Hello Troop 101,
Conner Prairie has wagon pulling opportunities. Please read below and if you have any questions reach out to Jeff Kozicki. His contact info is as the bottom of this page.
Conner Prairie Wagon Pulling FAQ
Thank you for your interest in pulling wagons at Conner Prairie. They have been gracious enough to set up this program so that a variety of organizations can work to help their guests move their gear in to the Symphony on the Prairie area for the concerts and shows they put on in the summer. They do this at no cost to us and we are able to keep all tip money earned from helping the guests.
Q: Is the wagon supplied?
A: Yes, Conner Prairie supplies the wagons and maintains them. Since you can only use their wagons, for liability reasons, there is no need to bring one. The wagons will be next to where you sign in to pull. This is generally in the Apple Store but later in the season, when the Apple Store is open, they move it just inside the gates by the Apple Store.
Q: Where is the Apple Store?
A: After entering the grounds and parking, you will see there is one large gate in the fence leading back to where the band shell is. To the right of this is a smaller gate where the fence ends on the right in a long building. The end of this building that is outside of the gates is the Apple Store. The right-most door, which is outside the fence is where you enter.
Q: What do I need to pull wagons?
A: If you have not pulled at Conner Prairie this season, you will need to bring a signed copy of their liability waiver. This should be available at Troop meetings or e-mailed to you by the coordinator. You should also bring a water bottle for each person (i.e. The scout and the adult walking with them). These can be stored in the Apple Store while you are pulling. You can also bring bungee cords to help keep the load in/on the wagon together. Just make sure they do not have metal ends, or that the ends are covered, as we don’t want to scratch or damage their wagons.
Q: You mentioned that an adult goes with each scout. Is that a parent? Or is it a Scout Leader or Connor Prairie volunteer?
A: This is an adult that comes with the Scout, typically a parent or guardian. There are approximately a dozen wagons that Conner Prairie lets various groups use. For liability reasons, the youth cannot be out in the parking lots alone so adult supervision must be provided for each puller (for example if you had 2 scouts pulling, you would need 2 adults because you would not be staying together).
Q: How should we dress for the event?
A: The scout should be in his full Class A uniform and looking as nice (and friendly) as possible. He should have his uniform tucked in, etc. The adult chaperone does not need to be in uniform. Everyone involved in wagon pulling will be wearing an orange safety vest, provided by Conner Prairie.
Q: What specifics should I know about pulling?
A: Most importantly, for the safety of all, you don’t want to be in the way of where they are parking cars. We in Troop 101 are courteous and follow a “First in line gets the next load” philosophy. So, when you get out to either the North or South lot (they do not want us helping in the handicapped area), you should fall in line behind any other wagons waiting. There are volunteers from many organizations, and they don’t all follow this policy. Just be polite if people are running around you. As stated before, you want to stay out of where they are parking cars and ask the people who are already parked. When the flow of cars being parked reverses, carefully move to the other side.
Q: How do I ask if people need help?
A: With a smile and without startling them. We have found it is typically better to not ask “Do you want help?” as most people will decline out of habit and then make a Herculean effort to prove they don’t need help. A positive statement generally works best, such as “We are here to help guests into the show. What can we carry for you?”. When you do get a load, ask questions of how they want things arranged, since they may have breakable items, etc. and ask them lots of questions as you take them where they want to go.
Q: Do they only pull before the show or also afterwards?
A: The pulling is only done before each show. Afterwards, it is too dark and too much of a safety issue with everyone trying to get to their cars.
Q: Does the scout get admission to the show for working?
A: As of 2019, this answer has changed to Yes. After you are done pulling, according to the Connor Prairie check-in person, you are welcome to go in and watch the concert.
Q: What time do we start pulling?
A: That depends on what time Conner Prairie will open the gates for the shows. The normal time is two hours before the start of the show. The show start times can be found on their at webpage http://www.indianapolissymphony.org/
The one exception is the shows around the Fourth of July (usually 3 nights) where the gates open 4 hours before the start of the show. You will want to be checked in at the Apple Store
Q: What time would we be finished?
A: The shows normally start at 8pm, so you are done by then at the latest. Usually by 7:45, most people that need help are in the venue (the biggest rush is the first hour or so after the gates open). People arriving at the last minute usually don’t have much and don’t need help.
Q: What sort of tips can I expect?
A: That ranges wildly. I have heard of one scout getting a gift card from some store that had 37 cents on it, to single tips higher than 20 dollars. The frame of mind you should be in is that you are there to help the guests. Anything you earn then is a bonus. In a typical evening, for shows where the gates open 2 hours before the show, on average people will help 7 to 8 guests and earn in the range of 50 dollars. It all depends on who you help and how much they like you, so keep asking questions about them.
Q: What happens to the tips I earn?
A: These should be turned into the Troop Treasurer to go into your Scout Account which can be used to pay for campouts or any scouting need including uniforms, camping gear, etc.
Q: What if I have other questions
A: Contact our coordinator – Jeff Kozicki