At first coordinating a Club trip may seem a daunting task. However there are just a few simple things that need to be done to ensure everything runs smoothly.This Hint and Tips for Trip Coordinators document (PDF) has lots of good information about how a trip should be run.
If you're an experienced coordinator, you might just need the spreadsheet template for the treasurer.
It is important to ensure that accommodation is booked before the trip. If we have been to the locale before then the Club probably knows of a place to stay. Give the place a call a few weeks beforehand (longer on popular public holidays) to let them know we are coming and give an estimate of the numbers. It is usually better to book under the name ANU SCUBA Club rather than your own name.
Closer to the weekend you may want to give the accommodation another call to update them on the final numbers.
It is a good idea to get in touch with the local dive shop to let them know we will be around. Find out their opening hours and how much they charge for an air fill. Try to negotiate a discount on the air fills based on the large number of tanks that the Club will be getting filled. Often we can get $6 or even $5 fills if we ask nicely.
The dive shop can also give you some sort of indication on what dives are in the area if you are not sure.
This is simply a matter of deciding on a spot where people should meet for the first dive. Usually the nearest boat ramp or sometimes at the accommodation site.
Once the accommodation and the first-dive meeting place have been arranged, get in touch with the Secretary and let him/her know the details. The Secretary will publish these on the web.
The website contains the gear issue roster. Contact the Gear Issue Officer who is rostered for the gear issue before the trip and let them know they will be required to attend. Also be prepared to estimate how much gear will be required for the weekend. This allows the officer to make arrangements for extra gear if required.
The Club has an emaling list (firstname.lastname@example.org) that reaches the majority of its members. Around one week beforehand send a message to this list to remind people of the upcoming trip. In the email you should ask people:
If you are unable to access email, ask the Secretary to do it for you.
We are obliged by the ANU SRA to ensure that all those using Club infrastructure/equipment are both current ANU SRA and Club members. As people can not be a Club member without being an SRA member, this is easily done by checking our current members list If there is any dispute, contact the Secretary to sort it out. Direct lapsed or non-members to the SRA to join before the trip.
This is probably the most important part of coordinating the trip.
You will need to match up people who need lifts with people who can offer lifts. Usually this balances out, but if you can't find a lift for someone (even after applying pressure to the other members), then someone will have to miss out on going.
Where possible try to get new members to travel with the regulars.
You will need to let people know where we are staying and where the first dive will be.
You will also need to arrange for the boats to be towed down. Pick the people with the most suitable cars and those that are most willing to tow. Also check when the tower intends to come back to Canberra. The people towing will need keys to the shed. Spare keys should be available from the beside the gear cage, or check with the Gear Officer.
It is fairly important for the trip coordinator to turn up at gear issue. This gives you the chance to sort out any last minute arrangements.
If gear sharing is needed, make sure that gear goes down with the earliest arrivers.
Try to get a spare regulator and BC down to the coast. This makes it easier to cope with malfunctioning gear.
At gear issue, you will also need to get the boats prepared for towing. There is an instruction sheet on the web and a copy of it on the gear shed wall.
From time to time, people don't pay for their dives despite the coordinator's best efforts. We keep a list of these people in the gear shed, so at gear issue you can check whether there's anyone on your trip who still owes money. If so, try to make sure they pay their old debt before getting any gear or going on a dive.
Once at the coast your main goal is to have fun! Aside from that you need to coordinate people on boat loads. This tends to organise itself, but keep track of who went on what boat trips and where the dive was.
However, you want to ensure that the qualified divers you have on your trip actually run the trip and their diving themselves! Don't make promises that involve an obligation or reasonable expectation unless you wish to invoke your 'duty of care'. Encourage the divers on the weekend to take responsibility for themselves and use the judgement and the experience that their certifications state they have.
This said, it is important that you only permit Club boats to be used under the control of persons with current waterways boat licenses. Any such person is to be compensated by a reduction of $1 per boat ride.
The Club has a document on handling money on behalf of the Club which you should be familiar with.
At the end of the weekend you will be required to collect monies from people. If unsure, ask a committee member what you should charge for each dive (recent dives have charged $7-$12/dive for students, $12-$17/dive for others). Dont forget to charge a show-up fee for all divers (currently $8) to cover the towing subsidy. The committee has set towing reimbursement rates as a guide.
It is sometimes appropriate for the coordinator to collect the accommodation money as well, especially in places like national parks. Keep the receipts for such expenses and include with your trip sheet. (If a receipt is lost somewhere along the way, you can use an expenses form, but receipts are preferred.)
The cost for each person will be the total of their dives, minus towing reimbursement, minus costs such as buying fuel for the boats (make sure you get a receipt, even if you have to write one on a scrap of paper). Remember that licensed boat drivers qualify for discount of $1 per ride, and if you're a student member organising the trip, you get one free dive.
Do not let people use other non-trip Club expenses to cancel out their trip expense (eg. if someone has paid a Club trailer registration before the weekend); this just confuses the accounts. Instead ask them to deal with the Club Treasurer.
In the rare case that you aren't able to retreive the money, even though you have tried several times to contact the debtor, put the person on the black list in the shed and deposit the rest. Likewise check the black list before any trip. Nobody is allowed to go on any further trip or hire any gear before all debts are paid.
While you are collecting monies from people, ask them if they have had any troubles with their gear. Note which piece of gear and what the problem was.
The boats require cleaning by trip attendees relatively soon the return to Canberra. Pick a time that ensures a good turnout (evenings are good in summer, lunchtime during the winter) - usually the day following the trip - and announce it both at the coast and by email on the morning of the cleaning. Make sure you also arrange a shed key so you can get access.
Instructions for cleaning the boats are on the web and a copy should be on the shed wall. It is important that the boat motors be flushed with fresh water as soon as possible, and the boats and their trailers rinsed after the trip.
While there are water restrictions in Canberra and not at the coast, it's a good idea to take a hose and tap adapters to flush motors and wash boats while at the coast. If this doesn't happen they will need to be done in Canberra - we can flush motors, but other washing needs to happen at (eg) CarLovers.
It is important the hydraulic rams of the trim 'n' tilt and the steering mechanisms are wiped free of any road grime and then sprayed with a water displacing lubricant (eg Inox).
If there is any residual accounting from the weekend, arrange with people to make any outstanding payments and finalise the trip accounts.
Send a summary of all payments and expenses to the trip participants - this ensures accountability and transparency, and also serves as a receipt for their payment. A copy of the trip accounts sheet minus any members personal details (phone numbers email addresses etc) is a good solution here.
Deposit the weekend's surplus into the Club bank account. The Club has a bank account at the Commonwealth Bank on campus. You should deposit the trip takings directly into this account (manually or electronically), and place the following paper into the Scuba Club pigeon hole at the SRA, where it will be collected by the treasurer:
Account details are:
Name: The ANU SCUBA Diving Club
BSB number: 062903
Account number: 00900324
Description: Your name (most important information!), trip date, location (if enough space left)
Finally, please send the committee the following:
The trip organiser who's the fastest to hand in everything perfectly completed will be promoted to treasurer.