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THE SPIRIT OF COOPERATION THROUGH HELPING HANDS
Is the Solution to Successful Volunteerism and a Better Future for All

Presented on behalf of the BlueRibbon Coalition, Sharetrails.Org/BRC

By Del Albright


Volunteer efforts from churches to charities to clubs and organizations must engage the concept of "helping hands" in order to build better bridges to a successful future. That was the theme of a recent talk I gave at an off-road/four-wheeling event in Empire, CO (August 1, 2016) called All-4-Fun conducted by the Mile-Hi Jeep Club of Denver, CO.

Too many volunteer efforts (including clubs) fall apart because of egos, personalities, bickering or even jealousy. Turf battles take over meetings and conversations. People drop out right and left, and find something else to do -- or another club/place to do whatever it is you were doing. It has to stop if the effort is to survive at all. For off-pavement recreationists and 4x4 folks, it has to stop or we can just park our junk.

Club in-fighting or personality-driven efforts are becoming one of our worst own enemies. Pissing contests, if you will. I see this all over the country to some extent. Don't get me wrong, I understand that some personality issues will always be present in any human interaction, but in the off-road world, we seem to have strong, independent opinions that are unbreakable and wrapped tighter than our winches. This leads to conflict that drives us apart - and makes our entire sport vulnerable.

In some cases, it might just be one person driving wedges in your club. Did you know it is OK to fire a volunteer? Yea, you can fire someone who can't be fixed or helped to fit in more with the rest of the club. There is no rule or law against firing a volunteer! Just DO IT rather than have your club break up or fall apart. In an ideal world, we would all get along, sing Kumbaya and keep all our trails open. But I do have a more realistic suggestion.

The best solution is to encourage everyone involved to use their "helping hands" to save the cause; keep the sport alive; or the charity strong; or the trails open, by working together to build a bridge that will get everyone to a better future. "Helping hands" is the phrase I've coined to drive home the point that we can no longer be our own road blocks. We have to help each other.

To build a "bridge" each person uses the strengths they have to "lift" and install the part they are assigned, then turn and help the person next to them do the same. With everyone using their "helping hands" the bridge is quickly built in a team effort that helps everyone achieve a better future. When we started Friends of the Rubicon (FOTR) in 2001 this was our unwritten credo. We tossed out any hidden or open hostilities, and all worked together to save this trail forever, and for everyone! It still works today.

I would hope that everyone would share the spirit of cooperation and helping hands to amplify the effect of all of us in one cause, working towards a common goal, whatever that may be.... for sure, in my off-pavement motorized recreation world, that would be more trails saved and open, and a stronger future for all of us with a bridge that cannot be torn down!

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Del Albright
Ambassador, BlueRibbon Coalition www.BlueRibbonCoalition.org
2014 Inductee, Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (www.ormhof.org)
Founding Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon www.rubiconfriends.com
Life Member, BRC and CA4WDC
Co-Chair, FMCA 4Wheelers, Keep Our Trails Open
 

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