While undoubtedly a key benefit of Tar Heel MINIs and other car clubs is meeting and sharing good times with other MINI owners, what brings us together are the great roads and how our cars perform when fed a steady diet of twisties. Part of the fun, had by all, is due to the club officers, route masters (some officers and former officers do both), sweepers (i.e., the driver of the last car in a run responsible for informing the lead car that all cars have made the turn) and other event volunteers that make THMMC events so much fun. Last week's MINIPolooza, while a great success, took a good deal of frantic emails between club officers, members and others to get enough leaders for the run.

I understand that while not all members want to lead runs or act as sweepers, we still need to make sure that we have enough qualified and ready volunteers to make organized runs possible. That being said, I believe the club needs to have some veteran or enthusiastic new club members agree to be run leaders or sweepers in training as a way to grow a cadre of run volunteers.

Run leaders need to have a co-pilot who can read the route map or a GPX loaded with a GPX route map (or equivalent) to map the route. They need to maintain good FRS/GMRS radio contact with the the run's participants as well as their sweeper to know if all cars are together and that there are no stragglers. Also, leaders need to make use of their fellow leaders who are veteran drivers of the same roads to pick up tips on driving those roads. My experience is that the normal progression of drive volunteers over time is from participant, to sweeper, to run leader. While some others just jump the steps.

I suggest we start this training at MSSD with run leaders in training following 1 or 2 cars back of the run leaders and observing what is required and even leading smaller segments of the runs to get the feel. Training to be a sweeper is much easier (see duties above). To aid in this training, the club has purchased a Garmin GPS (with lifetime maps and traffic) which will be loaded with all official run event routes. This will be loaned to a volunteer leader or sweeper that does not have such equipment in his or her MINI.

While training is a great idea, we need volunteers to step up for the following duties on the following MSSD runs:

Blimey’s Tiny Tour of Terror - MSSD 2012 Edition, October 13th, 2012 (sweeper needed)
MSSD 2012 Zipline Run, October 13th, 2012 (sweeper needed; who also wishes to pay for the zipline, of course)
MSSD 2012 - Soda Pop's Ice Cream Run, October 13th, 2012 (leader & sweeper needed)
Sunrise in the Smokeys / Clingmans Dome Run - Sunday, October 14th, 2012 (sweeper needed)

Please post on this thread if you would like to help.

Remember, the more people who volunteer reduces the burden on your fellow club members and gives the club more flexibility when the veteran run leaders and sweepers have other commitments and can't attend events. Thanks!