Volunteer Information

Want to get involved?

Review our volunteer opportunities below and sign-up to join the fun!

Feel free to reach out to us at volunteers@klondikedogderby.com


 

Snow Crew

Do you own heavy equipment? Do you want to volunteer in a unique and exciting way? Help us build the start chute by bringing in your machinery and laying a track of snow down two blocks of Water Street to Lake Minnetonka on the night before the race. Removal of the snow on Sunday evening also needed. 

 
 

Musher Check-in 

Be the first to greet the mushers as they arrive for the race on Saturday! You will assist mushers with registration, autographing posters, and signing in for their veterinary checks. 

 
 

Race Headquarters

Race Headquarters is the command center for the race, and an exciting spot to volunteer. It’s a busy, fun, and interactive volunteer position, plus you’ll get to stay warm! At HQ, you’ll help by inputting start and finish times into the website, answering spectator, media, and musher questions, and keeping our Race Officials fueled up with snacks and beverages. Volunteers needed on both Saturday and Sunday. 

 
 

Merchandise Sales

Interact with the fans and stay warm and toasty at Race Headquarters as you help with the sales of race merchandise. Volunteers needed on both Saturday and Sunday. 

 
 

Starting Line
Set-Up/Teardown

After months of planning, it all comes down to the starting line where teams of huskies take off while fans line the street and cheer them on! Several volunteers are needed to help with the set-up of the start and finish line. Tasks will include installation of snow fencing, hanging banners, setting up audio equipment, tents, and more.

 
 

Start/Finish

Start /Finish volunteers may be asked to do a variety of tasks including to help to hook and hold teams at the start and finish, record times, assist Race Officials and the emcees, and more. 

 
 

Dog Truck Parking

Help mark the parking lot for all the dog trucks the day before the race, and then help to direct mushers to their designated parking spaces on race morning.

 
 

Traffic and
Crowd Control

Traffic and Crowd Control volunteers will assist in directing vehicles near the start of the race, and controlling access to parking lots designated for mushers and officials. Crowd Control volunteers will help to direct spectators so they can safety view the race, and find what they are looking for — such as bathrooms, Race Headquarters, the VIP Tent, and the Start Line. 

 
 

Dog Crew

If you really love dogs, and are willing to use your muscles and get your hands dirty, this might be the job for you! You’ll get to interact with the mushers and their teams as they make their way to the start line and back from the finish line. It’s physically demanding, but it’s fun! You’ll be helping to get the excited teams of huskies from their trucks to the starting chute by running with the team and holding the gangline. Don’t worry, training will be provided.

 
 

ATV Crew

Seeking volunteers with ATV’s willing to help at the race start. A team of huskies ready to race is surprisingly powerful! While assistance is provided by mushers, handlers, and the Dog Crew, it’s also very helpful to have the help of a few ATVs! The dog teams will be hooked to the front of your machine and you will help to drive them safely to the starting line.

 
 

Trail Crew

This is a fun and exciting volunteer opportunity for anyone who owns a snowmobile! We are seeking volunteers with snowmobiles to help set the trail, post and pick-up mile markers, and go out ahead of the first team and behind the last team.

 
 

Amateur Radio

Communication needs between the race officials at the start and finish, at road crossings and at some safety points happens best via amateur radio. If you have experience with amateur radio and are willing to help, volunteer today!

 
 

Road Crossing

This is an exciting opportunity to get up and close and personal with the dog teams out on the trail. Assist the teams as they cross County Road 19 to Old Channel Bay. You may need to help shovel snow to create a smooth transition from the trail to the road, and may need to help guide the teams from one side of the road to the trail on the other side. Traffic control will be provided by law enforcement officers here as well. 

 
 

Safety Points

Along the trail are a few points where we need volunteers stationed throughout the race to assist mushers in staying on the correct trail, or maintaining crowd control as the teams are passing. Bundle up, start a bonfire, and bring a few friends for a memorable and fun day!

 
 

Finishers’ Banquet

Help to transform Race Headquarters into the scene for our Finisher’s Banquet, and help with coordination of the awards ceremony. This will include decorating the banquet hall, assisting with medals and prizes, and clean up after the event. 

 
 

Pre-Race Support

The work of a sled dog race is a year-round, multi-person endeavor. Race day is the climax, and an exciting time to help out. But without the support of volunteers in the months and days before the race, race day doesn’t happen! Pre-race support includes assistance to the Race Coordinator and the Klondike Dog Derby Board of Directors. Tasks could include help with things like media, PR, administrative work, communication, print coordination, event planning and set-up, fundraising, volunteer coordination and more. 

