UPDATED MAY 2016
How do I know when to sign up if I don't know when my kids are swimming? What does a clerk of course/runner/timer do? Will someone show me what to do?
All good questions. Some jobs are pool-side and close to the action, others are in the shade and close to the ice box. Some are part of every meet, home or way. Others can be done on your own time, with or without smaller children in tow. There's something for everyone.
Keep in mind, too, that every pool does things a little differently, so it's important (especially for pool-side jobs) that you participate in briefings announced prior to the meet to review procedures and instructions. Theres is a time posted for the start of your pool side job and that is the time you are expected to be present and ready. Home or away, don't show up 5 minutes before the start of the meet and expect to get trained. Check in with the team reps once you've arrived with your swimmer so we can confirm you've showed up for your job. Pay attention to pre-meet announcements for meet officials.
If you are new, the best opportunities to sign up for jobs are the intra-squad events such as Time Trials and the meets on June 29 & July 6. All 3 events are at home, have just about every pool-side and concessions job, and will include virtually the entire team as swimmers. At least one (June 6 Time Trials) is on a weekend, if that's a consideration and you want to coordinate child care with a spouse.
Another option if you're uncertain is to focus on jobs at the Wednesday night B meets at Glenwood. Percentage-wise, more swimmers participate in B meets than in the Saturday A meets, particularly in the younger age groups. You'll have the familiarity of the home-pool advantage, and plenty of friends to help you get up to speed, watch your little ones, etc.
Finally, you can elect to schedule two or more jobs for the same day. Glenwood's July 4 party has concessions operated by swim team families and the proceeds go to the team -- there are plenty of shifts to fill there. Alternatively, you can do the ice run followed by two concessions shifts at an A or B meet; one day and you're done. There's no limit on the number of jobs you can take in a single day, but don't mix pool-side and concessions if only one parent is doing all the jobs, and don't sign up for overlapping shifts -- if the shifts overlap, it's because we need more bodies.
Two more things about jobs. If you have a special talent to contribute to Glenwood swimming that none of these jobs captures, let us know. We're open to new ideas. And if you are interested in helping the reps on something we do that could be done better, by all means step on up. Any division of labor that lightens the load and serves the community is worth pursuing!
Let's start pool-side with the meet administration jobs.
Automation Coordinator: At home meets, primarily responsible for operating computer and team software to prepare meet entry sheets and to record swimmer times and heat scoring. Prints ribbon labels, event score sheets and final meet summary. Prints out program. At away meets, assists host team automation coordinator. Active coordination with Head Coach required during week. Currently this job is done by Ted Benson/James Mayfield at A meets, and Stu Grant has stepped up again this year to help us with B meets. But we always welcome the tech savvy and patient for this linchpin of swimming in the 21st century. Free your inner geek in the service of summer swimming and email the team reps if you'd like to learn more.
Scorer/Verifier: Works each meet with Automation Coordinator at the computer to check timer sheets and final results summaries for accuracy.
Clerk of Course: For both A and B meets, the clerk of course is responsible for checking in swimmers prior to their events. Assures swimmers know which lanes they are swimming in and how to get to the starting area. Much simpler now that virtually all of our meets are automated, this a great way to get to know virtually every swimmer on the team!
Clerk of Course Assistant: The assistant(s) often find the swimmers in the team area and/or escort the swimmers in lane assignment and heat order from the clerk area to the starting end of the pool.
Officials. In 2015 our officials coordinator is Team Rep Zac Morford. Contact Zac at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in becoming or have recently become certified, or if you want to train up as a head timer/assistant head timer. Zac assigns our officials to ensure that we have an experienced crew at all our meets as well as give opportunities for the newly-minted officials to shadow and learn from the veterans.
- Stroke and Turn Judge: Requires prior certification through the MCSL, whose clinics cover the legality/basics of each stroke. There are four stroke and turn officials at each meet; two from each team. The Stroke and Turn Officials watch 3 lanes each and make sure the strokes are done legally (eg., did a backstroker swim the entire race on his/her back, is the breaststroker kicking properly, etc.).
- Starter: Requires prior certification through the MCSL. Starter is responsible for giving the command to start the race, operating the starting equipment, and assuring (with the referee) that no one false starts.
- Referee: Certification is required through MCSL and current certification as a S & T judge is also required. The referee is responsible for running the meet. The referee must approve all swimmer disqualifications and keeps the meet running in a timely fashion. All disputes, rule questions, etc. are handled by the referee; therefore, the referee must be familiar with all applicable USS and MCSL rules.
- Chief Judge: Certification as a Referee or Stroke and Turn Official is required. Chief Judge works at the Relay Carnival with the Referee to approve disqualifications at the far end of the pool.
