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Coordinator Corner – May 2024

Updated: May 4

5/01/2024

"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May." – Edwin Way Teale

Message from the Assistant Coordinator

Hi all. Brianna here.


I wanted to let everyone know that I'm reconfiguring some of the administrative roles I've picked up since 2020 and sharing them with other volunteers. This includes things like the care and updates of the website, management and support of SignUp Genius pages, AV set-up for meetings, and other administrative tasks. I've been doing a lot of odd tasks and realized that I'm being greedy. I need to share some of these with other volunteers.


I'd love your help. You'll notice more opportunities to get involved with RCMG Behind The Scenes going forward. These are all critical activities that make RCMG run more smoothly but they aren't flashy and glamorous, and they are invisible to the public. If project management tasks and remote computer work sounds like your jam, hit me up and ask how you can help.


 

Download the 2024 Directory to your Email Account or Phone

Want an easy way to add the 2024 RCMG Contacts to your email account? Download this RCMG Volunteer Contact Info (csv) file to add their names, phone numbers, and email address directly to your address book. BONUS: When you do this, volunteer names pop-up when you get phone calls from someone in RCMG.


RCMG Volunteers Contact Info-2024
.csv
Download CSV • 63KB

You can find the regular 2024 volunteer directory on the RCMG website under the Quick Links tab.

 

SignUp Genius Updates

SignUp Genius Support Team

You may have seen the sign-up recruiting volunteers to join the SignUp Genius Support Team. This is another RCMG-Behind-the-Scenes volunteering activity to help keep RCMG running smoothly. These volunteers will work with Program Coordinator and Project Leaders to get details about events and create sign-ups inside SignUp Genius. They will help to send invitations to everyone and help make sure we have enough volunteers at every event.

This volunteer role is still in development and training but don't be surprised to receive SignUp Genius messages from new names in the coming months.


Reminder: Delivery Issues are ongoing

Some volunteers are not receiving messages from SignUp Genius, especially those folks using Hotmail, Outlook, Live, and MSN email accounts. If it sounds like you, read on for suggestions on what to do about it.


If you try these steps and it still doesn't work, contact Darren and Brianna.


Alternative Delivery Method

We are exploring an alternative delivery method for those volunteers who are unable to receive messages from SignUp Genius because of their email provider. Ramsey County has access to its own listserv, like MastGAR and we might be able to reroute sign-up invitations through there to affected volunteers.


This is still in the testing stage and –while it's not pretty–it seems to be working so far. If you want to be added to that test, contact Darren and Brianna.

 

Sign-up—Show-up

We count on each other to make our Master Gardener program a success. If you are not able to attend a volunteer activity that you previously signed up for, remember to use the 6 Strategies for Finding a Substitute to support your fellow volunteers.

 

Reporting Problems

If you ever have concerns about an event or if there is ever an incident that involves yourself, another RCMG volunteer, or a participant at the event who was interacting with the RCMG volunteers, please let us know right away. It is our responsibility to make sure that all volunteers feel safe when serving in the community. This can include anything that might not feel right.

  • Behavioral issues or violations of volunteer Code of Conduct

  • Injury or Property Damage

  • General Observation or Concerns (e.g. regarding safety, volunteer performance, host site problems, etc)


 

Pick-up Your Badges & Certificates

We will have temporary name badges (for 2024 interns), official name badges and completion certificates (for 2023 internship graduates) and recognition stars and certificates (for volunteers completing 10-, 15-, 20-, or 25-years of service or 1000+ hours of lifetime service in 2023) available for pick-up inside the Resource Center (previously Diagnostic Clinic).


We will continue to bring them to monthly meetings this summer but we recommend you plan to stop by and pick yours up.


If you are not able to visit the Extension office, contact Darren Lochner to arrange another method to get your badge or materials.


Alternate Badge Request

If you would like to use a name badge without the term "Master Gardener" this season, please complete this form. Temporary, sticker versions of the badge design will be available to volunteers serving on specific projects.

 

Document Your Volunteer Experiences

Take photos. Write a story about the event. Share your favorite moments. Tell us what you might do differently next time. Everyone enjoys learning from one another and we try to include these stories in newsletters when we get them. Consider sharing your stories this year; we all learn better, together.

 

Volunteer Training Spotlight: Etiquette & Branding

Watch Darren’s 2022 presentation about the best ways to present yourself while volunteering at public events. You can shop Master Gardener-branded apparel like t-shirt and hats on the State Master Gardener website.

 

Darren Lochner

RCMG Program Coordinator rcmg@umn.edu

Brianna Gohde

RCMG Volunteer Assistant rcmg2@umn.edu


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