Volunteering FAQ

Q. Obtaining a Key:
.  Members may obtain a key to access the observatory on their own once the following conditions are met.

  • The member has been instructed in the operation of the facility and equipment.
  • The member has actively participated in several observing sessions with a current key holder.
  • The current key holder with which the member observed vouches for the member’s ability to operate the scope on his or her own.
  • The executive votes favourably on releasing a key to the member’s care. Preference will be given to members who actively contribute to the society by volunteering their time to help run open houses, tours, special events and club projects.
  • A gate key to get access to the grounds may be obtained by requesting one from the executive without necessarily having an observatory building key. (basic right of membership in the centre)

Q.  What does it mean to volunteer?
.  Volunteering means helping “do the work” of running the Centre.

Q.  What needs to be done?
. The Centre needs to have the following done in order to function.

  • Run public events. i.e. open houses, tours, maintaining the facilities.
  • Run the business of the Centre. i.e. sit on the board of directors (Executive)
  • Maintain the facilities. i.e. work-bees, janitorial, repair & maintenance.

Q.  Where do I find out what needs to be done?
. There are a few ways to figure this out.

  • Volunteer Schedule in the Members Area of website.
  • Attend Business Meetings and Social Meetings Home Page of website.
  • Contact the Executive and let them know how you can help out. (see the Contact Us! section of the website.)

Q.  What qualifications do I need to help run Open Houses and Tours?
  The short answer is none. The most important thing to have is ENTHUSIASM. Even if your knowledge of astronomy is low right now chances are you know WAY more than the general public. Remember all those books you have read over the years? Believe it or not some of that has sunk in! One fun and easy thing to do at an Open House is to operate the laser pointer. If you have completed or are working on your Explore the Universe Certificate you would have no problem pointing out the bright stars and constellations with it. We always make sure an experienced “Key Holder” member is on hand to run the presentations and lectures. By helping out at these events you will learn how to use the equipment and pick up a great deal of astronomical knowledge in the best way possible… by doing! My nine year old son helps out at tours, you can do it too.

Q.  I want to volunteer. Where do I sign up?
Contact Glen Harris: g_harris@telus.net

Q.  When do I arrive for an event I have volunteered for?
For Open Houses and Tours please arrive about 20 minutes before the time start time listed on the Volunteer Schedule (in the Members Area of the website).

For any other event, workbee, information booths, arriving at the time listed in the Upcoming Events area on the Home Page.