Adult Staff are full-time volunteers who work on site directly with girls and are available every day (8:00 am to 4:15 pm) for the entire camp week. Assigned to each unit or center are, at minimum, two adult volunteers. The children of adult staff receive priority placement in camp and reduced fees for their daughters and any day care children, boys and preschoolers. Staff members sign a Volunteer Appointment Form outlining their duties and responsibilities. If at any time a staff member withdraws or fails to comply with the agreement, the volunteer and their children must withdraw from camp with the same financial penalties (no refunds after June 1) as a voluntary withdrawal. Staff members are expected to attend summer planning sessions with their unit or center teams. Additional expectations of all staff members are to read all Camp Tag-A-Long information via email, on the web site or sent via paper forms. Lastly, staff members are to meet or talk with their unit co-leaders and camp aides as often as needed to ensure an efficiently operating unit or center team.
The Camp Tag-A-Long Adult Staff and Aide Applications gather a great deal of information that we use to establish leadership teams. Positions are determined using several criteria, such as:
•Previous Camp Tag-A-Long experience.
•Girl Scout experience and training.
•Volunteer’s ability and willingness to attend Tag-A-Long’s orientation, training and planning session.
•Volunteer’s desires, flexibility and ability to work with large groups of children.
•Needs of the camp.
I am confused about Program Aides, AITs, Camp Aides, Teen Staff, etc. Are they all different names for the same thing or what?
They are all different things, although you will find people use the names interchangeably. Further, every day camp in GSCNC has different requirements for teen girls depending on the needs of the camp. For Camp Tag-A-Long, we use our teenage girls and boys who have completed 6th through 12th grades as Camp Aides.
A Program Aide is a Cadette or Senior who has completed a formal council-approved training program. The training program requirements are outlined by GSUSA and apply across the country. The training consists of two parts. The first is the “core training” which is 3.5 hours long. Second is a 1.5-hour “specialty” training in areas such as crafts, outdoor cooking, science, etc. The specialty training can be on almost anything! At the end of this training, she has earned her Program Aide Pin. Once she has earned her PA pin, she works with younger girls for 25 hours and earns her PA Pin. If a girl has not completed PA training, she cannot get the PA Pin.
If she completed core training as a Cadette and earned her PA Pin, she does not have to take training again as a Senior Girl Scout. In this case, to earn the PA Pin she simply takes another 1.5-hour specialty training on something new. If she did not complete the core training as a Cadette Girl Scout, she must do it as a Senior Girl Scout to earn the PA Pin.
As a camp aide, you earn “hours” that can be applied toward many different Cadette and Senior Girl Scout Awards. For example, you might use your “hours” toward an IP or the PA Pin. At the end of Tag-A-Long, the Director or Unit/Center Leaders endorse your Camp log and hour sheet outlining how many hours you have worked. Camp Aides take this form to their Girl Scout Advisor and decide how to apply their hours.
Camp Aide staff members at Tag-A-Long are required to attend one orientation and training session specific to our camp. They are also required to attend the final meeting before the start of the camp week (see the Dates & Deadlines section). The orientation and training session is not the formal Program Aide training you need for your PA Pin but this training may count as Specialty Training. Camp Aides assigned to centers need to attend their center staff orientation and training session so they can help prepare the centers’ activity plans.
Adult Staff & Aide Position Descriptions:
We have camp aide positions in most of the same units and centers as our Adult Staff. Please read the Staff Positions below for more information. Assigning volunteers to positions at Tag-A-Long requires the volunteers to read each camp position description available for the week. Decide where you would like to help for the week and select your top picks. Be honest about your willingness to work in any position (if you do not want to help in any area, please select Not Interested in the application). If you do not let the Directors know what areas you are NOT willing to assist with, it could make for a miserable experience during the week. We try to avoid making anyone miserable for the week! Our goal is to have a smoothly functioning camp with happy campers and happy volunteers. Here is a brief description of some of the Adult staff & Aide positions available. This year’s full list of Units and Centers are listed in the Camp Tag-A-Long Adult Staff Application and in the Camp Aide Application. For further details on the GSCNC adult training courses identified in some of the descriptions, please go to http://www.gscnc.org and log into MyGS and then click on GSLearn.
•Daisy Unit Leaders work with a unit of up to 20 Daisy Girl Scouts who are currently in Kindergarten. These units each have 2 adult volunteers and 3-4 camp aides to assist with the unit.
•Bridger Unit Leaders work with a unit of 20-22 Brownie Girl Scouts who are current 1stgraders. These units have 2 adult volunteers and 3 camp aides.
