This isn't presented as an 'option'. Everybody pays their regular $15 match fee plus an extra $2 'clean-up fee' (I made that up), and NOBODY has to lift a finger after they've completed a match. You can sit around and shoot the breeze, wait for the scores to be posted, pick up your ribbon for Third Super Senior (my most common recognition), and then you're off the the pizza parlor to share gossip and match stories.
At the Albany Rifle & Pistol Club (ARPC), the pickup is usually done by the Junior Team. They get to add to their own fund which pays for ammunition, equipment and trips by putting in a half-hour of work each, one day a month.
At the Dundee club, the pickup is done by the club members, who are rewarded for the setup (most of which they do themselves, often the day before the match) and for their time.
I think both of these results are absolutely wonderful. This aging Geek can get through most matches without running out of energy, but humping Pepper Poppers back to the storage trailer takes it out of me quite quickly. Also, of course, the fact that I am inherently clumsy has caused a number of minor injuries ... smashed fingers from steel plates, bruised from tripping over gravity turner stands in the close (and dark) confines of the trailers, etc. I'm old, I'm fat, I'm soft. I never liked shooting one day, then aching for two more days.
The match set-up is another story.
At most club matches in these parts, there's an 'incentive plan'. The 9am match is preceded by the 7am setup crew. Usually these are competitors (not always club members) who show up two hours early for the match and do the work of reading the stage setup notes, then hump steel targets, stands, sticks and targets plus a bunch of vision barriers and props out to the stages and set them up. It's a period of frenetic activity, and the usual reward is that the workers are allowed to shoot for a greatly reduced match fee. For example, paying $5 instead of $15 to shot the match.
The Next Step:
Friday of this week, I (along with a number of CCS competitors) received an email from Mike (Mac) McCarter, Executive Director of ARPC:
Albany Rifle and Pistol Club is taking the next step in match production. We now hire the major part of stage setup and the match is already set to go for tomorrow. If you planned on helping setup, please sleep in a little later (KC McDonald) then come shoot the match. I do not want to hear a word about not starting at 9am.Since I'm still recovering from the flu, I didn't shoot this match. I have no idea how well the plan worked out, but I'm impressed that Mac has once again taken the lead in match production by initiating one more incentive for people to complete at the range which has benefited so much by his contribution.
(I have to admit to my disappointment that Mac didn't win the USPSA Presidential Election; he is so full of new ideas for a local club and section, there is no telling how much USPSA could have benefited from his vision.)
Oh, a bit of explanation is in order for the reference to "KC McDonald".
The McDonald Family is becoming legend in CCS. Father Mark, elder son Chad and younger son KC have been huge contributors of labor at ARPC. They invariably show up for the 7am setup, except that younger son KC has as much reluctance to getting up early as do I. KC takes a lot of ribbing about this, and accepts it with a grin and little comment. They've even convinced Mark's wife, Jan, to start shooting -- which adds a certain amount of elegance to any match.
We really like the McDonalds, who volunteer their efforts not because they need to save money on the match fees but because they think it's the right thing to do.
That's the same spirit Mac demonstrates; month after month, year after year. This club's IPSC program was in trouble for a lot of reasons before Mac accepted the responsibility of spearheading the program. In the years since, ARPC has become one of the premier ranges in the country for IPSC matches. I've talked before about the range improvements which have been effected at ARPC under Mac's guidance: bays have been graveled (instead of becoming slipper mud-pits, they are all-weather surfaces); concrete pads poured and 3-sided steel buildings erected in the squad area of 7 bays. New, large bays have been added to make this a range which is able to provide a 13-stage major match venue.
Tens of thousands of dollars for improvements ... literally ... made available through IPSC match fees, have puffed up the financial coffers of this club and attracted even more match fees from major matches.
This is the role model of business plans for a shooting range, and I still marvel that nobody has contacted Mike McCarter to help them build up their local range in an attempt to emulate this success.