Statewide Visitor Center Information Pages
You can sign up to volunteer at Member Centers and events and to attend tours through our Online Communication System (OCS) aka Online Calendar System. It is available through the “For Current GSAs” section of our website at www.nhgsa.com or www.NHGraniteStateAmbassadors.org. Both web addresses lead to the same website.
To give everyone an equal opportunity to choose shifts, on the 1st of each month, we open the visitor center sign-up calendars for 3 months ahead – at 7:00 am. For example, on March 1st, we make the June visitor center shifts available to sign-up. You cannot “own” a specific time or shift. If you have ANY difficulty finding a shift when you are available, contact our staff. We have a birds-eye view of the calendar and are happy to help! If you have a conflict on an opening date/time, we can sign you up after we open the calendars. Just ask.
At the center calendar openings (on 1st of month) – please limit the shifts you sign up for to one a week, per center, for the newly opened month. Wait 20 minutes, and then you can sign up for more. This lag allows the folks who volunteer/carpool together to have a shot at staying together since couples have to login, sign up, logout, then repeat for the other person. It is not intended to give anyone an advantage.
Remember, you are required to volunteer with a GSA mentor and /or your Center Manager three (3) times at each specific center before you can volunteer on your own. Our staff or the Center Manager will help you find a mentor and sign you up to get you started.
TO SIGN UP
- WATCH OUR DETAILED TUTORIAL ABOUT THE CALENDAR SYSTEM.
- Log into the Online Calendar System. Go to the CALENDAR tab and click a DATE.
- Choose a shift, tour, activity, or meeting and click “Schedule Me.” Remember, for a center’s schedule to show on this page, you must first check it off under MY PROFILE (save).
- If you need to cancel a shift, follow the steps above but click “Remove Me” to cancel your shift.
- If you arrive at a center for an open shift that you are not signed up for, please use the computer at the center to sign up for that shift. In case of an emergency, we need to know who is where.
If you have ANY difficulties finding a shift, logging in, or navigating… please ask. We are here for you!
VOLUNTEER SCHEDULING ETIQUETTE
- Remember – No one “owns” a specific time or shift.
- Please do not arrive early for your shift – or stay later – if others are already signed up. GSAs have committed their time to volunteer and want to fulfill their commitment and remain useful for the entire shift. It’s not fair if you come in early / stay late and displace them. Please note that if you do show up early / stay late over someone else’s shift, and they are there, you will not receive credit for that time. If there is a mutually agreed upon circumstance, please note it on the tick sheet when you sign in/out.
- The shift schedules are strict. Please do not make up your own hours. Your Center Manager and other GSAs are counting on you being there for the times you are scheduled. There are exceptions for the late nights or very wee hours at the airport – please ask Kelly.
- You can only earn GSA hours for shifts posted by the center/event. For example, chamber staff posts certain shifts that are available because they need coverage during lunches or meetings. Just like us, they also need alone time to complete other tasks.
- Please remove yourself promptly from the calendars if you can’t make your shift. In case of an emergency at a center, we want every GSA accounted for. If you can’t access the calendars, let the staff know and we’ll do it for you. There are people who watch the calendar for last-minute cancellations (even in snowstorms). Others want to be aware if they are going to be alone during a shift.
- We do not want you to feel that you cannot cancel a shift. However, when GSAs are scheduled, the center managers generally plan to do other things and are counting on your presence. If you feel unsafe driving or are sick, please cancel your shift as soon as you can so they can plan accordingly.
- Please avoid the following:
- Changing shift times at the last minute on a regular basis
- Using a visitor center as a ‘hang out’ spot
- Signing up for most or all the shifts in a center. If a center is not a popular one and you regularly fill the empty shifts, please wait and sign up for them the week prior. It’s important that the centers have the opportunity to grow their volunteer program. If you are their only or next to only volunteer and you get sick, they will have no coverage.
- As mentioned before, our sign-up system is designed to purposely give everyone an equal opportunity for each shift. We ask that you keep in mind that there are many GSAs who want an opportunity to volunteer at different centers and different shifts.
In order to acknowledge that everyone likes to contribute to our success in different ways, GSAs earn hours for all forms of participation.
- Volunteer Service hours are those hours spent available to ACTIVELY SERVE GUESTS AND TRAVELERS at Visitor Centers and at Special Events.
- Educational Hours are those spent on GSA official tours, meetings, virtual presentations, virtual interviews, orientations (in-person and online), and trainings, including certification training.
- Administrative Hours are those spent on GSA committees, board of directors, and administrative tasks/assistance.
Tour eligibility criteria are based on accumulated Volunteer Service Hours only! Educational and Administrative hours will NOT COUNT towards tour eligibility requirements stated on the respective information page for participation. The reason for this is that businesses invite us for complimentary tours with the expectation of receiving guest referrals based on your impression and experience. If you don’t actively volunteer, that expectation won’t be met.
All hours are considered for hours-based awards at the AMBIEs Awards Luncheon.
Note: GSA Certification Training is educational hours, and does not count toward volunteer service hours.
Events: If there is space available at a GSA-managed or official partner event, a GSA may bring a spouse or friend to volunteer. The GSA should request to sign this person up, through GSA staff, and then the GSA may also earn their spouse’s or friend’s hours. In order to receive the credit, you must submit the extra hours through our Report Hours form.
TRACKING YOUR HOURS/ATTENDANCE
Your volunteer service hours are tracked from the tick sheets (Visitor Count Sheets) that you sign-in with at the Visitor Centers – not by the online calendar system. Signing in on the tick sheet confirms that you arrived for your shift.
Please be sure to:
- Find the desk book. Some tick sheets are changed daily, and some are running a monthly sign-in.
- Fill in the tick sheet completely and SIGN IN for your shift. Please use your first name AND last initial to help us distinguish among volunteers.
- Please be neat and legible!
Be sure to record all of your time. If you arrived 15 minutes early (because there was an open shift!) or stayed 15 minutes late to finish assisting a guest – record that too.
The manager on duty will submit your hours/ attendance for special events, meetings, tours and activities. If you have to submit your own hours, it will state it on the information page on our website. The link for the Report Hours form can be found on our website on the For Current GSAs page.
Some centers also have an additional sheet to track the types of questions you are asked.
You can view your hours on the Online Calendar System by clicking the SERVICE HISTORY tab. Click on YEAR, then click on DATE for details.
Recording Timeline – hours are posted 4-6 weeks behind:
- The first week of the month, the center manager will collect all the tick sheets from the prior month and email them to Emily.
- When all the centers’ emails are received, the tick sheets are sorted by date and entered into our online calendar system. You will see the progress live – so all the dates of that month may not have been entered when you peek at it.
- By the third week of the month, all the previous month’s hours have been recorded. At the top of the MY SERVICE history page, we will post when the month is complete, “Hours are now complete through….”
- If you have earned your 50-hours shirt, or you would like to attend a tour that is hours restricted, once you have volunteered the hours, you are eligible. You do not have to wait until they show in your account.
- From the SERVICE tab in the online calendars, you can print a report to help you figure out your mileage deduction as a volunteer for your taxes.