10 Things About the Club
10 Things New VOCers Need to Know About How The Club Works
New to the club and wondering how it works? The club is rather large and can use a wide variety of resources. To get you a head start, we will outline ten of the basics here. Note that we do also have a facebook page, but that all organizational aspects of the club occur on the club webpage and not on facebook although surveys or announcements may also be made on the facebook page.
Below are 10 key things to learn about if you are new to the club:
1. Trip Agenda
The Trip Agenda < http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/upcoming.php > is a section of the VOC webpage that shows all of the posted upcoming trips arranged by date, and separated by month. For each trip, many sub-sections are present, including a ‘Details Page’ providing the details of the trip, a ‘Message Board Thread’ where you can post questions and comments about the trip, and a ‘Sign-up Page’ where you can sign up as interested or committed for a trip. You can sign up as interested in a trip and still not go, but if you sign up as committed, it is generally understood that you are available for the trip and will attend if you get a spot. The details page also often indicates the maximum number of participants that can attend, so be aware that just because you are interested or committed it does not guarantee you a spot on a trip.
2. Message Board
The message board has two sub-section: ‘VOC Message Board’ and ‘VOC Trips’. The former is available for discussions to arise relating to outdoor topics, such as what sleeping bag to buy, or what the conditions in location X have been recently, or cool videos of outdoor celebrities. The latter is for discussion of trips posted on the Trip Agenda, or discussion of other trips organized by VOCers which are NOT on the Trip Agenda, either because they might be tentative, they might be last minute or someone may feel more comfortable organizing smaller trips on just the message board which feel ‘less official’. Keep your eyes out for trips here too though!
3. Pre-Trip Meetings
Although some trips are organized via e-mail FAFF (see VOC definition of FAFF), the vast majority of trips involve a MANDATORY Pre-Trip Meeting where the actual participants on the trip are decided, logistics of the trip are outlined, expectations are established, people are told what gear they will need, people are divided into tent and food groups, and drivers are assigned. The trip leader will assign people into cars and everyone is given a time to be at a specific location (most often a time to cross the Lions Gate Bridge), and then cars sort out pick up times individually. If you absolutely cannot make a pre-trip meeting, you are expected to contact the trip organiser and provide someone to represent you at the meeting, be it another trip participant or a friend. These meetings are most often Wednesday evening between 6-8 PM but can also be organized on other evenings.
4. Gear ‘Rental’
Want to go on a trip but do not possess all of the necessary gear? No worries! The VOC rents a large number of items which may solve your problem, including hiking boots, hiking poles, sleeping mats, ice axes, climbing harnesses, and shoes, helmets, crampons, telemark skis etc. The club does NOT rent sleeping bags, tents, cooking wear or headlamps, however, and these will need to be shared or acquired individually. Check out a full list of gear that we do and do not provide here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Gear_rental. The best thing about this gear rental, however, is that it is all free! You DO have to provide a CASH deposit as specified on the website, but you get all of your money back when you return the gear you borrowed.
5. Gear Hours
There is not someone in the clubroom at all times. Rather, Gear Masters are in the clubroom at specified times to rent gear, help you size your gear, and to also allow people to sign-up/renew memberships or purchase tickets to Rock Party. Be aware that if a big club trip is coming up on the weekend (e.g. Glacier School or Rock Party) that gear may run out, and therefore you should try to go as early in the week as possible! Up to date gear hours can be found here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Gear_rental
6. VOC Wiki
The VOC also have a Wikipedia Page called the VOC Wiki (http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Main_Page) which has resources such as information “About the Club”, “Trip Planning Resources”, and “Clubroom Resources”. The Membership Handbook, Driver Reimbursement Guidelines, info about the VOC Climbing Wall, the Club Constitution, Info about the VOC Huts, etc. can be found here. A worth-while resource to investigate!
7. Trip Reports
At the end of each trip, the trip leader will generally assign someone to write the Trip Report for the trip. A Trip Report is a synopsis of the events of the weekend, often told in an interesting or humerous manner. Trip logistics (e.g. what route was taken, how long it took, the conditions at that time of year, difficulties encountered, names of islands/peaks) are also often included so that people who may attempt the trip in the future can determine logistics for their own trips in the same area. Often, on Beginner Friendly Trips, the newest member of the club may be assigned the task. Recent Trip Reports can be found here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/category/trip-reports.
8. Stuff the VOC Sells
The VOC does not just organize trips, but it also sells stuff such as Zebralight head lamps, VOC socks, Matt Gunn’s Scrambles book, Voile Straps, club t-shirts, maps, etc. For a complete list, check out the webpage here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/stuff-the-voc-sells.
9. VOC Journal
Every year, the VOC creates a Journal which invites members to publish articles, which are often some of the best Trip Reports written throughout the year. Everyone is invited to contribute to the Journal if they feel they have a trip worth sharing, and pictures are always welcome! Please send articles to [email protected] Every paying member in a given year receives a free Journal at the end of that year. Copies from previous year’s journals can be found in the clubroom.
Every week during the school year and every two-weeks during the summer, the VOCene Editor creates the VOCene which is an e-mail newsletter that announces upcoming trips, highlights recent trip reports, asks for volunteers for given events, presents highlights from the message board that week, and has a section provided by Ms. Manners where a question of interest regarding anything VOC-related will be answered by Ms. Manners herself. If you have a question to ask Ms. Manners, send it to the VOCene Editor and they will pass it along!