Work-Trade Program

We no longer need work traders for our 2017 Spring Conference. Please check back for future opportunities.

The Organic Growers School community appreciates our work trade volunteers. We couldn’t do this without you, so thank you! Nearly two hundred of you will make this conference a successful experience for everyone involved. Volunteering is a great way to support our learning and teaching community, while attending a portion of the programming without a monetary exchange. Together, we’ll move the mission of sustainability forward in critical ways.

Please read the information on this page carefully to choose the responsibility that best suits your interests and abilities.

We will begin accepting applications for the 2017 Spring Conference in December.

General Volunteers

General Volunteers

General volunteer shifts do not require special skills or backgrounds. They do, however, require timeliness and a friendly demeanor, so please bring those.

The exchange:

  1. Receive one day’s registration ($74 for Saturday, $64 for Sunday) for one 4-hour volunteer shift for the day on which you are volunteering, or receive a full weekend general registration ($129) for two 4-hour volunteer shifts.
  2. Requires a deposit check for the full amount of the registration fee.  Deposit checks are held, but not cashed unless you do not fulfill your end of the exchange.

Your pass clears you to attend any of the general admission 1.5 hour workshops, but does not include any extra items that are paid for separately: pre-conference workshops, kid’s program, and half-day workshops. If you would like to purchase any of these extras, please register for them on the conference registration page. Note that on the general registration form, there is a place to indicate your volunteer status so that you will not charged for general admission.

Shift Descriptions and Time Commitments:

Friday Pre-Conference Assistant
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
This shift is a mix between a conference guide and a floater. We need an assistant to arrive at UNCA early on Friday to help guide pre-conference goers towards appropriate parking lots and classrooms, to help instructors get set up, to run errands, and to help distribute lunches. We also need an assistant in the afternoon shift to continue to offer general support to instructors and OGS staff, and to begin the Friday setup process. You may be outside for part of your shift, so please bring your walking shoes and be prepared for uncertain mountain weather.

Friday Set up
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Bring your walking shoes and your can-do attitude! This shift involves prepping the exhibitor hall, dining hall, and classrooms for the conference the next day. This shift requires walking, lifting/moving furniture, and some patience!

Saturday and/or Sunday Conference Guide
6:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Are you a people person who’s good with a map? This is a great shift for you. Conference Guides are assigned to locations around campus to help guide conference goers toward classrooms and to answer questions. You’ll be outside for your shift, so please be prepared for early-morning and uncertain mountain weather.

Saturday and/or Sunday Registration
6:00 AM – 10:00 AM
This is a great shift for folks who are organized, detail-oriented, and have a knack for customer service. Assist our Registrar in setting up Registration and checking in conference goers.

Saturday and/or Sunday Cooking Track
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM or 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Join our Cooking Track instructors at the head of the class to help with food prep, clean up, and by generally being a second pair of hands. By volunteering in Cooking classes, these volunteers get to attend these classes without paying the fee that regular registrants must pay. Volunteers are also exempt from Cooking class size limits for the classes they are working.

Saturday and/or Sunday Floater
7:00 AM – 11:00 AM or 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
We like to be prepared for the unexpected! That’s where the Floaters come in. You’ll hang out in Conference Headquarters to lend us a hand as needed. This could include running errands, helping instructors set up, checking in on the kids program, or stepping into other volunteer shifts. It’s also possible that we won’t need you, so bring a book!

Saturday Social: Brew and Chew
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
These volunteers will help set up for the social, sell raffle tickets and pizza, and help to clean up. You may also help to serve beer, so please be at least 21 years old.

Saturday and Sunday Lunch
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Help conference goers navigate the lunch lines and hand out menus. This shift is good for folks with loud voices as there will be lots of chatting and connecting in line around you. Because the Lunch shift is only two hours, volunteers must work both the Saturday & Sunday lunch to earn a one-day pass.

Saturday and/or Sunday Clean up
5:30 PM – 9:30 PM
This shift is great because it does not require volunteers to miss any classes to fulfill their shift. Clean up involves walking and moving furniture, taking down signs, and basically erasing our footprint from the campus grounds and classrooms! Bring your patience as there are lots of you with limited staff giving direction!

Specialty Volunteers

Specialty Volunteers

A Specialty Volunteer shift requires having a particular skill set or training in order to be able to volunteer. For example, in the case of First Aid Volunteer, we will ask you to provide us with a copy of your WFR or CPR certification for our records.

The exchange:

  1. Receive one day’s registration ($74 for Saturday, $64 for Sunday) for one 4-hour volunteer shift for the day on which you are volunteering, or receive a full weekend general registration ($129) for two 4-hour volunteer shifts.
  2. Requires a deposit check for the full amount of the registration fee.  Deposit checks are held, but not cashed unless you do not fulfill your end of the exchange.
  3. Note exceptions for Marketing and Data Entry.

