Tips for Volunteers in the Field

Common Purpose is in the field, and volunteers shared tips for those of us who haven’t yet left home.

First off, add these to your packing list:

  • Cell phone charger and extra power pack.  Campaigns use a smartphone app to track results, so you’ll be on your phone all day.  Make sure you can keep it powered.

  • Good walking shoes.  CPers report walking up to 30,000 steps every day!

  • Moleskin, bandages and first aid ointment.  Come prepared for blisters.

  • Small backpack.  You’ll likely want a rain layer or umbrella, and you’ll need something to carry your extra charger. 

  • Clothes with pockets.  Same reason – you’ll want your arms free to carry your phone and campaign materials. Purses can feel clumsy.

  • Dog treats. If you’re a dog lover, treats help calm a barking fido at the door and put you in good graces with its doting owner. 

Volunteers also shared great advice and encouragement as we’re preparing to head out:

  • Start walking now!  Even with great walking shoes, you’ll be tired and sore from walking miles each day.  Build up your stamina before you leave town.

  • Consider renting a house together instead of a hotel. You can save on meals, and it strengthens the feeling of community and support during a tiring week. Plus – Team Michigan’s rental has ping pong!

  • Trust and learn from your campaign staff. They will train and equip you well – it’s their job to make sure you have everything you need to be effective.  Stay on point and stick to the campaign talking points. 

  • For the introverts out there, remember that you’ll be talking to people about the things you care most about. Volunteers consistently report that the conversations feel good.

  • It’s OK to feel uncertain when you start out. You will gain confidence the more conversations you have, and you’ll begin to relish the moment when the door opens and you introduce yourself. 

Thanks to the Team Michigan Turf Busters and Marty Jacobs for these tips!

Written by Christena Coutsoubos