Volunteering at Our Rock and Gem Show

The first way to volunteer is to prepare an educational display. Decide upon a theme for your display and how you will lay out specimens, labels and informative text. A case is 2′ deep x 4′ wide x 2.5′ tall. The cases have soft liners that will protect your specimens. Don’t think that you have to fill the entire space, but don’t make it too crowded either. Make your labels and descriptive signs legible to someone standing several feet away from the front of the case.

Late in Friday afternoon before the show, you will fill one of the club’s cases with your materials. The front of the case will be screwed on to prevent any loss or damage to your display. You must remove your items from the case after the show closes on Sunday. And since you are there already, you might pitch in to help tear down the show and get stuff loaded onto the truck (see below).

A vital task that prepares for the show is to make various prizes for the kid’s spinning wheel. These are typically rocks painted or decorated with eyes and feathers. There will be sessions where club members get together to construct these essential items. Kids (or their parents) pay a dollar for spin of the wheel to see what they will win.

The first task for the show is to get the supplies out of the storage container in Ferndale and load the rental truck. This occurs Friday morning.

Loading the truck

At the venue in Ferndale, we have to unload the supplies and get the venue set up.

Unloading the truck into the venue.

Next we arrange the tables, connect electrical cables, set up the display cases, etc.

assembling the display cases.

The show starts on Saturday morning, and the greeters say “hi” to the first folks in the door. The greeters answer questions, give out a ticket for the door prizes, offer a free polished rock to the young children and mention donating to the club’s scholarship for a WWU Geology student.

Greeting visitors to the show.

Volunteers are needed to staff the various stations at the show. These include 1) selling rocks and merchandise at the “club sales” table, 2) the spinning wheel for kids, 3) the silent auction, We also need members at the station with the raffle prizes and door prizes as well as members to float around and sell raffle tickets.

And then of course when it’s all done on Sunday evening and everyone is tired, the most valued volunteers tear down the show! This involves 1) disassembling the cases, packing up the supplies, 3) knocking down the tables, 4) loading up the rental truck, 5) picking up trash and sweeping the floor, 6) going back to the storage container and unloading the truck. Just imagine how great you will feel to have helped out with these last tasks!

Loading the truck at the end

Details: Sign up sheets are circulated during the club meetings before the show. Please sign up for the various tasks and for preparing a display case. We understand if some illness or conflict comes up at the time, but please make every effort to honor your pledges. If you have not signed up ahead of the show, please come in and help out. There is usually a signup sheet taped to the wall where you can add your name to the time slots that need help. And as always, help on Sunday evening to tear down the show and get the stuff back into storage is invaluable.

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