Kin Blog

Utilizing High School Volunteers

September 15, 2014
By Laura Hamilton

Canada has a rich history of volunteering. The latest statistics (2010) show that more than 47% of Canadians volunteer an average 156 hours each year. When we focus on just the youth demographic (age 15-24) that percentage jumps to 58%. And while high school students are unlikely to become official Kin members in their teen years, they are a great group for Clubs to be utilizing.

Canadians seek different volunteer experiences throughout their lifespans as their circumstances and priorities change. Traditionally, volunteering has been a feel-good way to give back to the community; but now, it has also become a means for young people to gain skills for the labour market. A lot of Canadian high school students need 30-40 volunteer hours as a requirement to graduate. Having students help with your Kin events is a win for both you and them.

Bonus,

  • This youth demographic opens up a new network pool: their friends and family.
  • A great experience helping with a Kin event may start students thinking about future membership. Let them know about our University Campus Clubs.

 Remember,

  • Student tasks should be specific and well defined. Don’t just tell them to “set up the room,” explain that you need three rows of tables with 8 chairs around each.
  • Tangle results are more motivating. Having students stuff backpacks with supplies for homeless, gives them a big pile of results to be proud of.
  • Students are good with technology. If you haven’t started advertising events on social media because you don’t know how to, a high school student can give you a great tutorial. 

Risk Management

  • Have the student or legal guardian (if the student is under 18) sign off on the expectations and duties involved.
  • On their first day, the student should receive an orentation and safety instructions related to the tasks you're asking them to perform.
  • Duties should be age and skill appropriate. Do not ask students to handle dangerous materials or to operate power tools and motor vehicals. 
  • Some of your club members may want to undergo a "vulnerable sector check" at through your local police. (Some schools may require it of you.)
  • Or liability coverage will extend to cover students under the 'volunteers policy;' but you should also ask the school if they have their own student volunteer coverage.
  • If you decided to take on a student, please contact Melanie at HQ, for insurance particulars. 

This year, expand your club’s reach and perspective by taking on some high school volunteers. Make positive connections with young people and share with them what Kin is all about.


2 comments

  • Nov 14, 2014
    By Laura Hamilton

    That's great to hear Carol! Getting all age groups involved in the community is wonderful.

  • Nov 6, 2014
    By Carol L Cooper - London [Not logged in]

    Thanks Laura,

    We could not run our Kinsmen Fanshawe Sugar Bush without Highschool Students. They have been part of our program for over 10 years. We even have them stop in years later to see us!

    Our Volunteer program invites the students to our other community events such as our Holiday Bazaar and our Festival BBQs.

    Our London Clubs send a Volunteer package each year to the area High Schools, which list our events.

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