Your pass clears you to attend any of the general admission 1.5 hour workshops, but does not include any extra items that are paid for separately: pre-conference workshops, kid’s program, and half-day workshops. If you would like to purchase any of these extras, please register for them on the conference registration page. Note that on the general registration form, there is a place to indicate your volunteer status so that you will not charged for general admission.

Shift Descriptions and Time Commitments:

Marketing
10 hours in Jan or Feb
We need help from a couple people who aren’t shy and can reach out to other organizations. You should be familiar with marketing to work with OGS staff to promote the Spring Conference 30-60 days before the event. 10 hours of marketing gives you a free pass to the general conference for both Saturday and Sunday. We’ll contact you with details.

Data Entry
10 hours to be completed from March 13th-31st
Are you a detail-oriented person with some free time on your hands? We care about receiving feedback from our conference goers and need your help organizing that feedback. We will give you a portion of our written surveys and train you in helping us transfer that information into our online database. Must have a personal computer with internet capabilities and some patience for reading other people’s’ handwriting! 10 hours of data entry after the conference before the end of March gives you a free pass to the general conference for both Saturday and Sunday. We’ll contact you with details.

Saturday and/or Sunday First Aid
8:30 AM – 12:30 PM or 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Are you a nurse, WFR, or EMT? We need your skills and background at the First Aid Station! First Aid Volunteers work under the First Aid Coordinator and will spend their shifts in the First Aid Station adjacent to Conference Headquarters unless called to another location on campus.

Saturday and/or Sunday AV Tech
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
If you know your way around an LCD projector & computer, this is a great shift for you. AV Tech Hands will be free to attend classes during their shifts but must provide a reliable cell phone number where they can be reached throughout the day as needed. You must be prepared to quickly get to wherever you are needed on campus. You’ll be someone’s hero, though, when you get a presentation to show up correctly!

Saturday and/or Sunday Headquarters Assistant
6:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Work with Conference Headquarters on Saturday and/or Sunday morning. Assist in checking in volunteers, speakers, and VIP’s. Previous experience in the service industry is essential here. This is a great shift for well-organized folks who can move quickly first thing in the morning!

Moderators

Moderators

Moderators are a select group of trusted individuals who have the opportunity to work closely with conference staff & teachers. Moderators are selected by Organic Growers School to take on extra responsibility managing the sessions of a specific track.

If you indicate that you wish to be a Moderator on your initial application, please be sure to let us know your second and third work trade choices, in case you are not accepted as a Moderator. If you are interested in moderating, please email Jillian Wolf at outreach@organicgrowersschool.org, and she will reach out to you before the end of early registration on January 31st, 2017.

Moderators commit to volunteering in one specific track for one full day, or for the whole weekend. 

The exchange:

  1. Attend all of the classes in one classroom, and support the attendees and teachers in that classroom throughout the day (opportunity to attend ALL classes in ONE track in exchange for registration)
  2. Receive lunch from one of our food vendors courtesy of OGS for a day of active moderating on Saturday and/or Sunday (we cannot supply lunch to Friday moderators)
  3. Requires a deposit check for the full amount of the registration fee for the day(s) on which you moderate: $74 for Saturday, $64 for Sunday, $120 if moderating the full weekend.  Deposit checks are held, but not cashed unless you do not fulfill your end of the exchange.
  4. If you moderate for one day during the Spring Conference weekend but wish to attend classes as a participant on the other day, please either pay for the registration of the desired day, or do a work trade as a general or specialty volunteer.
Moderator Time Commitments, Qualities, Duties:

Moderators needed: 1 per Pre-Conference class, full conference track, and half-day workshop

Half-Day workshops will each have a separate moderator, as they are not in tracks.

Moderators for the Cooking track must have previous moderator experience with OGS.

Time Commitments:

Friday Moderator Training (all Sat/Sun moderators) at UNCA: 6:00pm-7:00pm in Karpen 244 (second floor, facing the quad) with Karin and Lee. The training will cover what we expect from our moderators, as well as a crash course in using a Smart Classroom.

Friday Pre-Conference Moderators: 9:15am-4:45pm

Saturday Moderators: 8:45am-12:30pm, 1:45pm-5:30pm

Sunday Moderators: 8:45am-12:30pm, 1:45pm-5:30pm

Moderator Qualities:

  • Leadership
  • Responsibility
  • Clear Communication
  • Ability to Say No
  • Personable
  • Timely

Moderator Duties:

Moderating is a VERY IMPORTANT job. You represent OGS and are our eyes and ears in the classrooms. And you ensure that everything is running smoothly. Thanks for taking your job seriously, as it makes for a better event for everyone!

