Volunteer Hours (2017-18 updates are highlighted)
If you have a question regarding your Volunteer Hours credit, please contact the Volunteer Hours Recorder BSAVolunteerHours@berkeleyaquaticclub.com.
Swimming is a volunteer intensive sport and we appreciate your willingness to serve and support our swimming community!
A. The Volunteer Hour System Explained
Each family is required to earn a certain number of volunteer hours, depending on which group their most advanced swimmer is in (see chart below). It is requested that Junior and Senior families commit to at least one trained job and work the majority of their hours in their designated trained position(s). Age group families are also encouraged to select a trained position. You may also chose to work in untrained positions to fulfill their hours until they are ready to commit to a trained job team. Families may decide to work more than one trained job, split between family members (e.g., father is Omega Operator, mother is Administrative Official.) To do so, please select one trained job during registration and email the second trained job to BSAVolunteerHours@berkeleyaquaticclub.com.
§ Click here to review a list of Trained & Non-Trained Volunteer Jobs and contact information for team leaders. Please reach out to the appropriate contact if you have any questions about a position or if you would like more information.
§ By selecting a trained job, you are indicating a preference for that job. In the event that a particular volunteer team is full at the close of returning swimmer registration, the volunteer coordinators will work with you to find another appropriate team.
2. Breakdown of Hours/Recording of Hours
Volunteer hours will be broken down into 4 blocks of time (“quarters”) to achieve your hours. See section B for quarterly requirement. This spreads out your commitment throughout the year and makes is easier to achieve, while ensuring that our meets are properly staffed.
For meet related positions, when you sign up to volunteer, each job will show the number of hours to be credited. In most cases, the hours credited will match the actual hours worked but occasionally, you may work slightly fewer or more hours.
Other non-meet jobs that are critical to running our club include Team Store, Fundraising, Splash Flash and club organization, and many more. These hours are not earned on an hourly basis, but are credited in a lump sum at the end of the each quarter.
2017-18 Volunteer Hours Requirement:
*Unfulfilled volunteer hours in 2017-18 will be billed at $35 per hour. The final numbers are subject to change and may be increased or decreased if there are any substantial changes to the meets we are hosting.
**Hours earned in excess per quarter do not carry over to the next quarter. Please try to keep track of your total amount of hours worked so you can budget accordingly.
3. Volunteer hours required and penalties
The number of volunteer hours required is determined by the group of your most advanced swimmer(s). Volunteer hour requirements are per family, not per swimmer. For example, if you have a Senior and a Blues swimmer, your volunteer hour obligation is that of your Senior swimmer.
Parents with trained jobs are expected to work that designated job at meets. Age group families who have not yet committed to a trained position can sign up for non-trained jobs.
While the sign ups are "open" for meets, you can sign up and you can remove yourself from jobs if needed. Once the job sign up is "closed," you will no longer be able to sign up or remove yourself from jobs. If you can not work the job you have signed up for, YOU are responsible for finding a replacement. The administrator will not find a replacement for you. If a true emergency arises, you can contact the administrator.
While the majority of our volunteers do the work they commit to, there are some who do not. We therefore have no choice but to assign penalties for jobs committed to but not worked as it difficult to find a replacement at the last minute.
§ If a volunteer signs up for a job and is late or does not show up, the penalty will be a $100 fine applied to their next bill. If a true emergency arises, you need to find a substitute or, if it is too late, call the administrator listed on the job sign up page. Contact information is also given on the front page of each meet.
§ If families do not satisfy their volunteer hours requirement each “quarter”, they will be assessed a $35 fee per volunteer hour not fulfilled.
We will work with you to help you find ways of fulfilling your volunteer hour requirement. Please reach out to us early and do not wait until the end of the quarter or the year. Please remember that we prefer to have your time and not your money!!!
If you have extenuating circumstances that will not allow you to earn your volunteer hours, please talk to a board member. Often, we can find you a job that will fit in with your restrictions. If you truly have unique circumstances, we will take that into consideration. Please contact us as early as possible.
4. Mid-Season Changes/Prorated Hours
If your swimmer joins the team mid-season, hours will be prorated based on actual start date.
If your child changes groups mid-season: If your child is promoted to a higher level group, you will be responsible for any increases in volunteer hours, pro-rated by month. If your child moves to a group with a lesser requirement, you are still responsible for the higher requirement. For example, if your swimmer is on the Junior team and decides to move to Dolphins in March, you are still responsible for the Junior fees, volunteer hours and fundraising for the entire year.
