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additional ideas for Unit activity planning
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1. What You Need to Know About Volunteering at Camp
- Attend 2 Mandatory Trainings
- Attend Set-up
- Work a minimum of 3 days (job can be shared with a spouse if needed.)
- Work with your team as needed ahead of time to ensure a good week.
- Background Check
- 3 References if you are a new volunteer.
Types of Jobs: There are essentially two types of jobs at camp for volunteers.
- Working in a unit. You would be placed with a group of 18-22 girls depending on age. The ratio is 2-3 adults and 3-5 PAs (Program Aides – older girls who volunteer at camp.) You will do activities in the unit and take them around camp to various Programs such as Archery, Games or Dance.
- Working in a Program. You would work with a group of PAs in the activity you are assigned. The units would come to you. Programs where adults are assigned include Archery, Crafts, Dance, Games, Indoor and Outdoor Program. Other Programs such as Songs and Storyteller are usually PA run.
- Fill-ins report to HQ. They take the place of injured/sick volunteers or help out where an extra hand is needed. They need to be very flexible as they will go to job to job.
- Adult Volunteer Registration will be online via CampDocs.
- Transportation Document. The Staff Transportation document will be available online. You will list everyone that will either, be riding with you in your car, or riding with you on a bus - if you request and are assigned to be a bus rider. Transportation team will explain this during General Training!
VOLUNTEERING GUARANTEES ADMISSION FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
2. How Jobs Are Filled
or “Why on Earth Was I Placed Here?!”
It is Pepto's job to place volunteers in their positions. Not including year- round positions such as Headquarters, Business Manager, and Quartermaster, there are 60-75 positions that need to be filled to ensure camp runs smoothly. She makes every attempt to place volunteers in one of their top 3 choices either by location or age group. Unfortunately, sometimes because of circumstances, this cannot always happen. Here is how she makes her placements so that you may better understand how volunteers are assigned to their positions.
- Unit Leaders (01s) from previous years are given top priority. If their Assistant Leaders (02s) wish to work with them again, then their whole team will be assigned together.
- Returning volunteers who are willing to be Unit Leaders (01s) are placed next.
- Tags, Boys and PAT unit positions are given next priority. These are some of our most important positions at camp. If we do not have units for the sons and toddlers of our volunteers, many of our volunteers would be unable to come to camp. Fewer volunteers means fewer campers will be admitted to camp.
- Full-time volunteers are placed. Volunteers with little or no experience are placed with more experienced leaders. On the rare occasion, if we have a dearth of experienced volunteers, we will place new volunteers with teaching experience in charge of units. We will then place with them experienced young adult.
- Part-time volunteers are placed.
3. Volunteer Etiquette
Following these simple guidelines will help make your week at camp a happier place.
- Everyone is part of a team. Please be sure to do your share of the planning.
- If you are a Co-leader (02), please assist your Unit Leader in the planning and preparations. If everyone helps, the amount of work each person has to do lessens.
- If you are the Unit Leader - delegate, delegate, delegate! No one expects you to run things by yourself. Remember your PA's are a great resource as they have been at camp for several years!
- Communication is important. If something arises that may interfere with your performing a task, please let Pepto and your team know asap.
Please understand that skipping trainings, not communicating with members of your team, and/or refusing to participate in planning and/or set-up may cause you to be dismissed as a volunteer. If this happens your children will be placed at the end of the wait-list. We understand that things arise and circumstances change. Work with us and we will work with you.
- Of course you may visit your daughter’s unit, but please remember: visiting your daughter during camp should be kept at a minimum to maintain safety in the unit keeping in mind the 1 adult to 13 campers ratio. Frequent visits can be a distraction not only for your daughter but the entire unit. A good time to make visits is when your unit is at a program
- Your PAs (Program Aides) and AULs (Assistant Unit Leaders) probably have a lot more camp knowledge than you. Many of them have been at camp since they were Daisys. Treat them as a valued member of your team and watch as they do amazing things!
4. Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Placement
1. May I be placed in my daughter’s unit?
No, we have a strict policy regarding not placing mothers and daughters together. This policy extends to all camper units. If your daughter does not share your same last name and we make a mistake and place her in your unit, we always move the girl as we can’t break up the leadership team. This is not a good thing if her friends are also in your unit. Please let us know before camp starts so we can fix things and avoid tears.
Tags, Boys and PAT have special circumstances where this rule is not always inforced.
2. May I work fewer than three days or half days all week?
Sorry, but we need our volunteers to be here full days for a minimum of 3 days.
3. Do I really have to attend all of those trainings?
Yes. Maryland law requires camp volunteers to have a certain amount of training. And honestly, would you really want your child to attend camp where there’s no minimum standard of training?
4. I asked to be placed with my friend. Why are we not together?
There are many reasons why this may happen.
- Your and your friend’s preferences did not match.
- You are both part-timers and working the same days.
- You are both new and there needed to be a better ratio of experience/inexperience in the unit.
- Your friend is very popular and has been requested by many people or is already part of an existing leadership team that works extremely well together.
5. I was placed in a job I did not request. Why?
You may have been placed with an group with whom you said you were comfortable working, or you have a certain amount of experience. Another reason might be is there was a need for someone to fill that position and you said you are flexible!
6. My older daughter is a PA. Since she is a volunteer at camp, can my younger daughter be guaranteed admission?
Only an adult volunteering at the camp will guarantee camper
7. I volunteer with my daughter’s troop during the year. Is she guaranteed admission?
Same as above, only an adult volunteering at the camp will guarantee camper placement.
8. Does my daughter need to be a Girl Scout to attend camp?
Yes, but she does not need to be registered with a troop. Registration is only $12. Go to www.gscm.org for more registration information.
9. May my Au Pair/Nanny volunteer for me?
Yes, as long as he/she is over 18 and passes a background check.
10. May I share the volunteer job with my spouse?
Yes, but both of you need to attend the trainings.
11. Is there a place for my toddler or young son?
Toilet-trained toddlers and young sons (10 and under) are Tag-a-longs. There is a place to register them on the Adult Volunteer Application. They come to camp only on the same day as you do.
12. There are so many forms! Which forms do I need to complete?
Everything you need to fill out will be in CampDocs with the exception of transportation. You need a camper application for each camper. If there are PAs, PATs and or Adult Volunteers you need applications for them.
13. Do I need to furnish references?
If you are a new volunteer to camp, we are required to collect three references. Even though you may have references on file with GSCM, we do not have access to these.
14. May volunteers and their children ride the bus?
Yes! If you are able to do so please inform the transportation team at General Training
15. What is A PAT?
PAT stands for Program Aid Trainee. These are girls who are too old to be campers. They have all the activities as the campers plus the training to become next year’s PAs.
6. Things Your Camp Directors Love:
- Your understanding. Like you, we are volunteers and are also balancing children and jobs.
- Your patience. When you come in to HQ, we might be dealing with an emergency or some other situation that requires immediate attention. You deserve our full attention, give us time and we will do all we can for you.
- Our wonderful volunteers! We couldn’t do this without you!
7. More questions?
Please feel free to contact us at anytime via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a question or concern during camp please do not hesistate to ask. While we want our campers to have a good time we also want you to have a blast at cam as well. We strive to work together to have the best week possible!