In the previous article, we talked about the ground work you should do before even starting your own Bigfoot research group. Now let's talk about staffing your group.
At the MABRC, we created our own online presence, through a website and a message board. This allowed us to post our evidence, techniques, policies, procedures, and to allow members to communicate with each other.
We also created an online application and sighting report forms, for the public to join the organization or turn in sighting reports. Now you may not want to go this route, you may be thinking you only want a small group, nothing like the huge mega groups like the BFRO, GCBRO, MABRC, etc., but you should really think in the long run, that the group may grown, and you need a way to communicate to your members.
Let's go through the process of how a new member is brought into the organization. They first have to fill out the online application (we have paper copies that we use at conferences and other events) and they will hit the submit button. Here is a list of items on the application that we ask.
*Why do you want to join?
*What experience, skills or qualities do you feel you will bring to the MABRC?
*What equipment do you have that is beneficial to field research?
*Describe briefly what sparked your interest in Sasquatch?
*Are you affiliated with any other Sasquatch Research groups, organizations, etc.?
If so, which one(s). Please note, you can be a member of other organizations
Besides just the MABRC.
*How much time do you have to devote to MABRC, active field research or witness
*Do you believe Sasquatch have any special abilities beyond the abilities of known
animals? If so, please explain.
*Have you developed any theory or hypothesis on the origin of Sasquatch, Sasquatch
Behavior or research tactics? If so, please explain.
*Do you believe Sasquatch is a flesh and blood creature? If not, please explain.
*Do you have much experience with work in a wilderness setting?
*Would you have interest in being an active field researcher? Or in a support role?
*Have you joined the MABRC forum yet?
*When is a good time to call for an interview?
All the items marked with an "*" is considered necessary items, failure to answer those items usually means the application is put in file 13. Missing just one, is alright, but you would be amazed at how many people will fill out this application and not put any information on how to contact them.
However you use a membership application, via the web or in paper form, you need to keep copies of everyone that gets turned in to you. Because somewhere down the road, someone will contact you about a membership application that they thought they turned in, and make a fuss. This way you can go back and check into it.
I admit, I have misplaced several applications over the years, so now they are all copied onto the forum/message boards under the MABRC Organizational Members only area, like a file cabinet.
Next thing on the agenda is an interview. Sometimes this isn't necessary because the person is being sponsored into the group by an organizational member, and is brought in on their recommendations.
The MABRC has a rule, that we will attempt to contact an applicant 3 times on the times they give us to call, if they don't answer, then we file 13 that application. (We don't throw it away, we simply move it to a folder where we put other "dead" applications at.)
Once we do contact the applicant, the interviewer will talk to them for a little while, covering a lot of questions about the person's bigfoot beliefs, what abilities they think Bigfoot has, what theories or hypothesis they have about Bigfoot, and really go into depth about some of the answers they gave on their application.
There will even be questions about the background of the person, in terms of experience, skill sets, and even if they have had an encounter with a Bigfoot.
The interviewer is always a senior member of the group, who knows what type of person will fit in with the group. If the person is a braggart, a know it all, or generally just a cranky person in general, it will come out in the phone interview.
You don't want over-bearing individuals coming into your group and raising a ruckus, so that is the purpose of the interview, to weed those type of people out.
Now if the interviewer decides that the person will be a good fit in the group, we bring them in on a 90 day trial probation, we've just never told anyone that they were on probation, because we don't want them to be on their best behavior because of it, we want them to hit the ground running with us, that is the only way to see how a person will end up being.
We also have them join the forum/message board, and they begin to have access to the MABRC Organizational Members area where all investigations, expeditions, evidence, tactics, procedures and more are discussed before being posted to the public side of the forum/message board for everyone to see.
They are encouraged to interact with the older members of the group, in order for them to get acquainted with the newbies. This also aids in weeding out those folks who managed to get through the interview process and not being a good fit in the group.
The old timers if they are close enough to a new member, will invite them along on investigations, expeditions, and just general research, and get to know the member in the field. If the new member is too far from other members to participate, it's not a requirement that they have to travel far to do things with other members.
We have had new folks travel 400 miles or better to attend an expedition to meet others in the group, and those folks have become quite an asset for the group.
Now you are probably thinking, okay so these are folks who are researching in the field, what about those who can't.
Well, the MABRC was the first organization that included arm-chair researchers into the group. Except we gave them a special title, Analyst.
Our analysts in the MABRC do a lot of work in the background to help keep the researchers in the field gathering evidence. They review audio, video, photos, and comb through reports and articles looking for information that can be used by the researchers. Some analysts also do equipment reviews, design equipment in the field and more.
Just because someone can't get into the field, doesn't mean they can't be useful. Everyone can put effort into your cause. Just because someone may be in a wheelchair, doesn't mean they are not a valuable asset to your group.
Once a person is also brought into the group, we give them a copy of our Jr. Researcher Handbook, that explains how the MABRC works as a group, our different levels of leadership, and a lot of tactics and procedures to use in their own research.
We also have levels that researchers/analysts go through as they learn more, and become better at researching/analyzing.
All start out at the Junior Researcher/Analyst position. As they begin to grow in knowledge and skill, they get promoted to Researcher/Analyst.
From there, they are watched by Senior Researchers/Analysts for their progress. Once they achieve a higher level of training, skills and more, then they are promoted to Senior Researchers/Analysts.
Now a lot of folks will no doubt post snide comments on Facebook about how the MABRC does things, but I post this here for anyone really serious about starting their own groups, as a place to refer to for any ideas of their own when it comes to creating a good solid group.
Currently the MABRC has well over 500 members across the globe and although we have taken hits in the past from people, we still continue to grow. When I started the group, I figured we may have about 100 people at the most in the group. Always expect growth in your group if you do the right things.
The next article will deal with finding research areas and conducting expeditions for your group.