The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Volunteer Opportunities!

Donna Sassaman, Directory Coordinator

Spencer 44 Sloop
October 20th, 2016

As you are aware, BCA is a volunteer organization that prepares its members to go cruising. The scope of BCA’s activities and programs requires many dedicated volunteers for Board positions, Watch positions, and special events.

Every year, some of our volunteers resign their positions in preparation for departure. This is a good thing because offshore and coastal cruising adventures are the Association’s goal! This is also a challenge because the Association needs to search among its talented membership for people to step into the vacated positions.

Following are current and upcoming vacancies in the Vancouver Island (Victoria) and Vancouver chapters. Please consider which position fits your interests, skills, and knowledge and send me an email at your earliest convenience to volunteer.

About the Watchkeepers

Watchkeepers attend monthly Watch meetings (September through May or June) in addition to attending to the responsibilities of their positions. The benefits of participating on a Watch include:

  • A great group of people who become friends (and there’s often food at the meetings)!
  • Free admission to club nights!
  • And for some roles, a special burgee!

There is mentoring available to help you feel comfortable in your new role as a Watchkeeper or an events coordinator for BCA.

Available Volunteer Positions

Victoria Watch

VICE COMMODORE:  This position is integral to the functioning of the Chapter.  If you have the interest and skills to ‘chart’ the course for the VI (Victoria) Watch; ‘steer’ the ship at Club Nights and Watch Meetings; ‘set sail’ monthly (September – June) with the Board of Directors; and ‘navigate’ other duties as needed, this position is for you!

TREASURER:  This position has ‘value’ in the Chapter! If numbers are your thing; you have bookkeeping skills; you are comfortable using Excel; and you enjoy being part of a team, this position is for you!

EDUCATION: This Watchkeeper identifies, develops, and coordinates the delivery of VI’s annual educational programming. The Education Watchkeeper liaises with the VI Fleet Coordinator and collaborates with other BCA Chapters.

If you have general knowledge of skills and experience required for safe boating and offshore preparation; the ability to collaborate with the VI sailing community to identify and contract with experts and knowledgeable people to create and deliver educational courses; project management skills; and good computer skills, this position is for you!

  • Note: Familiarity with Internet, Word, Email, Excel and understanding how to conduct database searches are very useful skills. However, this position could be divided in two, with one member of the team focussing on the people components and the other member focussing on the computer aspects.
  • Note: Adam Wanczura, the current Education Watchkeeper, has done an excellent job of networking with BCA Watchkeepers and other sailing organizations, as well as building an extensive catalogue of courses. Adam will be available to mentor his replacement.

Vancouver Watch

SECRETARY: The Secretary takes minutes at the Watch meetings and sends them to the Watch within three days of the meeting. If you have good listening skills; can type accurately; are able to concisely summarise discussions and motions; and are organized, this position is for you!

EDUCATION: This Watchkeeper identifies, develops, and coordinates the delivery of annual educational programming for the Chapter.  If you are knowledgeable – and/or interested in learning more – about boating and preparing for cruising; can identify and coordinate with instructors/experts to develop and deliver courses; and have good project management skills, this position is for you!

  • Note: Past Vancouver Education Watchkeepers have done an exceptional job building a base of experts on whom the Chapter can rely to provide many informative programs throughout the year. With that in place, it will be much easier going forward to build future programs. The Chapter is constantly on the lookout for new instructors and ideas for new courses so this can be a very dynamic opportunity for the right individual.
  • Note: The current Watchkeeper, Ken Gillstrom, will be returning to his offshore adventures and leaving BC sometime in the first half of 2017. His replacement would benefit greatly by spending some time with Ken prior to his departure. The sooner this position is filled, the easier it will be for the new Watchkeeper to transition.

COMMUNICATION & SPEAKERS: This position is responsible for sourcing and booking presenters for monthly Vancouver Club Nights; assisting the presenter to set up their presentation; and introducing the presenter at Club Night. If you are comfortable speaking in front of a group; enjoy coordinating programs; and have good administrative skills, this position is for you!

  • Note: Current Watchkeeper, Sarah Curry’s business commitments require much travelling, which leave her unable to continue in her position. As with the Education Watch replacement, Sarah’s successor would benefit greatly from the experience she has gained and her ability to source good presenters. We have a long list of potential speakers who can be worked on for future club nights.

VANCOUVER RENDEZVOUS COORDINATOR: This position is responsible for organizing the annual Rendezvous hosted by the Vancouver Watch on the August long weekend. The Rendezvous Coordinator works with a group of volunteers to ensure the rendezvous is a success. If you enjoy attending rendezvous; have fun organizing activities; and are comfortable networking with businesses for great prizes, this position is for you!

  • Note: After two years, the current Rendezvous Coordinator, Dennis Heinrichs, is stepping down; he remains available to assist in training the new coordinator. Dennis has good records of the past rendezvous, i.e., what went well, what could be improved, etc., so there is a lot of information for the new coordinator to work from.

BARTENDER: After working behind the bar and meeting so many BCA members at Vancouver Club Nights for the past two years, Mike Davison is planning on going cruising next year. Some would argue that Mike’s position is the most important in the club! Do you enjoy meeting people? Do you attend Club Night every month? This position could be for you! This is a highly rewarding social position that adds greatly to the fun and success of each club meeting.

Non-Watch Positions – Vancouver

Assistant Coordinator for OCA (Ocean Cruising Adventures) Speakers Series: This person assists with coordinating the logistics of the event, such as ticket sales; gift presentations; volunteer coordination, etc.

The OCA Speakers Series will be held on four consecutive Friday evenings February 3 –24, 2017.

Vancouver Boat Show

Volunteer Coordinator: Responsible for organizing the dozens of BCA volunteers who staff the show booth and the on-water Bluewater boat for BCA.

Boat Show Volunteers: BCA has both a booth inside BC Place and an in-water offshore boat at Granville Island. We need volunteers to work shifts throughout the boat show at both locations. Volunteers will receive a pass for free entry into the show for the day of their shift.

Note: Vancouver Island volunteers staff the booth and display boat on the Saturday of the Boat Show.

Other Positions

ADVERTISING: This is not a Chapter Watch position but rather, a paid part-time position that reports to the Board of Directors. The Advertising Watchkeeper is responsible for selling BCA advertising to vendors in various BCA vehicles: Currents, website banners, annual Membership Directory, vendor tables at Club Nights, etc. Payment is on a commission basis.

Note: The person who fills this position can be based either in the Lower Mainland or on Vancouver Island but must be able to network with vendors on both sides of the Salish Sea.


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