Etiquette – “forms of proper or polite behaviour in society”
We might not be into “etiquette” in the Club, but I believe it has its place. Etiquette like sensible rules makes life more tolerable for all of us. We use manners – good and bad – to identify ourselves and establish our community image. We all have a sense of Justice of what is fair and reasonable.
Four-wheel driving and Club outings present ample opportunity for us to show etiquette to each other and as a Club.
Picture the scene where the trip leader has made all plans and organised interested members to assemble for a 4WD outing. During the trip he or she has done most of the vehicle recovery, cut and gathered the firewood for the evening campfire, and then shared their damper around the group in the later evening. The next morning, they not only cleaned up their own campsite, but the communal fireplace as well. In my experience the trip leader is happy to do or organise all of this – but they have no obligation to do so.
Often there is a large gap between what the trip leader does and what other participants expect and do. Often the gap is due to lack of experience, communication, or knowledge.
However, there are little things we all can and should do, as etiquette, for both the trip leader and ourselves (The Club) to narrow the gap eg.
- Keeping our vehicles in good maintenance order to avoid unnecessary problems.
- Being ready at the appointed time for scheduled events such as departure
- Observing the 4WD Code of Ethics.
- Helping with the collection of firewood and other chores.
- Writing up the trip reports or giving the verbal brief.
- Being self sufficient in recovery equipment, camping gear and vehicle spares.
- Contributing to the enjoyment of the trip.
No one is pushed into being a trip leader, but those who volunteer do so for the enjoyment of all. So, share some of the workload before being asked and make it more enjoyable for everyone.
Remember the cost of a tag-a-long tour is much more expensive than joining and helping with club activities.