•Brownie Unit Leaders work with a unit of 20-22 Brownie Girl Scouts who are current 2ndgraders. These units have 2 adult volunteers and 3 camp aides.
•Fly-up Unit Leaders work with a unit of 20-22 Junior Girl Scouts who are current 3rdgraders. These units have 2 adult volunteers and 3 camp aides.
•Junior Unit Leaders work with a unit of 22 Junior Girl Scouts who are current 4thgraders. These units have 2 adult volunteers and 3 camp aides.
•PALS Unit Leaders work with a unit of up to 24 Junior Girl Scouts who are current 5th graders. The unit has 2 adult volunteers and 3 camp aides. This unit goes on a field trip during the week to Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center in West Virginia. Unit leaders must be available to go and possibly drive the campers on this trip.
•Camp Aide Advisors work with approximately 140 camp aides who are rising 7th through 12th graders. The ideal candidate has at least one-year experience as a Cadette or Senior Girl Scout Advisor, has completed 101, 150, 151, 152 training, understands the process, guidelines and requirements for Cadette and Senior recognitions and is comfortable working with teengers. During the week, the Aide Advisors will be responsible for helping the camp aides meet all their requirements for recognition hours, filling in paperwork, helping with journals and signing as verifier of tasks completed. Counseling and meetings, before or after camp, are as needed and scheduled by the Advisors. Lastly, they provide the camp aides feedback on their performance in the units and/or centers, collect surveys and evaluations and collect letters from adult unit leaders for the girls. This group has a party on Friday during the camp week and the unit leaders and advisors must be available for this activity.
•Infant/Toddler Unit Leaders work with a unit of children from birth to 3 years old (not yet potty trained), belonging to the onsite adult staff. The ideal candidate has knowledge of day care for this age group. The camp aide should have quite a bit of experience with infants and toddlers and be comfortable changing diapers, managing spit up, potty training for some toddlers, helping with feedings, coming up with station activities at the home base, dealing with separation anxiety and comforting techniques. The camp aide must be assertive and must know what to do to assist without having the adults constantly request involvement of the camp aide. If this is a large group, it will be split into 2 groups – Infants in one and Toddlers in the other. Unit Ratios: 1 Adult Volunteer to every 3 infants and 2 Camp Aides to every 3 infants.
•Pixie Unit Leaders work with a unit of pre-school boys and girls belonging to the onsite adult volunteer staff. These children are potty trained and may range in age from 3 to 5/6 years old. The ideal candidate has day care experience and the knowledge of setting up many different activity areas for the campers to rotate through while they are at their home base. These campers follow a “mini-modified” camp schedule and attend at least one camp activity in the morning and one camp activity in the afternoon. The camp aide must be self-assertive, must know what to do to assist without having the adults constantly request involvement of the camp aide, know how to play, know how to use your imagination and have a good time along with the campers. Unit Ratios: 1 Adult Volunteer and 2 Camp Aides to every 5 preschoolers.
•Boys Unit Leaders work with 2 units of boys belonging to the onsite volunteer staff. The boys may range in age from 5 to 11. The ideal candidate has some experience with the Cub Scout or Boy Scout programs, some experience with sports programs and some experience with activities enjoyed by boys this age in camp environments. This group will follow a camp schedule but will have unit times at their home base and leaders will be able to opt-out of activities if they are not appropriate for this group (i.e., dance, origami, yoga, crocheting, etc.). Camp Aides applying for this unit must love being very dirty, know how to hook worms on fishing poles, appreciate every form of nature’s animals, know how to play and keep the imagination going! Very active group with many diverse interests. Unit Ratio: 1 Adult Volunteer and 2 Camp Aides to every 7 boys.
The following Centers are representative of a week at Camp Tag-A-Long. They are subject to change from year to year.
•Archery Center Leaders work with the Fly-Up, Junior and Pals Units on basic archery skills during the week of camp. These girls will have archery each day during the week. The instructor must be concerned with safety at all times and hold all required certifications as outlined in Safety Wise. Proof of certifications is required for all Archery Instructors and a copy of the certifications must be on file with the Directors. Center Team: 2 Fully Certified Archery Instructor Volunteers and 4 Camp Aides.
•Arts and Crafts Center Leaders work with all units on craft projects. The ideal candidates have the ability to repeat instructions repeatedly without losing their enthusiasm or losing their voice. A variety of crafts will be offered. A gimp station will be set up for units to visit at their leisure throughout the week. Center Team: 3 Arts and Crafts Leaders and 4 Camp Aides.
•Brownie T-Shirt Leaders work with the Pixies, Boys, Daisies and Brownies at camp. These campers will bring a white t-shirt with them on the first day of camp and make their themed t-shirt to wear on Friday during the closing ceremonies. Center Team: 2 Adult Volunteers and 3 Camp Aides.
