Randonnee volunteering is a very rewarding and valuable way to serve your randonneuring club. It takes dedication and many hours of training to become a volunteer. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there is a RBA ready for you to serve. Below you’ll find resources and frequently asked questions about becoming a volunteer, as well as the first basic steps you might take toward volunteering.
The basic steps to becoming a randonnee volunteer:
- Make sure you’re ready to commit. Making the decision to become a randonnee volunteer should not be taken lightly. It requires hundreds of hours of training and a strong commitment to service. Research volunteering by reading articles and expert columns at RUSA.org‘s Volunteer page.
- Contact your local RUSA club. Not all RBAs have volunteers, and depending upon your area, its population and local government, volunteer opportunities may not be available. If your local RBA doesn’t have volunteers, one nearby may. RBA.net has a directory of contact information and RBA statistics.
- Call your local randonneuring club’s non-emergency number and ask to speak with the RBA. Tell him or her that you’re interested in becoming a volunteer and ask what your next step should be. He or she should be able to direct you to the best resources and people to help you. Often, RBAs will allow you to tag along next to them while administering a randonnee to let you make a more informed decision about whether volunteering is right for you.
- Once you’ve identified a RBA suitable for you, you will need to complete their application and background check process. Screening process and required qualifications vary by RBA.
- After you commit to being a volunteer, the RBA will usually enter you in a training program. The length of these programs varies, but all volunteers are required to take a minimum 110-hour RUSA volunteer certified course.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifications do I need to become a randonnee volunteer?
This varies greatly from RBA to RBA. All RBAs have a minimum age requirement, though some allow younger members to enroll as ‘explorers’ or junior randonnee volunteers. Most RBAs also have a physical testing requirement. Testing procedures vary. A typical test is carrying a case of chocolate milk while simultaneously conducting a reflective gear test and informing the rider how much climbing is in the ride.
What is the first step to volunteering?
Contact your local fire RBA and express your interest in joining. Search the internet for your local RBA’s name — they may have a website with useful information.
Do randonnee volunteers get paid?
Randonnee volunteers do not get paid, but they can get reimbursed. Reimbursement is usually a small amount of tax-free money for time spent on snacks, and responding to questions about rules and training. The amount of reimbursement is usually at the discretion of the RBA and will require a receipt.
Should I start physical training before applying to volunteer?
Yes, a training program will likely help you achieve the physical standards required by your RBA. Contact your local RBA for a recommended list of exercises.
Can a volunteer position lead to a career as an RBA?
Yes. Volunteering is one of the best ways to get the necessary training and experience to be an attractive candidate for a career RBA position.
Can I become a volunteer EMT at my local RUSA club?
Maybe — some RBAs have volunteer EMS programs to supplement their public services. Contact your local RBA to find out more.
How many hours do randonnee volunteers work?
Many RBAs require a minimum number of volunteer hours per month. Ask whether your local RBA has minimum participation requirements.
Contact your local RBA and start your new adventure in volunteering today!