[Ride a Wave - Creating Special Days for Kids With Special Needs]
  Volunteer  -  Introduction to Volunteering

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It is important that you read and understand ALL the information on this page before committing yourself to becoming a Ride a Wave volunteer.

Contact:  Volunteer Coordinator

Thank you for considering to joining the Ride a Wave team! The program only works due to help from great people like yourself. Please read the information below to ensure that becoming a volunteer is right for you. 

It's EXTREMELY important that we know exactly who is volunteering for each camp. If we have too few volunteers, the safety of our participants is at risk. If we have too many volunteers, some may not be needed and might end up disappointed by having part of their weekend days disrupted. PLEASE respond ASAP when you get a phone call or an email asking for confirmation on whether you can make a camp or not so we can plan accordingly.

Please also understand two key points.

  • One: Communicating your availability does not necessarily guarantee your assignment. We have 300+ volunteers, and we want to make sure everyone has a chance to participate, hopefully, at least twice. Ideally, we would like to have fewer volunteers that can commit to more days of service. We understand that most people have busy lives and find it hard to fully commit to a valuable weekend day many weeks away.
  • Two: The Crews that perform the Tandem and the Escorts are a hard-core group of folks that show up each and every time, so we rarely need help in that area. Please feel free to volunteer for those for those roles, but realize that as Santa Cruz is a town full of very good water folks, there is always more requests to volunteer in those two groups then we generally need. Remember, we could use your consistent volunteer commitment in other places. Volunteers will generally be contacted 2 weeks in advance of each camp, and confirmations should be emailed (Note once again, make sure we have your correct email address!) the week of the camp. We really need to know at least a week a head of time so that we can shuffle folks around if there is need for coverage in another area. Believe us, trying to coordinate 75 to 100 volunteers is not an easy task. So, the more time we have to set things up, the smoother things will run the day of the camps.
We know that plans change and unexpected situations do pop up, but please let us know if you are not able to make it to one of the days you have volunteered for. This really puts us in a bind and trying to move people around the day of the event is extremely difficult and frustrating plus it usually leaves us short handed which in turn effects the safety factor for the participants. Also, the groups that we serve sometimes have people dropout or have an extra person come along unexpectedly for the day, so our actually number of folks on either side can change up or down either way.

There may be times that we will need your help in another area that you may not have been originally assigned to on a particular day. For some, this may be a disappointment, but the only reason that this may happen is that we are short in another area for the day. Remember, you are here to assist with some really special people that are glad to receive any of the help that you can give. This is all about our participants having a fun and safe day at the beach.

If you commit to being there, please show up on time. We need all volunteers to meet at the Beach access ramp in the parking lot in between the West Coast Inn (or whatever it is called at the moment) and the wharf, at 8:30AM the day of the events. We have a very short time to get all the gear down to the beach and set up, so the more hands we have there at 8:30 AM will make things run much smoother before the participants arrive. Your day will end around 2:00 PM, unless you stay and help with the clean-up. We a lways need a clean-up crew to help out for a few hours in the afternoon, from 1:30 until approx 3:30. If you want to help, but can't make the morning, this is a perfect way to lend a hand.

Once the administration table is set up, please let the Beach Director of the day, know that are there and what task you think that you are signed up for. Realize that the assignment may change, depending on the day's needs. Please be willing to do whatever is needed with a positive attitude; Remember, this is all about the participants, not us. Each Activity Coordinator will meet with his or her group of volunteers to go over important details of the job. It is extremely important to take the directions to heart. Communication is the key to safety and keeping the day running smooth. Remember, if you don't know, ask!

We know that for many of you this is your first year volunteering for the RAW program so we wanted to share this information with you so that everything will run more smoothly for all of us. When that happens, it makes it that much safer and more fun for our participants and for all of us as well.

Once again, we thank all of you for wanting to help with the success of this program. There is nothing better than seeing those smiling faces looking up at you. If you have any questions, contact us.

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