Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ready, set, change!

Last year marked the inaugural Great Cloth Diaper Change, a Guinness World Record attempt timed to coincide with Earth Day.  Hosted at multiple venues around the world, this event is designed to promote cloth diaper awareness, and to provide an opportunity for like-minded parents to mingle.  We hosted events at both stores last year, admittedly, it required a little (read: a lot) more planning and spending than I had orginally budgeted, but all in all, I think everyone had a good time.  The record was set at 5,026 participants last year, we contributed a grand total of 56 participants towards that record. 

Of course, I will point out the obvious that logically, at any given second of the day, more than 5,026 bums are being changed out of a soiled diaper into a clean diaper, so the 'record' is more of a public documentation of how many bums could be into a fresh diaper at the right time and witnessed according to the Guinness World Records laundry list of rules & regulations (about as long as your arm, if you really want to know -- it's actually not nearly as much fun to organize it as it is to participate in it!).  In an effort to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible on Saturday, I want to share what's expected of participants, so that we can ensure accuracy.

Who gets counted?  A participant is defined as an adult (18+) paired with a child less than 39" tall.  If you have more than one child in diapers, you will need to have an extra set of hands to change additional children -- you can't change more than one child yourself and be counted multiple times.

What kind of diaper can I change my little one into?  You can bring your lttle one to the event with you wearing whatever your little heart desires, be it homemade, disposable -- whatever!  But... but!  When you are changing your little one at 12:30pm (sharp!), you must change your little one into a 100% cloth diaper that can be purchased online, at a brick & mortar store, or is offered through a diaper service.  Cloth training pants do not count.  I repeat, cloth training pants DO NOT COUNT!

What time should I arrive? The actual change takes place at 12:30pm SHARP, we are asking participants to arrive a half-hour prior to the actual change to allow plenty of time to get settled in advance of the change.

What should I do when you get there?  Please sign a photo release and liability release (for realz).  Once that's out of the way, pick a spot and get yourself situated (don't forget your change pad!).   We will have cupcakes and water on hand, feel free to help yourself.  We will have professional photographers at both events who have graciously offered to take portraits of little ones in their finest fluff -- depending on how early you arrive, you may be able to fit a portrait in before the change, but we do ask that everyone is seated on their 'x' and ready to go at 12:25pm at the absolute latest.  Anyone not actively participating in the change must stay out of the area designated for the change -- if you have any additional children with you, please let us know, we will keep an eye on them for you.

Then what?  Immediately before12:30pm (sharp!), we will signal the start of the change.  Please hold up the (100%, commercially available) cloth diaper that you intend to change your child into -- the photographer will take a 'before' picture.  At 12:30pm (sharp!), you will proceed to change your little one.  This isn't a race.  You don't get extra points for being first.  When everyone has finished changing their little one,  we will take a headcount, then the photographer will take an 'after' picture -- at this point, please hold your little one up to display their freshly changed (100%, commercially available) cloth diaper.  Ta-da, you did it!  At this point we will hand out raffle tickets to participants.

Then what?  We will raffle off goodies, and hand out swag bags (designated for the first 25 participants who signed up, as listed on the Facebook event page -- any unclaimed swag bags will be raffled off).  The photographers will continue to take portraits of little ones and their fluff, you can help yourself to more cupcakes and bottled water (we promise to recycle the bottles!), and get to know your fellow participants.  It will be loads of fun, I promise.  Cross my heart and hope to die, and all that.

But I'm a witness, what do you want from me?  We will need a signed, dated witness statement from our witnesses -- please bring it to the event with you (leave the number of participants blank -- after the change you can indicate how many participants you witnessed, then you can sign the statement) .  We cannot provide you with a witness template (have I mentioned how rigid the folks at GWC are?  I mean, seriously?), your statement needs to include the following information:

  • contact information (name, mailing address, phone, e-mail).
  • indicate your profession.
  • please indicate whether you have experience using cloth diapers.
  • please confirm that you are counting one adult paired with 1 child (39" or shorter) as one participant.
  • please confirm that each participant is changing a child into a 100% cloth diaper that is commercially available.
  • counting method used (hint: grid distribution, paired with a headcount!).
  • location (in Ottawa, we are holding the change at The Hintonburg Community Center, located at 1064 Wellington Street West, Ottawa, ON, K1Y 2Y3; in Waterloo we are holding the change at The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe, located at 24-26 Regina Street North, Waterloo, ON, N2J 3A1).
  • indicate the time of the event (hint: 12:30pm EST).
  • indicate what was used to commence the event (hint: someone will yell 'go!')
  • indicate the number of participants you observed.  Please indicate the total number of participants, and how many did qualify, and how many didn't qualify (for example, if one adult changes their child into a 100% cloth training pant, they will not qualify).
  • please sign the witness statement at the conclusion of the change.

Once the folks at GWC have verified the details of each venue, and tallied up the numbers, if we managed to better last year's record, you can download a nifty certificate of participation (claim ID: 372250; participation code: jvzb4394JV). 

I think that about covers it -- if you have any further questions, let us know!  At this point, we should have between 30-40 qualifying participants at each event.