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Children’s Program Coordinator

Number of People: 1
Budget: The Children's Program has its own budget

This volunteer job is vital to the smooth running of the Children's Program, which is vital to the smooth running of the conference. As Children's Program Coordinator, you are at what many of us see as the heart of the week -- the kids and their dedicated group leaders. Enjoy the wonderful staff and your opportunity to get to know our super kids!

Children's Program Coordinators are those that were Children's Program Assistants last year.  You are an assistant one year and the coordinator the next, and then it becomes someone else's job.  The choice of the Assistant Coordinator used to be the responsibility of the Chairs, but starting in 2015, this year's assistant coordinator started recruiting next year's assistant during the week on Star, rather than leaving it to the chairs.  It works well to recruit someone you think you can work well with, when you take over the coordinator job.  Current and past coordinators can help with recommendations of people who they think would be good at the job.

There is a Google Document that has more detailed information about what to do during the year to prepare for coordinating the program.  The coordinator you worked with last year should share it with you.  The first task is to find out which group leaders want to do it again, and to fill any openings in the children's staff, which is good to get established by the end of November, or early December, so that if there are glitches in filling staff positions, it can all be worked out before registration.

All Children's Staff need to fill out a SORI form each year (so SIC can check for criminal or sex offender records).  It always feels strange to do this, especially for leaders who have been doing this for years, but it's Island Policy.  You also need to be sure that all of your Children's Staff register for the conference before it fills up.

You will need to communicate with the chairs about the schedule for the week, and create a schedule for the Children’s Group leaders that blocks out Field Day, Children's Stunt Hour, and includes activities such as Art Barn, Marine Lab, Rowing to Smuttynose, Vaughn, Music for the youngest shoalers and Tie Dye. Recently some older groups have been interested in a "behind the scenes tour" by the Pels, and/or music with some Pels or with the conference music person... especially Sr. Teens planning their chapel.  Contact any leaders that are returning to find out if they want any particular changes to their schedule from last year. Also contact Children’s Art Leaders – Stephanie Hubbard at steffhubz@verizon.net and Joni Praded at jpraded@comcast.net to schedule sessions for each group. 

Coordinators usually meet with all Children's staff immediately after getting off the boat, to introduce themselves, hand out schedules, answer questions and prep for the Children's Program part of the Orientation (after Fire and Water).

Snacks for groups will be ordered in advance by the Chairs, but it will be helpful to them if you look at Children's staff evaluations from last year and let them know about any comments or requests for particular favorite snacks, and snacks that didn't actually get eaten.  Find out from conference services whether snacks can be delivered to the usual meeting rooms, they started delivering a few years ago, and children's staff was very appreciative.  Snacks will consist of fruit, apple juice (or water), crackers, and cookies.  If conference services are delivering snacks, be sure to let them know if the group will be in an alternate location that day (the marine lab, rowing to Smuttynose) and if they have enough snack left over from yesterday.

Besides checking daily to be sure all children and teens made it to group, or are otherwise accounted for, one of the big tasks during the week is to make sure you have enough adult rowers for all Smuttynose trips and to reschedule if wind, rain or fog interferes with rowing.  Sometimes you get lucky and all rowing goes as planned, but usually at least one trip needs to be rescheduled with the front desk.

More notes are available on the google doc kept by previous coordinators, and by talking to last year's coordinator.

Last edited by Kathy West - June 2018