1. Put together an instructional and technical team.
Building a team that includes both technical and instructional expertise is an important first step. Planning and implementing Internet activities works best when people with a variety of knowledge and skills work together. Include an activity coordinator, one or more instructors, a technology coordinator, and program/computer support staff. These roles may be filled by members of your own organization, paid contractors, or volunteers, either as primary responsibilities or additions to other camp duties. In small camp programs, one person can take on multiple roles.
The division of tasks will vary from camp to camp. In general, however, the activity coordinator oversees program development, resource acquisition, and staff supervision. Specific duties include planning, budgeting, hiring, task assignment, monitoring, and evaluation. The instructor develops curriculum and delivers instruction. Specific tasks include consulting with the coordinator and camp personnel on program content and goals, planning instructional activities, developing and reproducing instructional materials, and delivering instruction on-site.
The technology coordinator handles hardware, software and telecommunications: He/she chooses equipment and suppliers, sets up configurations, and breaks down the computer lab, computers, adaptive technology, and telecommunications connections; makes arrangements with the Internet service provider (ISP); troubleshoots; and develops electronic program materials such as camp World Wide Web pages.
Program/computer support staff provide instructional and technical assistance, run errands, and perform clerical duties. Interns, volunteers, or paid support staff can fill these positions. To locate program/computer support staff consider interviewing more advanced campers or other youth. They will gain useful job experiences by helping with the program in paid or unpaid positions. In the excerpt below, a high school student talks about his work as an intern at Camp Courage.
I found the camp interesting, being it was my first time acting like a Mentor. The thing that was most interesting was the progress of the kids on their lessons and the innovative ideas they came up with from their lessons.
- Anthony, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Be sure to provide successful interns and other helpers "To Whom it May Concern" letters of reference after their work experience is complete. This is a good way for a young person to build a resume and begin a letter of recommendation file. Sample job descriptions for an Internet program at a summer camp are included on the following pages.
Sample Job Descriptions for Summer Camp Staffing
- Camp Locations/Schedules
- Determine specific place for activity (buildings/rooms).
- Schedule dates/times for each site if multiple sites are used for the program.
- Liaison with Camp Staff
- Coordinate program promotion.
- Jointly develop program & activities.
- Monitor progress.
- Curriculum Development
- Set overall goals & objectives.
- Determine class length & sequence.
- Jointly develop materials/activities with instructor(s) & camp personnel.
- Arrange for reproduction of materials.
- Solicit & coordinate guest presentations (e.g., college preparation, adaptive technology, career planning).
- Supervise on-site delivery of equipment and materials.
- Define roles (who does what).
- Determine tasks for each position.
- Hire staff/select interns/solicit volunteers.
- Train on roles and tasks.
- Assign tasks.
- Supervise progress & performance.
- Arrange for staff transportation to sites.
- Arrange for hardware/software transport to sites.
- Design procedures & forms for evaluation.
- Conduct evaluation.
- Synthesize results, develop reports, & make program suggestions.
- Acquire computer hardware.
- Consult on adaptive hardware.
- Consult with instructors on instructional software.
- Process paperwork for hardware & software purchases and/or rental/loan.
- Arrange for line installation.
- Arrange for local Internet connections.
- Obtain Internet accounts for campers & instructors.
- Consult with Activity Coordinator on hardware choices & acquisition.
- Conduct set up & breakdown of on-site computer labs.
- Act as liaison with ISPs.
- Select & install software.
- Configure Internet & security software.
- Web Page Development
- Consult on development & production of instructional Web materials.
- Curriculum Development
- Consult with Activity Coordinator & camp staff on program content & goals.
- Plan instructional activities.
- Develop instructional materials, including Web site selection.
- Submit materials to be reproduced.
- Deliver Instruction
- Teach on-site at camps.
- Coordinate activities with camp staff on-site.
- Coordinate delivery of presentations.
- Supervise interns, volunteers, lab assistants, and computer support staff.
- Assist in delivering instruction and providing one-on-one assistance to campers.
- Troubleshoot technical problems.
- Run errands, complete clerical work.