If you’re reading this then you’ve probably drunkenly accepted a position on the committee of your much-loved university caving club. If you’re looking for a general idea of how running a typical caving club works then you’ve come to the right place.
Below is a brief and general outline of the roles within a typical caving committee, refer to your clubs own handover documents for more information relevant to you.
AKA the Chair or Captain, a prestigious and respectable title no less. You’re the face of the club and one of the first things people think of when they hear your clubs name. You are responsible for everything in general but nothing in particular unless you want/need to be, you job can just be to make sure everyone else does their jobs.
Your responsibility is typically to have a relatively active involvement with the club, chair meetings, speak publicly at events, keep people keen and to do whatever else you can to make sure make sure your club runs smoothly.
Typically responsible for dealing with the bulk of any official union/guild bureaucracy, hut bookings, meeting minutes and second in command when the president isn’t around. Your responsibilities for the day to day running of the club will be shared between you and the rest of the committee but do what you can to keep things organised.
Highly trusted individuals with an eye for numbers and an apatite for spreadsheets. Responsibilities include collecting debt and reimbursing people.
Some clubs organise trips so that all the expenses are split equally among all of the members of a particular trip, with some flexibility if people are transporting themselves. Other clubs have a ticketing system where the cost of a trip is estimated beforehand and any loss/profit is absorbed by the club with the aim of roughly breaking even by the end of the year.
This spreadsheet is handy if you’re looking for a way to keep track of your clubs spending.
AKA the Tackle Officer, Gear Sec. As your clubs quartermaster, you ensure your clubs kit is safe to use and accessible to people when they need it. You also work with the treasurer and other committee members to determine what new kit needs to be purchased and when old kit needs to be retired. If you’re in the market for new kit and you’re looking for advice, talk to the more experienced members of your club, email the CHECC committee or if he’s about at a CHECC event talk to the wise Tony Seddon of Starless River and if you happen to be in the Dales Inglesport is also a good point of call for kit and advice.
It is also important to remember that the care of your club kit and the state of your kit store is everyone’s responsibility so don’t be scared to remind everyone of that once in a while and feel free to ask for help when conducting any labour intensive Job such as a full kit safety check, rope wash or inventory.
Let’s face it, nobody really likes caving it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s muddy and sometimes physically and emotionally traumatic. Thankfully your club has you, a welcome distraction from the misery of caving and a beckon of hope that they will actually be able to have fun with their caving club.
Depending on how ambitious your feeling you can generally organise whatever you want for your club, here are a few examples:
- Paint Balling
- Laser Quest
- Brewery/distillery tours
- Trampoline parks
- Theme park visits
- Escape rooms
- House Partys
- Board game nights
- Movie Nights
- Pub evenings
- Club nights
Although clubs are primarily by the committee members mentioned above, there are obviously many other opportunities for responsibility within a caving club. Webmaster if your club has/want’s an online presence. Inclusions officer if your club is too white, straight and male. Training officer for all your training needs. And if you run out of committee positions you can always introduce the “Ordinary member” or “Caving Officer” committee positions for people who would like to be involved in the running of the club but need a title to do so, these guys can do things like arrange merchandise orders, write newsletters and organise the odd trip.
But remember you don’t need a committee position to do things for your club. Help with the food shopping, cooking, washing up, hut cleaning, equipment sorting, rope packing, trip planning and route finding if you get stuck in and people will learn to appreciate you and you’ll become an evermore valued member of your caving club.