We couldn’t even get the whole team in the photo – or everyone looking the right way.
Photo credit: Judy Antell / Vegetarian TravelingMom

VolunteerSpot Puts Parents in their (Proper) Place

If you grew up in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s, after school activities were strictly a child/school relationship – there just weren’t the choices for club or travel teams that you see nowadays. I played varsity sports and my mother never saw a game or meet.

Hydration for games meant swallowing your own spit and refueling was your father stopping for gas after picking you up from a game.


Now, parents are recruited to drive car pools, supply snacks, wash uniforms and bake for fundraisers.

And with so many parents working one or more jobs, and so many kids playing in multiple sports, along with all their other extra curricular activities, how can parents keep up?

Luckily, I found a new free organizational tool, VolunteerSpot (Disclosure: this is a compensated post, but I truly recommend this product – it will save your sanity).

Before I started coaching rec soccer, I was the snack mom, organizing the rotating duties with multiple emails, follow up phone calls and angry texts (uh – we have 18 hungry girls and no promised energy bars and bananas. Halftime ends soon!).

With the VolunteerSpot snack scheduler, once you assign duties, the site sends out those reminder emails and we don’t get caught up in ‘reply all’ time wasters. Like, if you can’t bring the Gatorade because you are finally getting that wart removed – did you really mean to tell 25 somewhat distant acquaintances, or just the one friend who emailed you about the upcoming track meet?

At the Ultimate State Championships last year, we had driving and snack snafus that would have been eliminated with better organization. We had 23 high school girls to coordinate, plus parents, younger siblings and dogs. At one point, we had too few cars; at another, bags of bagels, but no fruit.

And lest you think the volunteering ends when your kid heads off the college – sorry to burst your bubble on that one, but my daughter plays a club sport and parents still show up to tournaments and still want to organize the snacks. Then there are the end of the term potlucks and the trips to national championships…

You can also use the planning tools for road trips outside the sports realm – and completely separate from school. We recently spent a week with my family and my siblings at the beach, and somehow had too much beer, but not enough gin. A simple sign up sheet could have kept us all happily soused.

Be sure to check out VolunteerSpot’s Back to School sweepstakes where you can win money for your school, yourself and your kid’s favorite after school activity.  Imagine – the team could get new uniforms without you having to sell chocolate, bake cookies or raise a paddle.