The role of Parking Lot Steward isn’t an official NACSW Nosework Trial volunteer title. All the same, most trials require several folks to keep the parking lot running smoothly.
This role involves flipping the number board, calling for the next team to be on board, and generally acting as someone to answer (or find answers) to questions.
Many successful folks in this role have found that creating a “map” of where the numbers are positioned in the parking lot allows them more easily call the next team (or to warn that they’ll be called in a few minutes.)
If you’ve never trialed before or never volunteered for a trail, when a team registers for their trail day, they are given a laminated number card (8.5×11) that they tape to their car. This is their running order number and the whole trial is run from these numbers.
Trails don’t always start with the team that has number 1. The run orders are usually staggered. And, often there are two elements happening at once, so a team can’t be in two elements at the same time.
Parking Lot Stewards also need to know the rules and expectations of Nose Work trials. A few of these include…
- Dogs must be kept on six foot leashes in the parking lot;
- Dogs must have at least six feet between them at all times;
- Dogs aren’t allowed to socialize;
- Dogs with red bandannas are considered “reactive” and should be given even more space; and
- Dogs should only potty in designated potty areas.
For a complete list of the current requirements, explore the NACSW Rule Book and/or ask your trial host.
The upside of being a Parking Lot Volunteer is that you get to meet all the teams and interact with them on a more social level. The downside of this volunteer role is that you don’t get to watch the dogs run trial events.