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.
- 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.