The Training Page of Volunteer Today has practical
trainer techniques and activities to make orientation sessions more productive
and valuable. There are also ideas to help enhance the professional volunteer
manager's training level.
As school concludes and young people and their parents
seek meaningful activities for the summer, your organization may include
some young volunteers. Training children is not the same as training adults.
Here are characteristics of children and tips to make the training or
Strong desire for status in their peer
Develop activities in training where
teens are supported by one another rather than the teacher.
A large number have feelings of inferiority
Create activities with successful outcomes
for everyone. Avoid lots of competitive games, unless they are group
oriented and fun.
Working on a personal
in training to help them explore how their experience as a volunteer
can help them learn who they are as a person.
Are interested in world events and
may have Internet friends from other countries.
Encourage discussion of how the world
is impacted by the work of the organization and its volunteers.
Peer pressure is strong, first from same sex, then
from opposite sex.
Use peer pressure to provide encouragement to all
in the group. And individualize it.
Want to make their own decisions, but still need
Provide parameters for both youth and adults.
Working on social skills with
adults and their peers.
Provide activities in training
to help them explore how to interact in appropriate ways.
Are interested in world events and may have Internet
friends from other countries.
Encourage discussion of how the world is impacted
by the work of the organization and its volunteers.
Can be very self-conscious.
Avoid asking them to stand out
from the group. No demonstrations of their knowledge until he/she
Like to be liked.
Lots of approval and kudos, both from adults involved in training
and from other youth.
Can make strong bonds with older youth and adults. Enlist others
in your training.
Are easily motivated.
Encouragement is a motivator.
Get them going as soon as possible, he/she is already motivated.
When they feel competent it enhances
Provide exercises at which he/she can succeed.
Help them feel good about themselves.
Recognize accomplishments no matter how small.
Often show loyalty
to members of their own sex and antagonism to the opposite sex.
Get the children to select partners for exercises or activities.
Never force a boy-girl partnership.
Attention span is about 40 minutes.
Keep activities in training short.
Keep activities active.
Learn best when physically
Need opportunities to use physical energy.
Keep lectures to a minimum.
Can form special attachments to older
Involve older youth as part of the training team.
Create mentor trainee relationships.
Acceptance by peer
group is important.
Never use put-downs in front of group.
Recognition comes from group with applause or rewards for all.
more ideas for training? Check out our online
bookstore for The Great Trainer's Guide: How to Train (almost)
Anyone to do (almost) Anything by Sue Vineyard.
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT
AND VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT
Close to 200 colleges and universities
offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management.
They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American Humanics
sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking to push out
the professional development window, consider taking a course at one of
these colleges. A full list resides at http://tltc.shu.edu/npo/.
Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up with
Interested in assessing volunteer and
staff relations in your program?