 
 

Host-a-musher

Hosting a musher, their handler(s), and dogs is a unique opportunity to make some new friends and learn more about a sport and lifestyle unlike any other. All you need is a spare bedroom, space to park a large truck and/or trailer, and a willingness to welcome a few friendly folks into your home for the weekend! If you’re interested in this opportunity, please contact us. 

 
 

other

If you’re not sure how you’d like to help out, or you’re willing to pitch in wherever you’re needed, just check this option and we will find just the right job for you!

 
 

 
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Volunteers need to be a good example by wearing the right gear. If you get too cold, you are no longer an asset but a liability, which can hugely affect the safety of the dogs, mushers and spectators! Watch for people who might be getting cold and encourage them to move around, jog in place, find a fire or warm building. Lastly, thank you to all the volunteers for supporting and being a part of this amazing lifestyle and event!

 

First thing’s first:

…you’ll be dressed with a big ol’ smile! The excitement of the dogs and mushers is contagious. But without the right gear, that smile might fade.  

If you live in Minnesota, you might think you know how to handle the cold, but that doesn’t mean you have quite the right gear for spectating a dogsled race. A lot of outdoor winter activities involve moving, so your blood is pumping and keeping your warm. We have a lot of good clothing tips and tricks, but a great way to stay warm is to keep moving. Clothing doesn’t make your body warm, your body makes the clothing warm.

 

Let’s take it from the top:

 
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For your head:

Hats are a necessity. Double-layer knit, fleece, wool or fur are all great options. Do not settle for ear muffs or headbands—without coverage on the top of your head, there’s nothing stopping heat from rising up and out. A good hat will keep your whole body warm, including your feet!

 
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For your neck:

You’ll also need a neckwarmer, face mask or scarf that is wide enough to go from above your nose down into the layers below your neck. 

 
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For your eyes:

Even if it’s cloudy, sunglasses or goggles are a must. They protect against wind and the bright, reflective snow.

 
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For your hands:

Mittens are a better choice than gloves because they create a warm environment around more than just one finger. You can always tuck your cold hands under your parka to warm them skin to skin with your belly. Avoid blowing on your hands—your breath adds moisture which will make your hands colder in the long run.

 
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For your body: base layer

Your base layer should consist of long underwear, long johns, wicking layer, etc. This layer should be snug and wick moisture away from your skin.

 
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For your body: warm layer

Your warmth layer should be loose fleece, wool or down. You might need 3 or 4 layers to hold an adequate amount of warm air that your body creates, but it really depends on the temperature. Be sure to shed layers to avoid sweating. Sweat makes you wet, then it freezes! Vests are a great option because they keep your core warm without making your sleeves too bulky.

 
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For your body: wind layer

Next you need a wind layer: a windproof shell or an insulated parka and snow pants. Whatever you wear, make sure it has a hood! It’ll keep the cold wind out and warm air trapped in.

 
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For your feet: socks

Make sure your socks are wool or synthetic. Cotton is not a good choice. It’s also important to make sure your socks aren’t too tight. Circulation is important throughout your entire body. Wearing too many pairs of socks might make it too tight in your boots, therefore reducing blood flow. One pair of really good socks is ideal!

 
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For your feet: boots

Whatever the temperature rating is on your boots is wrong. Maybe you could walk across a parking lot in those temps, but not much else. Some musher boots are rated to -130˚F to -150˚F and we still get cold in them at times. In general, boots with removable liners are best and less rubber on the top of the foot is also good. Sorels, Mukluks, Bunny Boots and Pack boots are good. Rubber boots like Bogs and even Arctic Mucks are not ideal. Anything form-fitting or with little insulation between your foot and the rubber sole is going to be too cold.

 

Other important tips:

Letting your body take care of regulating its own heat is ideal, but heat packs can really help. If you’ve had them in your closet for a year or more, they’re probably duds. Get fresh ones. Read the instructions well before you use them. Sometimes mittens even have zipper pockets for heat packs on them. If you don’t have mitt pockets, be sure not to drop heat packs. Dogs will find them and eat them.  

That being said, make sure not to drop anything where a dog could get it. Gloves, mittens, garbage, food. Be vigilant. Pick up even if it’s not yours.

Even with the best gear, avoid getting wet. If you have kids that want to play in the snow, have them wait until later in the day so they don’t get too cold too early. If you work up a sweat, pull off your hat, open some top zippers on your upper layers to billow air. If you are unable to obtain the right gear, plan on staying close to a fire or other heat source.

Get ready to have a blast and cheer on the most incredible endurance athletes on the planet…their two-legged teammates could always use some encouragement, too!