•Dance Center Leaders work with all the units on “movement to music,” simple aerobics, and dancing with props. The ideal candidate has a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm. Enjoys creativity, but lets the campers create the choreography too! Center Team: 2 Adult Volunteers and 3 Camp Aides.
•Gimp Center Leaders work with all the units on the basic techniques used in weaving the strands of gimp into all sorts of creations. The ideal candidate has a love of knots and is able to work with left and right-handed campers with ease. Center Team: 1 – 2 Adult Volunteers and 3 Camp Aides.
•Outdoor Cooking Center Leaders work with all the units on outdoor cooking. The ideal candidate does not get excited when food is dropped on the ground and has completed 200 (Cookout and Campout) training. It is also helpful if the candidate is knowledgeable with a variety of outdoor cooking devices i.e. vagabond stoves, Dutch ovens, box ovens, etc. Center Team: 2 Adult Volunteers and 4 Camp Aides.
•Field Games Center Leaders work with all the units teaching games. The ideal candidate has knowledge of games to teach and play and has a tremendous amount of energy and stamina! Center Team: 2 Adult Volunteers and 3 Camp Aides.
•Nature Center Leaders work with all the units teaching plant or wildlife activities. The ideal candidate knows what poison ivy looks like! Center Team: 2 Adult Volunteers and 3 Camp Aides.
•Tie Dye Center Leaders work with all units teaching patterns and color design with t-shirts, bandanas and other clothing items. The ideal team loves to create and use many vibrant colors on the clothing items and on themselves! Center Team: 2 Adult Volunteers and 5 Camp Aides.
•The Pool Lifeguards work in the camp swimming pool, on the Potomac River waterfront when the campers go fishing and accompany the PALs on the tubing field trip in West Virginia during the camp week. Lifeguards must hold all required certifications and at least one lifeguard must hold the Pool Maintenance Operators Certification. Certification as a Water Safety Instructor is not required but helpful at this location. Proof of certification is required for all Lifeguards and a copy of all certifications must be on file with the Directors. This is the only salaried position at Camp Tag-A-Long. The salary is competitive. Please contact us for more information. Center Team: 2 Certified Lifeguards and 2 Certified Pool Operators.
•The Camp First Aiders work in the Health Center handling the minor injuries and illnesses that come with children! The ideal candidate is a fully qualified nurse, EMT or medical doctor. Or, an adult volunteer certified in Adult and Child CPR and First Aid (Level II). Proof of certification is required for all medical fields and a copy of the certifications must be on file with the Directors. Team Members: 2 Adult Volunteers (EMT, Nurse or Doctor) and 1 Adult Volunteer (First Aid/CPR, Level II).
•The Administrative Assistant works with the Directors handling some administrative paperwork, passing information to the volunteers, running errands around camp and monitoring the base radios. These individuals will also help prepare the Friday celebration and work with the camp photographer. Team Members: 2 Adult Volunteers.
•The Camp Week Office Manager works with the Directors during the camp week. The registrar reimburses the center and unit staff and monitors the remaining camp budget for the week. After the camp week, the registrar fills out the after camp paperwork, balances the checkbook and returns all information to the Directors within 5 weeks after camp. The registrar should be familiar with Quicken to help manage the finances on a computer. Team Member: 1 Adult Volunteer.
•The Floater or Substitute is a person on “camp standby” in case a volunteer cancels. This person must be available at camp during the week. The floater/sub attends the orientation and training session in May, receives priority placement for their camper and pays the reduced volunteer fee for his or her campers to attend Tag-A-Long. If volunteers cancel, the floater-sub must take their place at camp. The floater or sub can be called any time before camp and will be at camp for all 5 days. The ideal candidate is extremely flexible and is willing to jump in at the last minute and tackle any job. Team Members: 3-5 Adult Volunteers.
•The Camp Set-Up Crew is responsible for assisting the Directors and staff with camp set up on Sunday before camp begins on Monday morning. Needed: 5 to 8 Adult Volunteers.
•The Camp Pack-Up Crew is responsible for assisting the Directors and staff with camp pack up on Saturday after camp ends. Needed: 3 to 5 Adult Volunteers.
•Security Parents are responsible for assisting the Directors and staff in monitoring the entrance parking lot and revolving checks of the campground. Security also coordinates with the admin section when campers come in late and call for campers for early pickup by parents. They check picture identification and compare names to authorized individuals allowed to pick up campers. This shift is one full day or adult volunteers can volunteer for the one day or up to all five days of camp. No ½ day shifts, please. Needed: 2 Volunteers.