Our full-time volunteers have gone through extensive training and background checks for the safety of the children, and to make sure they can adequately handle the needs of the children all week at camp. As a part-time volunteer, we want you to know there are a few essential things that you need to be aware of, and that there are some limitations in how you participate because of your part-time status.
Our goal is for the children to be safe and have a life-changing experience at camp. Here are some things you need to know:
1. Most of these children are from foster homes. All the children come from backgrounds of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. 2. They may look like your kids, but their backgrounds are not common and therefore, some of their behaviors may not be common. They may be anxious, scared, timid, aggressive, outspoken, even use foul language or act out in ways other children would not. 3. Be extra patient, be kind & smile a lot. Expect them to have a great week. They just want to have fun, so be fun. Treat them like Royalty! 4. Speak words of encouragement, words of hope and words of affirmation. Do not talk down to them in any way, shape or form. No sarcasm. If you see evidence of past abuse or overhear stories of abuse, don’t overreact. 5. Be very careful how and where you touch them. Some campers don’t like to be touched due to their abuse. Others might throw themselves all over you, also because of their abusive background. Only side hugs are to be used and only after asking their permission. 6. If you don’t understand what the campers are doing or why, ask another adult. If you don’t understand some area of your function as a volunteer, please ask. 7. You may not make any promises to them or share any personal information with them, i.e. name, address, phone number, email, Facebook, etc. 8. One of our safety rules states that there can NEVER be only one adult with a child or children. There must always be TWO adults present. As a part-time volunteer without required training, you are NOT allowed to be a “Two-Deep” person in these situations. You can help in groups and in open areas with other adults present, but you are not allowed to be in any secluded area with a camper alone or with only one other additional adult. Stay in open areas or make sure there are three adults present.
I have read the above minimum expectations and limitations for part-time volunteers at RFK and I agree to follow them.