Reading the coverage of the USEA has made me think even more about something I've been pondering lately. I'd like to do some sort of volunteer work for eventing, but I don't know what. I don't live near enough to any one particular venue to say, "well, I'll help with what they do there," and I don't have enough land to start an event myself. I don't want to be an owner. I'm pretty busy right now, but see the schedule opening up some in a few years when both children are away at school. I'd be interested in serving on a committee, perhaps, or learning to be some sort of official--I really don't know. Any suggestions? I actually considered going to the convention to look into my options, but decided it was too much of a hassle given that my thoughts are still so vague.
For now, you could offer your writing services to your area or local organization or even to venues. Just offer to edit/create/revise whatever needs work. It's not exactly glamourous, but it's a necessary stage of anything that involves planning or organization.
I do a good amount of this for various organizations. Everyone appreciates good writing and a clean presentation, so a few minutes of work by someone with your skills can have a lot of value.
JER, I am, and that's a good idea. I actually live at the geographical intersection of Areas 2, 3, and 8; I actually live in Area 3 but am a long way from the center of it. But, writing and editing are certainly things I can do by email. Thanks!
Think out of the box! We live in the age of the internet. Just because an organization is 150 miles away, doesn't mean you can't help out.
My CTA has plenty of people who work for it remotely. I do and I handle membership and the annual silent auction. I am not 150 miles away, but I travel in my job so sometimes I am a continent away or in another country altogether.
You could also start by volunteering at the nearest USEA event. They always need a lot of help, beginning well before the event and it would be a great way to get involved at the "grass roots" level. I volunteer a lot and have a blast, rotating from dressage scribing, to running stadium, bit-checking etc. I typically do not do xc jump judging only because it get so lonely out there and I like to be moving (also why I am not a big fan of dressage scribing).
It is my way of giving back, and also I don't compete beyond novice in the summer months. So here in Virginia, there are events every weekend during the really hot months and I go volunteer as a way to keep my motivation going, and also to just help our sport.
And you could easily move "up" to becoming an organizer! I know our local CTA would welcome you with open arms!
GP, I have been volunteering at River Glen for years and have accrued probably 15 free schoolings (which I may or may not ever be able to realistically use, but that's not really why I volunteer). Tracey always needs good volunteers and she would accommodate your travel plans (if you wanted to just come down and scribe on Saturday, or drive in to jump judge on Sunday). You would certainly, under no circumstances, be expected to lend a hand both days. I love helping out there and I have scribed a lot, jump judged a lot, and served as XC warm-up steward (which I do most often). I know this event is about 1.5 hours for you, so it isn't super close, but they have 3 recognized events and several schooling shows per year. Even helping out at just one competition next year would certainly be a win-win for everybody involved. That might also get you jump started on a path towards finding those pressing needs for more opportunities that might crop in the area when you have more time, later on, too. If you are interested, let me know and I'll get you in touch with Tracey or Kathy closer to show time. The next event is the spring HT in April.
I agree that there are probably a fair number of things that can be done remotely. Official training is a great idea, we certainly need more good ones. In the meantime, I would just contact organizers, even if the events aren't close to you -- spreadsheets and articles and programs and envelopes may be calling your name!