ConFusion simply could not happen without volunteers. The con runs as a labor of love created by those willing to donate cash, time, effort, energies and ideas to make it happen year after year. It is nice to think that a job well-done is its own reward, but we know differently. ConFusion tries to reward all of its volunteers in some form or another. Gophers are extraordinarily important volunteers, so much so, that they get "paid" in a several different ways.

The Gopher Paycheck

First and foremost is the reimbursement of your registration cost. If the con ends in the black (as it generally does), gophers that have spent at least 8 hours working (6 if they are students) get their registration fee back because, let's face it, they have more than paid for their con experience by working to ensure it goes smoothly.

Another benefit is access to the gopher holes. The gopher holes are rooms (one for men, one for women) set aside for gophers to sleep, store their stuff, or take a shower. For those of us who cannot afford the added expense of a room, this is nearly $200 worth of valuable savings.

There will also be a special gopher appreciation event, though we're not exactly sure what form it will take this year. We want to do something just for gophers in honor of all they do for us. It's just another way for the rest of the convention (especially the staff and concom) to say "Thank you."

So How Do I Volunteer

The easiest way is to send your pertinent information to volunteers10 [at] stilyagi [dot] org including your name, an email address, what "department" you would like to work for, and any work restrictions you might have (such as inability to lift, hatred for children, or allergies to cardboard). If you aren't sure ahead of time--and let's face it, which of us can plan days ahead, let alone months ahead--be sure to look for the volunteer table in the hotel lobby or stop by operations to get your timecard and get yourself registered as a gopher.

Volunteer of the Con

We all contribute, but some of us simply go above and beyond... putting in absurd amounts of hours, working every department at some point or another, or just really stepping up when they're needed. We like to give those industrious souls some recognition and a little something extra. Department heads and the volunteer wranglers are on the lookout for standouts to recommend as Volunteer of the Con--an honor awarded during the closing ceremonies/gripe session that comes with a $25 gas card and a free membership for the next year's con (and don't worry, if for whatever reason you don't need or want next year's membership free, we will find something special as a reward).

Afraid someone's going to beat you out to the goodies? Well, good news! There's also a free con t-shirt in it for the Volunteer of the Con runner-up!

So if you want a low-impact, quick, easy way to give a little something to ConFusion.. and more importantly if you want to help make sure it runs smoothly, please consider donating a bit of your time to the effort. I look forward to seeing you there.

Contact: volunteers10 [at] stilyagi [dot] org