Do you have a knack for giving people clear directions, and for making waiting time more enjoyable? If you'd like to be the first face of McKeever's that participants, guests, journalists, and photographers see, let us know! We are looking for upbeat folks who can calm a little guest as well as distract a guest who is flustered. Let us know if you are up for this challenge!
Volunteers with experience handling horses can be trained to serve as lead and side walkers who insure the safety of riders, in case a rider loses balance or needs support. Volunteers are also needed at the adaptive riding station, to assist with traffic flow and helmet sizing. If you enjoy putting guests at ease, consider volunteering here!
Carriages (Driving Magic)
Experienced carriage driving instructors like those at Driving Magic, welcome volunteers to help with traffic flow and guest assistance. This can include helping inside and outside the covered arena in order to help participants mount and dismount the carriages.
Grooming and Groundwork with Horses
This is one of our most popular stations! If you have experience with horses so that you can demonstrate to participants how to approach, groom, and handle a horse, this may be the perfect spot for you. Let us know whether you prefer to work with youth or adults.
Crafts-Adults and Kids
Each year, McKeever's is blessed to find an enthusiastic instructor to take charge of arts & crafts. If you share our opinion that "art is from the heart" and that the objective of doing art projects is to enjoy self-expression rather than perfection, feel free to volunteer at the adult or youth table for expressive arts & crafts. Instructions for making crafts will be available for you to share with guests and participants. Materials will be available for you to distribute to guests at your station.
We are very happy that young amputees and O& P clients have a variety of camps and events that they can attend. We are also very happy to see adult amputees and O&P clients find increasing options to enjoy adaptive sports, especially through OPAF. However, we've discovered that teens often feel left out. Teen years are tough for everybody, but even more so for teens who have a unique appearance or physical challenges. The fact that these teens often have awesome confidence and exciting goals--is why McKeever's First Ride wants to give them a chance to gather for fun and mutual encouragement. If you have a heart for teens, ages 12-19, please consider being a volunteer for the TEEN McKeever station. Help us build the first national network for TEENS who are "amped up, braced, and active!" And look for us on Facebook's TEEN McKeever Group page.
McKeever's First Ride is committed to providing hands on opportunities that introduce adaptive riding, roping, carriage driving, and other activities. However, we are also committed to helping participants and guests connect in meaningful ways that can be uplifting, long after our day together has ended. For caregivers, specifically, we provide a comfortable corner where folks can connect for friendship, empowerment, or information sharing. We want to help folks build a strong support system that understands the challenges they face. If you are comfortable welcoming people to pick up resource pamphlets, to introduce themselves to others, to exchange a smile, a laugh, or a meaningful moment, you might be suited to serve at the caregivers corner.
Who doesn't love a pot belly pig? Okay, some people don't, but that might be because they haven't had a friendly volunteer inspire them to pet a pig, donkey, rabbit, or other creature from the petting zoo. If you love animals and people, consider being a volunteer at the petting zoo. All animals are pets, so don't worry about wild, crazy critters!
This is a specialized area but, like massage therapy, if you want to assist guests waiting a turn or wanting information, volunteer here.
If you are good with a camera and editing photos, you can assist our main photographer, Erik Pearson. He enjoys having assistants.
The best preparation for receiving a massage matters a great deal. At McKeever's First Ride, we have participants who have never experienced massage therapy, and may be shy about signing up. If you are familiar with massage therapy, then you know that it can offer wonderful benefits for the body, mind, and soul. Therapeutic touch can provide comfort, relief, and restored health to body, limb, and soul. It is extremely important to us that military/veteran guests and orthotic users by amputees/orthotic users discover massage therapy is a powerful resource for them. If you are someone who can offer gentle encouragement to participants, to givemassage therapy a try, we'd love to have you be a volunteer. It is best to be quiet with guests awaiting a massage, than to be chatty. If you're sensitive to that as well, we hope you will join us!
Experienced ropers like our beloved, Mike Harsh, and his sidekick Richard Boatwright, welcome volunteers to show hospitality to guests as they observe participants who are being instructed in how to rope "cattle" dummies. Also, if you have roping skills and the patience to share them with youth and adults, you are certainly welcome to volunteer at this station!
Health and safety are a high priority at McKeever's First Ride. If you have medical training, you might consider being a volunteer at the first aid station. You may be asked to fill a shift between 10am and 2pm, or to serve as a floater around the arena.
Friday the 15th Setup Help
Set up, service, and break down require major effort and elbow grease. If the idea of helping us put up signs, prepare tables, help with loading/unloading, run supplies, or help with break down and clean up, we'd love to have you as a Volunteer!
Light breakfast for volunteers (Solicit food donations, transport and serve)
We know our volunteers give their all to the success of McKeever's First Ride, so we try to make sure they start the day with coffee and a snack.
Snacks for volunteers (Solicit food donations, transport and serve)
If you want to get donations for snacks, fruit and water for volunteers, we’d love to have you help.
Military/Veterans Networking Station Host
We anticipate that a handful of military/veterans will choose to hang out at the military/veterans salute station--a booth that is designed to offer military/veterans folks a chance to connect with brothers and sisters in arms. Whether it is to offer a brownie, or to listen to someone's story with a stout heart, you may be the right person to make this booth a place for patriots to reach out and refuel.
Get Donations For Military Care Packages
Have the chance to make care packages to send to military men and women, while at McKeever's First Ride, to boost their morale.
Publicity, Media & PR
In a world with easy contact through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, and Pinterest, could there be any better time to promote McKeever's First Ride? We would love to have Volunteers who are enthusiastic about getting the word out, that there can be an adventurous, dynamic life following limb loss, disability, or deployment. While we want to tell the world about McKeever's First Ride--our main motivation is to let youth and adults know that there are ways to harness one's energy for more enjoyment and more peace of mind! We want folks to know the thrill of "horsing around" and horse handling. We want them to know that adaptive sports allow youth and adults to fully participate in athletics and hobbies that enrich our lives. We want caregivers to have a place to turn on a difficult day.
We want military/veterans
to have a network of buddies who understand the imprint of war and want to rebuild their lives. We want amputees
and O&P clients
to know that even if they can't have the latest technologically advanced prosthetic--they can experience tremendous benefits through the simple, human touch of massage, and through honest, candid exchanges between peers who can uniquely understand each other. If you'd like to promote McKeever's First Ride, through blogging
, social media, broadcast, print, radio, by sharing flyers and posters, please consider being a publicity volunteer!
Mini Horses-Special Equestrians
Volunteers at the miniature horse station not only get to enjoy the antics of the miniature horses, they get to assist participants to learn how to become a mini horse handler! Experienced equine therapists supervise this station, and oversee games and activities that offer enrichment, skills, and relationship-building. If this appeals to you, consider being a volunteer at this station.
Adaptive Sports Demonstration Station
Would you be interested in assisting with equipment, transportation, setup, crowd comfort, and general traffic flow around the demonstration areas at McKeever's First Ride? Shepherd Swords Fencing Team joined us at McKeever's First Ride 2014, and we anticipate other wheelchair sports and adaptive sport enthusiasts to continue joining us. If you'd like to make the day easier for these folks, let us know. Also, if you have connections with an individual or team who represents adaptive sports or adaptive hobbies, please let us know!