Ideas for Positions on the Committee
I wanted to suggest possible positions the committee could be comprised of, after a year of observation and organizing potlucks...
Location Manager - secures the place that the event happens every month and ensures that any necessary paperwork has been filed. We could use a centrally-located park as a default location, but keep a meeting space reserved as a back-up (for example, the public library). This person would be in charge of giving the back-up location proper notice that we would not be needing the location after all so that we can stay on good terms with them for when we do need it in the future.
Food/Beverage Coordinator - makes sure that we don't end up with like, 50 bags of chips and 50 containers of dip. Helps encourage attendees to bring dishes they prepared themselves and, if we want to be ambitious, helps bring things like electric burners, pots and pans and other cooking utensils so guests can actually prepare their food right there fresh.
Navigator - Must be attending the meeting, know the city and can provide directions via cell phone/laptop/iPhone/etc. This person should be familiar not only with the parking situation and the best streets to get there, but should also know how the public transportation system works. Could also be in charge of any signage that directs people from parking areas to where the event is actually happening.
Set-up/Break Down Crew: This person should be the first to show and the last to leave, or at least make sure that a crew exists to do the same. This person makes sure that when potluck attendees arrive, everything is already set up for them so that all they have to do is put their food on the table. If coolers need ice in them, or there is trash to pick up at the end of the event, this person and the people they recruit to help them take care of it.
Greenskeeper - makes sure the event is as environmentally-friendly as possible. Makes sure we have systems for recycling bottles, cans, paper and plastics. Makes sure that any uneaten food goes home with someone or, if we want to be ambitious, is taken somewhere to be composted. As a long-term goal, this person could also initiate a system whereby permanent plates, cups, silverware and linen are utilized. For example, you can tons of cheap dishes at Goodwill. What if you show up to a potluck and are assigned eating utensils to keep throughout the event, to wash when you're done and put back into a storage bin of some kind? This person could then load the bins of utensils into their vehicle and store it in their home until the next potluck. They could also wash the linen so that it can be re-used the next month. Early potlucks will involve paper plates, plastic utensils and cups and paper napkins. But this is obviously something to build toward over time.
Promoter - spreads the word via posts in local groups, sending messages to new members of the website, sending personal messages to CS neighbors in the area, etc.
Documentarian - official photographer and/or videographer. Everyone is always free to bring their own cameras, but for those people who don't have cameras, this person could always be relied upon to provide images/video from the event. It might be nice to have a camera on a tripod where people can kind of do little video testimonials of their experiences with couchsurfing. Someone could take this footage and put together a little 3-minute video or something to put up on Youtube...
Or, this person could document the process of going from a bunch of strangers with musical instruments who belong to the same network to having a completed song at the end of the day. For example, at one potluck on the beach we had like, a dozen musicians jamming together on sitars, guitars, drums, harmonicas, etc. In just two hours, they created a whole song from scratch and it was really awesome. I wish someone had recorded it, so that others could hear it as well! How cool would it be to make a Couchsurfing Soundtrack? ;)
So, this is a good starting point. Some positions may need multiple members, so I could easily see the committee being a dozen people. I can also see it changing every month, depending on people's schedules and travel plans. What does everyone else think?
For anyone interested in Greenskeeper duties, Renata has found this awesome link which is wonderfully relevant to our shindigs:
I am totally into it and all things green.
Excellent, Susan! Should I put you on the meet-up page, like we've done for Richard & Nithin? Here's the link, if you want to see what I'm talking about:
sure, derek. i'll start by bringing some cloth napkins and organizing disposal. i can probably bring back compostables and dump them in my building's bin. maybe if i have time i'll run by goodwill and see if i can get some extra utensils and stuff in case people forget or extras show up. we'll see.
i also have some bio friendly dish soap and will bring a sponge and some dishcloths for wiping.
you rock my green world, susan! i'm so excited (: