As a Parent Volunteer, you may have a dual role: You live in a cabin with 10-20 campers and teach/coach in your activity area of expertise. Parent Volunteers are leaders, motivators, cheerleaders, morale builders, teachers, hobbyists, coaches and so much more! We expect you to be a role model and confidante for the campers and be their parent away from home.
You will live with 1-3 other cabin parents. Times spent in your cabin / supervising campers include: morning cleanup/inspection after breakfast and other meals, rest hour, evening activity, and bedtime.
The other part of your job includes planning, teaching and coaching in your area of expertise. Responsibilities for that role are handled separately.
“The sense of common purpose and attachment to the identity that camps promote go a long way in offering children a sense of being rooted.”
You live in a bunk with campers ranging in age from 9 to 15 years that you chaperone to and from activities. Not only do you help them get ready for their activities for specific ages (making sure they have everything they need for each period), you also play a key role in defining their summer camp experience.
Cabin parents are patient, nurturing, and responsible. They are guides, caregivers, fun-lovers, mediators, and hand-holders. You will be supported by the other cabin parents for your cohort.
Cabin parents set the tone for the feeling of community in their cabin. Many of the campers are away from their homes for the first time. This is especially true for our younger campers. In addition to playing an important supportive role for the campers, the Cabin Parent is tasked with creating a cabin community - playing games, decorating the cabin, other age-related activities that can be done as a team will all help in creating this environment.
The time before breakfast and in the evening before the evening event is officially clean-up time. Cabins are inspected daily. Cleanup is done as a team. Cabin parents put up a job wheel or chart to designate the various cabin chores that need to be completed by the campers each morning before activity periods begin.
Chores include: Sweeping the cabin, making the beds, hanging up towels, organizing personal belongings.
Shower time is from 5-6 pm (before aarti & dinner). Cabin parents and counselors can assist and ensure that the campers are ready to leave for aarti and will accompany them to the dining hall.
Most evenings, there is an evening program after dinner. Campers will be invited to join in a night-time snack (fruits or milk & cookies) at staggered times (based on cohort), with the expectation that after this snack, they will go to their cabins to begin the bedtime routine.
Cabin parents are expected to bring campers back to the cabins, and campers have approximately an hour to get ready for bed. It is important that during this time and other unstructured times, cabin parents remain in their cabin.
The time before lights out is often “quality time”, especially for the younger campers. Quiet, all-cabin activities like sharing “happies” (see below), being read to, playing cards, making bracelets, story-telling etc. build your cabin community and allow the campers to bond.
Campers may ask to go outside and roam around even after bedtime routine begins. Campers can be in the vicinity of the cabin and within your sight, but cannot be roaming the campsite. Once final security checks have been conducted by the security team, no campers are allowed to leave the cabin.
Role of Counselor vs. Cabin Parent
Counselors will assist Cabin parents at certain times in the day where extra hands will be useful. The morning routine, after the campers wake up, is a helpful time for Counselors to assist the campers along with the Camp Parents to get ready for the day and guide them to breakfast. Counselors will also be sitting with their camper cohorts at certain meal times.
Counselors will also be assisting in the enrichment classes, and at some sports/games, pool & laketime slots.
“Off Duty” Time
Parents will have blocks of time where they aren’t allocated to running or overseeing camp activities. Feel free to take out time for yourself, take a walk, spend time with other volunteers who are available and relax! You are also welcome to use the fitness center, basketball courts or tennis courts if they are not being used for other activities. If work responsibilities call, the Bungalow is a cabin on the campgrounds that is reserved as a dedicated space for volunteers to work (wifi is available).
Parents who want to hang out after their kids are asleep can come to the main dining hall. At least 1 parent must stay back at all times in the cabin with the kids.
Volunteer Headquarters is in the Main House, previously known as Staff Lounge and Counselor Headquarters is in the Counselor Tent behind Dining Hall
Where do volunteers sit during meals?
You can sit where you like. No need to sit with your cabin campers
Where can volunteers use their phones?
We are trying to create as phone-free of an environment as possible. Volunteers are able to use their phones throughout the day, however please do not use them in main buildings unless checking your phone for items pertinent to camp. Do not use your phone in the presence of campers or others at camp. Phone calls should only be made in the Bungalow or remote areas where no one else is around
One of my campers wants to call home. What should I do?
Kids are not allowed to call home this year - it helps to build a sense of independence and shared experience.
How do I handle a disruptive camper?
If you are dealing with a situation that seems unmanageable, please approach one of the volunteers from the disciplinary committee (Devesh, Ohm, Shikha or Kriti).
If I have a food related comment or issue, what do I do?
Speak to someone on the IFNet Food Team (Shikha, Sheetal, or Janhavi). Do not speak to Chef Amath directly as this causes confusion.