Volunteering: paying for the privilege

>>  Saturday, March 30, 2013

Part way through the recent 'getting to know you weekend' the Guider in Charge asked me if I was paying the £25 fee for the weekend.  She picked a bad time to ask.  During a discussion over receipts on the Saturday night I had just worked out the Jailbreak account owed me over £200.
I had taken a day off work prior to the weekend to rest my back and do the final part of the shopping. That's a contradiction if ever there was one.

As always I had 'donated' an amount of my own stuff to keep costs down.  This time it was 13 candles, a roll of tartan ribbon, a pot of marmite, a pot of honey, packet of cleaning wipes, 50 freezer bags (for craft), a roll of flip chart paper, 2 shopping trips, fuel,  I had to buy a quality blow up bed because of my back and I'm sure if I spend long enough thinking about it, I'll come up with more.

There's the time spent agreeing and planning a menu for the weekend, putting together a shopping list, looking for the bargains so you pick up what you can cheapest.

There's washing and drying the tea towels afterwards.

It all takes time and money.
And it makes me tired.  Now I have to say, that weekend for 6 Rangers/Guides and 2 Guiders didn't touch the hassle of a full on pack holiday for 16 brownies and 4 leaders...there was no cooking craft to contend with for a start and no 7 year olds to teach how to butter bread.  None of the manicness of 20 people all washing up at once. If you don't know how it's done, I could write an entire post about the logistics of that one!

So my response to the Guider in Charge on that Saturday night was "You probably should have asked me before I was part way through the weekend and totally knackered but if you want me to pay £25, I'll find you £25 worth of receipts."  In fairness, she was cool with that and we let it lie.  I came in well under budget so it was no great stress.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't expect a free fun ride in Guiding.  I know I need to pay for big camp fees.  Those kinds of camp don't pay for themselves and the cost is often too great to be passed onto the girls.  I wouldn't dream of expecting the Guides to cover my Big Gig ticket- hell no.  I'm sure I paid my train fare to London, although we always use our personal family travel cards to get cheaper tickets for the Brownies.  I have already fund raised the full amount of the cost of my travel on Jailbreak, that money will be passed onto my replacement leader. 

I don't expect a free ride but I also don't expect to have the word mug tattooed about my person.  So please when I'm part way through what feels like a time of 'whoa, I'm giving a lot of me here' don't ask me to pay for the privilege.   I may be a volunteer but I am not an angel and the swear box would take one hell of a caning with my reply.


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