If your child leaves the club: You will be responsible for earning all volunteer hours of the original group or paying $35 per unearned volunteer hour.) If you plan to work to fulfill your volunteer hours obligation, you will need to work out a signed “volunteer hours earning plan” with the Volunteer Hours Recorder.
B. Type of Help Needed
We ask families to commit to a trained volunteer job and work that job for the entire season. Joining a trained volunteer team helps build knowledge and expertise in a particular field and is especially important when the job requires training. Having designated trained positions ensures that our meets run smoothly and seamlessly. For 2017-18, those committed to trained volunteer teams may also be able to work out a plan with their team leader in advance if they will be unable to fulfill volunteer hours for any quarter to shift hours to other quarter(s).
Click here for a list of potential trained and non-trained volunteer positions and contact list for volunteer teams.
1. For Junior/Senior Families
Returning Junior/Senior families are requested to commit to as least one preferred trained job during returning swimmer registration.
2. For Age Group Families
Age Group families are also encouraged to commit to a trained job, or may choose to work untrained jobs throughout the year. If you would like to join a team mid-year, you can email the team contact (see attached list.)
C. How To Volunteer or Find Out More About Available Jobs And Volunteer Hour Requirements.
1. For meets: volunteers are required to sign up at each session. You will be notified by email that an event is open and that you can sign up. You will log in to your account, choose the event and jobs you want and sign in. If you are committed to a trained position, it is expected that you will sign up for that trained job.
2. For non-meet club positions: volunteers who work these positions (e.g., fundraising, age group reps, grocery card sales), will work with the team lead to determine duties and hours.
D. Tracking Your Volunteer Hours
1. What You Need To Do: Sign in with the volunteer check-in coordinator at the assigned time at meets. Periodically check your volunteer hour log on your account to make sure you are getting credited for what you have done and notify the Volunteer Hours Recorder, BSAVolunteerHours@berkeleyaquaticclub.com, if you are not. Year long jobs are split up over the four quarters.
2. What The Club Will Do: A Volunteer Hours Coordinator will collect the volunteer lists and volunteer hours from the individual coordinators at meets- Meet Operations, Fundraising, Volunteer, Communication and Facilities Coordinators. When you work meets, sign in and the tracking system will automatically credit your account. For non-meet positions, the team lead will work with you to set hours and will report them to the volunteer hours recorder at the end of each “quarter”.
E. When Volunteer Hour Requirements Are Not Met and Communication Procedures Are Not Followed
At the end of each “quarter”, if you have not satisfied your volunteer hour requirements, and have not contacted the volunteer coordinators to find ways to do so, you will be billed $25 for every volunteer hour not worked. (For 2017-18 you will be billed $35 for every volunteer hour not worked.) This will be a last resort, but one that will be enforced. Failure to show up for a committed position without advance notification will result in a $100 fine.
F. Frequently Asked Questions
Why is BAC so different from other clubs, encouraging parents to volunteer.
All competitive clubs find a way to encourage volunteerism. Many clubs in New Jersey and in other states, mandate participation at all meets (not just Major Meets) and fine their parents anywhere from $200 to $500 for not working at one session. By comparison, we are working hard to strike the right balance between encouraging volunteerism and making it fair to all. At many clubs you are assigned a session and job and have no choice.
Why does BAC host so many meets?
We do this for a number of reasons: we have an extraordinary facility, we have a large club that is difficult to get into other meets, and with our new facility, we can run shorter sessions for the same amount of swimmers.
Are there fewer jobs than volunteer hours?
There are more jobs than volunteer hours and this continues to grow. Many people are working multiple jobs and would be glad to have someone volunteer to do part of what they do.
Why should we work Championship and other Major Meets when our child does not swim at these meets?
Working at these meets ensures they are run well, which increases participation and income for the club, which in turn keeps fees at a manageable level. For perspective, running our major meets provides about $300 per family in income for BAC. Because these meets aren't dual meets, like summer swim leagues, for example, your child might not be swimming in the meets that your club is running. That is the nature of NJ swimming. However, we all have to work together to provide a variety of meets so that all swimmers have meets at their levels to attend. So, for example, your swimmer may not attend JO's (which we run) but could attend Senior championships (which we don't run.) Swimming is a volunteer intensive sport!
Will excess volunteer hours from one quarter carry over to the next quarter?
Unfortunately, the hours earned in excess of the required hours do not carry over. The distribution of volunteer hours throughout the year ensures that we have adequate numbers of volunteers to staff the meets throughout the swim season. Please try to keep track of your total amount of hours worked so you can budget accordingly. You can do this by checking the volunteer tab under the My Account tab on the left side of the home page.