Door Monitor: Before your track begins, stand at the door and make sure that everyone entering has a wrist band. If someone does not have a wristband, please send them to Conference Headquarters.

Take Attendance: This is very important because it lets us know how popular the classes were. “Attendance” in this case just means counting all the people who came.

Classroom Setup, Management & Troubleshooting: You will manage the flow of chairs, people, and space. Make seating suggestions, move chairs around, and assure that the classroom is comfortable (in temperature and atmosphere as well). If there are AV issues or problems with light, sound, etc., please try to solve the problem or contact Jillian Wolf, Volunteer Coordinator. If there is an emergency in your room, call 911 on your cell phone, and then call Jillian.

FACILITATE during questioning for the speaker. Example: If four people raise their hands at the same time, you can “stack”, meaning, you will delegate who goes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Many speakers will do this themselves, but sometimes it is helpful for you to assist. Check with the speaker to find out if they’d prefer to have questions throughout the class or a time towards the end specifically as a questions/answer session.

Time Management: Ask the teacher how they would prefer help with time management and give them appropriate signals at halfway, 30 minutes left, 10 minutes left and time.

Announcements:

Welcome everyone to the Annual Spring Conference! This class is (state the exact name of the class so people can tell if they are in the right place).

  • We’d like to remind you to turn off your cell phone out of respect for the speaker and your fellow growers.
  • Remember to fill out your evaluation at the end of the day, which can be found on the last page of your program. If you’re planning to leave the conference after this session, please turn that eval in at the door of the classroom.

  • And lastly, remember that this school is a community-supported event. If you’d like to see it continue, please consider making a donation to support the work of OGS. Donations can be made at OGS Headquarters.

  • Lastly, and most importantly- (introduce the speaker).

Complete an Evaluation Form FOR EACH CLASS: This is very important because it lets us know how popular the classes were. “Attendance” in this case just means counting all the people in the class about halfway through. Please be sure to return your moderator folder, with evaluations included, to OGS Headquarters. This is really important feedback for our future planning.

Cleanup: Please make sure the space is completely cleaned up or transitioned to the next class before you leave.

Photos (Optional): Please take some photos and send them to outreach@organicgrowersschoo.org. We’d really appreciate it and love to build our library of images.

Twitter (Optional): Are you a twitter user and/or Instagram user? Tweet/Post about the conference with hashtag #SpringConference17 or tag @organicgrowersschool!

Blog Write Up (Optional): We would love to publish a write up of the class you are attending in your name, which we’ll share through social media.

***Moderating is one of the most important jobs you can possibly have! Please know that the information you will be procuring for us and the services you will be providing are essential to our conference! We appreciate your time and willingness to help out!

Details

Arrival: You will receive more information about the arrival time for your specific shift in your confirmation email. Make plans to arrive at the event at least 15 minutes early and check in with Headquarters before the start of your first shift.

Schedule & Class Attendance: You will receive a confirmed arrival time upon acceptance into the program, and you will be expected to plan your travel accordingly. Most volunteers approach this as an opportunity for service and expect to work some of their shifts during class times. If you are overly concerned about specific class attendance, please choose a volunteer shift that has pre-conference & post-conference shifts, or come as a paying participant.

Working Your Shifts: Once your schedule and duties are given to you, it is up to you to show up for your shifts on time, and to complete your shift as asked. In the unfortunate event that you do not fulfill your shift, we may be obligated to cash your work trade deposit, or you may get blacklisted from the work exchange program.

Reimbursable Deposit Check: All work trade volunteers are required to submit reimbursable deposit checks for the total amount of their work trade (i.e. $74 for Sat, $64 for Sun, or $129 for both days). Reimbursable deposits will only be deposited if you do not complete your volunteer shift. The early bird discount does not apply to the deposit because if you do not show up for your shift, it will inconvenience us greatly, no matter how early you registered.

Cancellations: If you have been accepted into the volunteer program and need to cancel, your deposit and registrations are 100% refundable if you notify us before March 1st, 2017 (the week before the conference). If you cancel after March 1st, you will not receive a refund. Please do let us know, however, so we can fill your shifts.

Apply: To become a work trade volunteer, please 1) complete the volunteer application form and 2) send your deposit check within 10 business days to Organic Growers School, PO Box 17804, Asheville, NC 28816. Please write the name of the work exchange volunteer somewhere on the check. We will confirm your work trade position with you after we receive your deposit check. You only need to complete a conference registration in addition to this form if you elect to attend paid workshops/classes.

Because we put so much effort into making our conference affordable and accessible, our volunteer program is extremely popular… so apply early! If work trade positions are full, we are happy to put you on a first-come first served wait-list of volunteers and moderators for week-of and day-of cancellations.

Apply for our Work Trade Program!