- Head Timer: Prior experience as a timer is required but no certification by MCSL is needed. Head Timer is responsible for assuring that all timers have started their watches at the appropriate time and recorded their times accurately, collecting all timesheets after the race, and providing timers with support as needed. Head Timer also starts two extra watches in case they are needed by other timers. (Training is available).
- Assistant Head Timer: Prior experience as a timer is required. Assistant Head Timer works with the Head Timer and is responsible for assuring that timers in three lanes have started their watches at the appropriate time and recorded their times accurately, for collecting all time sheets after the race and giving them to the runners, and supporting the timers as needed. (Training is available).
Ribbon Writers: Responsible for attaching labels to ribbons during the meet and organizing their distribution to swimmers in specially designated ribbon folders.
Runner: Responsible for taking the time sheets from the Head Timer and delivering to the Automation person after each event. (Same responsibility for A and B meets).
Team Representative(s): The easiest job in summer swimming! Team reps are responsible for managing and coordinating all activities for the swim season. Glenwood's reps attend monthly MCSL meetings in Rockville from January though July, ensure that key volunteers are in place for all positions, interview and hire the coaching staff, and make decisions as necessary to ensure the team runs efficiently. The reps coordinate major meets (Relay Carnivals and Divisionals) with other reps in the division. For both A and B meets, the reps ensure that the necessary preparations, supplies and volunteers are ready at the start of the meet; the A rep also signs official score sheets to certify acceptance of A meet final results. The reps also work and consult with the coaching staff, and pool board and staff, on all matters as necessary relating to swim team operations. We are the primary point of contact for all parent concerns.
Our goal as team reps at Glenwood is to make every family feel part of our team community, whether they are brand new or seasoned veterans. We hope we are successful!
Treasurer: The second easiest job in summer swimming. Tracks all income and expenditures for our 8-week program, including registration fees, sportswear purchases, concessions purchases and sales, and a million little items that no one else would ever notice. Coordinates banquet arrangements, entertainment and ticket sales. Turns around tons of reimbursements for team-related expenses quickly and accurately, Goes above and beyond all things bookkeeping and most importantly, laughs at all team rep jokes. This position is currently held by Lisa Gray, who is in effect a fourth rep for all she contributes to the management of our team. We couldn't do it without her.
Timer: There are 3 timers in each lane. The primary responsibility is to start the watch at the start of the race and stop it when the swimmer touches the wall. One of the timers records all three times after each heat and circles the middle time, which becomes the official time for that lane. You get the best seat in the house with this job -- no experience is required.
Concessions are important for the swim team budget, a big part of which contributes to our coaches' salaries. Glenwood swim team also subsidizes the costs of the season-ending banquet for each family with funds raised from concessions, and covers other equipment and operational costs with these funds.
Given the increasing focus on food safety and licensing compliance for swim team concessions, Glenwood has hired Virginia Coyne as our Concessions Manager to oversee meet concessions during the 2014 season. We ask that parent volunteers work with our Concessions Manager to comply with food safety requirements, manage our costs and otherwise contribute to the hospitable and friendly environment for which we are known throughout the league.
AND YES, IF YOU ARE WORKING CONCESSIONS, YOU CAN STEP AWAY TO WATCH YOUR CHILD SWIM.
Concessions Manager: Brad Rippetoe is serving as concessions manager for the 2015 season. This job requires managing concessions area set up, operations and clean-up throughout the meet. Along with a couple of helpers, the manager ensures that tables are set up, food & utensil wash stations established, coolers are filled with ice, sodas and water, and food is prepared and displayed in accordance with food safety standards (most of which are just common sense, by the way). S/he also makes sure that hospitality for timers and officials is prepared and laid out, and that the ice chests by the diving boards remain stocked with water and ice for timers and officials during the meet. S/he ensures that the concessions helpers are on task with prep, sales and re-stock from inventory, and that concessions operates cleanly and and efficiently. About 20 minutes before the end of the meet, volunteers can begin cleaning & storing utensils and serving pans, putting away unused and perishable food, and getting ready to break down the concessions area for general pool usage. Other clean-up tasks include draining the coolers of ice and restoring unsold drinks to the storage area, and cleaning off tables and re-storing them in the swim team storage area.
Concessions Helpers: Set-Up, Sales, Prep, Clean-Up. Helpers will wash and cut fruit, restock pans of food, check & refill the coolers with ice and drinks, wrap sandwiches in foil, wash knives & trays and tin foil pans, take money and make change. Please be prepared to help as the leads (see above) direct. If you have a health issue that limits what you can do, by all means let us know; otherwise, don't just park in front of the cash box and wait out the chaos around you -- pitch in!
