The Camping and Caravanning Club Greenfields House, Westwood Way, Coventry, CV4 8JH
Tel: 0845 130 7632
Top Tips For Stewards
Have you ever considered stewarding a meet?
Thank you for taking the time to read this information. Whether this is your first time, you are just considering or you have lots of experience of stewarding we hope you find these tips helpful.
Without the help of volunteer stewards, from within our club, DA camping could not exist. It is therefore important that stewarding should be as enjoyable and hassle free as possible. Please remember that stewards have the full backing and support of their DA and Region committees.click here to download the Boating Group Meet Pack
Before the meet - it is as easy as1 2 3
1 First impressions count. For most people their first impression of your DA comes from Club publications like Out and About, by word of mouth from a friend or from your DA web site. This is usually outside of a steward's control. It goes without saying that the contact publicised should always be contactable.
2 The second impression usually comes from how easy it is to find out more about the site, the cost and details of the programme. Your DA committee should ensure that all meets have a programme even if it is a quiet one. The successful Steward will make sure that they are aware of the programme, cost and directions before the meet. This is especially important if the steward is also the contact publicised. Please note that to ease the burden on Stewards some DAs have one contact, usually a committee member, for all their meets. Some other DAs have taken this a step further by having a DA mobile phone.
3 The Third impression comes from the journey to the meet. DA sign posts should be large enough to be easily visible and not obstructed by trees, lampposts etc. DA sign posts should point the way from every direction that may be used by high units. DA sign posts should go at least as far to the nearest A roads. Sign posts should also be sited to give the driver plenty of thinking time before the junction (have you ever shot past a sign that was on the junction and had difficulty turning the car and caravan around...frustrating isn't it? This can be avoided by having signs at 100 yards, 50 yards and just before the turning). Signs should also be of a consistent pattern and able to stand up to the weather. Make sure signs will be visible to drivers at night (i.e. on the left and low - though duplicating the sign on the right hand side of the road is not a bad thing either.) If you have the DA mobile phone make sure it is switched on and you are ready to give instructions to the lost traveller. Though this should not be necessary as your sign posting has been so good.
So all your hard work has paid off the traveller has arrived and you have a new member to your DA. Well Done. After all we all know that camping with your DA is so good that the new member will want to keep coming. -----Or will they?
Try and remember your own early days of DA camping. What drew you, initially, to the DA you now love? Have you had any bad experiences?
New arrivals usually want to get set up as quickly as possible so it is important that the greet is friendly, informative and brief.
It is important however to enquire whether the new arrival has camped with your DA before.
Saying "Where would you like to pitch?" then making recommendations based on your knowledge of muddy spots, flat bits, power lines, proximity to facilities, etc is far better than saying "Pitch where you like".
An offer of a cup of tea or help set up can go a long way towards making the right early impression. This obviously depends on how busy you are. Having an Assistant Steward can be really useful.
Make sure the new arrival is made aware of Water, Elsan and Programme arrangements.
Now that your new arrival is set up it is good time for a regular to welcome them properly to the DA. This should not be left too long and certainly should not be left to the coffee morning before everyone strikes camp!
Depending how busy the meet is there are several people ideal to do the Welcome.
As steward you should either do the welcome yourself or inform one of the following that a new visitor to your DA has arrived and point them in the right direction. Some typical conversation openers are given. The welcomer's job is to make sure that the new arrival feels welcome and is encouraged to participate in the meet's social activities.
Chairperson - Hi I'm the Chair - welcome to ?? DA
Sites Officer - Hi I'm the sites officer - What do you think of this site? Did you find it ok?
Social Secretary -" Hi I'm the social secretary" then talk about the weekend programme.
.......well you get the gist!
Participation through contribution. Most people feel they have participated in a social event if they have contributed in some way -a fancy dress party is more fun for you if you are in fancy dress!
Recommend, look forward and invite them to the next meet.
The Stewards and committee should encourage social gatherings but also remind regular campers that rows of windbreaks are often seen as barricades from the outside. Where windbreaks are necessary it is best that the regular campers make the effort to encourage the new campers to join them.Most new campers will not be brave enough to breach the battlements on their own!
Remember that as the Steward your are in charge of the meet. This does not mean that help is not at hand. If you want good advice on stewarding a meet ask someone who you thought made a good steward previously - after all their methods worked for you! Your DA committee should make sure that you have all that you need to run the meet without any hiccups.
click here for a typical stewards kit list