefits of coaching is that it will greatly improve YOUR technique. This is a high-impact job that lets you contribute directly to the growth of cross-country skiing in our community.
Coaching courses take place every year in late October or early November. The club pays for your course fees, and reimburses you for any expenses you incur while performing your coaching duties.
For more information, or to get involved, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.
Casino revenues help fund Foothills programs, making program fees more affordable. Every 18 months we put on a casino and need about 40 volunteers to fill all the classic casino jobs: cashier, banker, chip runner, money counter, and general manager. Sign up with a friend, enjoy the free food, stay up late, and make a big difference to our club!
Race organizers work behind the scenes to plan and organize a race. FNSC runs two or three cross-country ski races per year, including the Cookie Race and usually an Alberta Cup, for which we provide all the organizational leadership and planning. (Biathlon races, by contrast, are organized at the provincial level.)
To plan a big race like the Cookie Race, we form a committee of six or eight volunteers a few months in advance, which provides lots of time to plan the race, book the venue and rental gear, and sign up race day volunteers. A race committee usually includes the following positions:
- Chief of Race – Coordinates planning and oversees the other chiefs
- Chief of Course – Plans the race course and supervises course signage
- Chief of Stadium – Supervises the assembly of the start/finish line area
- Chief of Timing – Supervises the crew that records racers’ finish times
- Chief of Controllers – Supervises the controllers that track racers around the course
- Chief of Refreshments (aka. the Cookie Monster) – Supervises the food crew, to the appreciation of all
- Chief of Race Office – Supervises bib handout, answers questions
- Volunteer Coordinator – Rounds up volunteers in the lead-up to the race
This is not rocket science! If you have helped out once or twice as a race day volunteer, you are most of the way there. Training courses are available, and a fabulous community of veterans will happily mentor new volunteers.
It’s important for parents to develop as race officials while their children develop as athletes. Your progressive involvement will help insure high-quality races for future skiers to enjoy, and along the way you’ll have fun, build lasting friendships, and gain an understanding of Nordic skiing and how races are designed to match the needs and abilities of the developing athlete.
Executive Committee Member
The Foothills Executive Committee directs the club, sets priorities, creates an annual budget, and holds an annual general meeting. The executive committee meets one evening per month except in July in August. Vacant positions are usually announced in April with a new executive being voted on at the June AGM.
Social Event Organizer
Club events provide terrific opportunities for members to meet one another and create new friendships. We get together several times a year, usually for a Christmas Potluck, an end of season Wind-Up and Awards Night in April or May, and the Annual General Meeting at the end of June.
These events are best run by a team of people, each doing a small job so no one feels overloaded. Jobs include set up and clean up, manning the welcome table, putting together a slide show or PowerPoint presentation, and organizing fun activities.
Ski at School Program Volunteer
Our Ski at School program, through the generous sponsorship of AltaGas, brings free cross-country ski lessons to elementary schools in the Calgary area. We provide skis, boots, poles, first-class coaching, and even track setting to make the sport accessible to young Calgarians, many of which would not otherwise be exposed to the sport.
First launched in 2010, the Ski at School program was an instant success. Each year five to seven elementary schools receive three days of cross country ski lessons right in their school yard. Children are introduced to the sport by professional coaches in a fun environment. Providing cross country ski opportunities to the public is important for growth and development of the sport.
Each Ski at School event requires volunteers to drive the trailer containing the ski gear, to transport and to operate the track setting equipment the night before, plus two to three coaches to instruct the kids. AltaGas’ sponsorship of this program allows us to provide payment for many of these positions. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator for more information.
If you have any questions please contact our Volunteer Director.