COSTCO Run: We try to combine shopping for more than one meet/event when we can, but this job involves spending an hour or two at COSTCO stocking up on paper goods, fresh, frozen and packaged foods and most non-drink offerings needed at concessions. We'll equip shoppers with a list of items and quantities and phone numbers to call if you need to clarify while you're in the store. Pool staff will help you unload and store items in the swim team freezers and refrigerators; shopping must be done by 3 pm the day before a meet or event.
Helps to have a car that holds a lot (Prius not recommended) and a COSTCO membership -- we cannot buy memberships for shoppers. Buyers purchase concessions items on their own credit card and are quickly reimbursed by the swim team as soon as you submit your receipts. Don't do this job if you hate COSTCO -- the better you know the place, the easier it is to do this.
Egg Man/Asst. Egg Man: At the initiative of Brad "Egg Man" Rippetoe, Glenwood offers fried egg sandwiches on English muffins with cheese and Canadian bacon at home Saturday A meets. Brad and his trusty sidekick Tim Hermans own this job for as long as they want it, but you should know about it just to appreciate their willingness to provide this delicious service consistently, no questions asked and incredibly, regardless of whether they have children swimming that morning. THAT is dedication!
Ice/Bagels/Donuts Pre-Order, Pick-Up and Delivery: Great jobs for first-timers, but they'll take some planning and dependability is a must. You do the pre-order, pick-up and delivery to the pool; we ask that you remain at the pool for an additional 30-45 minutes to help with set-up for concessions, automation or sportswear as needed.
We need between 15 and 20 16-pound bags of ice per meet and usually get them at nearby Snider's Super Foods -- they'll even help you load your car. Bagels are also pre-ordered (and sliced) at Snider's for pick-up and delivery to the pool on the morning of the meet. Donuts are usually pre-ordered from Safeway or Dunkin Donuts and picked up for meet morning delivery. Coordinate with Team Rep Roland Schrebler regarding quantities and types, and Treasurer Lisa Gray for rapid reimbursement.
Coffee Czar: There's a new sheriff in town for coffee duty in 2015 -- Stacey and David Frank are Coffee Royalty for Glenwood's Saturday morning meets. Feel free to thank them!
Grillers: Toward 10:00 AM on Saturday mornings and all through evening B meets, the Glenwood grill offers hot dogs, burgers (meat and salmon) and chicken breast sandwiches prepared on our snack bar area grills. Not surprisingly, we get a lot of dads for these shifts but will take all comers! For meets with particularly large teams, we'll fire up all three grills, which means more shifts to fill.
Social Events/Team Functions
Banquet: The swim team banquet is the most sought-after ticket of the season and takes place the Tuesday after divisionals every year. Held at the Silver Spring Civic Center in downtown Silver Spring, the banquet celebrates the entirety of swim season with recognition of performance, improvement, spirit and sportsmanship within the swim team community. We need some help collecting tickets at the door and setting up our modest decorations, and picking up cakes for dessert, so look for those jobs. We are in need of an able volunteer to coordinate production of a written program and individual certificates for this year's banquet. Please contact the team reps if this is an area of interest to you.
Divisional T-Shirt Decorating: Traditionally done after practice on the Wednesday before divisionals, this activity involves decorating green shirts with bleach sticks to wear to the big meet. It's very popular with the kids regardless of whether they are swimming at divisionals, and requires a couple volunteers to help veteran coordinator Jane Jannotta corral all that artistry on the appropriate pre-washed 100 percent cotton t-shirt.
Family Dance and Ice Cream Social: Traditionally held in conjunction with the Swim for Tim swimathon, the ice cream social is held early in the evening and requires volunteers to help with set-up, clean-up and serving ice cream for a couple of hours that Saturday evening.
Photography and Slide Show: Photos of meets, pep rallies and team artistry in and out of the water have for the last couple of years been beautifully taken primarily by Stu Foster, with help from James Mayfield and other parents. These photos are compiled in a season-end slide show projected at the banquet and available for purchase as a modest team fundraiser. We're not sure about slide show CDs this year now that we have our new web platform, but know this is another job opportunity that may be coming down the pike.
Sportswear and Spirit Gear: This project starts in the spring, with parent volunteers looking for new goodies to adorn your swimmers year-round and keep that Glenwood spirit alive and well. Our sportswear Czarinas this year, as last, are Beth Ginter, Jane Jannotta, Cindy Laas and Cindy Ross-Zenick, who handle pre-orders and meet sales, store the inventory, and are always on the hunt for cool stuff.
Wednesday Morning Team Breakfasts: Beginning the first week of morning practice, swim team parents organize and host a weekly breakfast for all swim team members who attend Wednesday morning practice. Breakfast offerings change every week, ranging from donuts, bagels & cream cheese, boxed cereal, etc. Price is $1 per swimmer. This year's breakfasts will be coordinated by a new breakfast crew headed by Julie Wendt-- her cabal may included returnees from previous years but we're not sure as of this writing.