VOLUNTEER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This page provides answers to some of the most common questions about volunteering at SFU Camps. If you have additional questions, please send us an email!

General Questions

What are the benefits of volunteering with SFU Camps?

  • Gain practical experience in a fun, safe and welcoming environment

  • Acquire valuable leadership skills

  • Receive reflective evaluations, completion letters, and opportunities for reference letters upon completion of placement

  • Attend Leadership and Career Workshops 

  • Good starting point if you're interested in becoming a camp instructor

  • Receive volunteer hours for future career and school applications

What is the committment level and the requirements to become a volunteer?

The minimum commitment is 2 weeks. If accepted, volunteers receive a minimum of 80 hours* (2 weeks of volunteering) and may be eligible for additional weeks.

Select your availability carefully as schedule changes may not be accommodated or result in reduced hours. (*Hours are not guaranteed and are based on volunteer assignment and camp enrollment.)

Volunteers must be a minimum of 14 years of age by July 5th, 2021

Job Description 

How do I apply?

To apply, please complete & submit the online application form on our Volunteer Opportunities page. You will need a computer that has access to the Internet.

The application should take no more than 10 minutes. You will receive a confirmation email upon successfully submitting the form.

Is the application process competitive? How many volunteer do you accept each year?

Each year, the application process becomes increasingly competitive. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a position to every applicant.

Here is a summary of our volunteer numbers from 2019:

Number of Applicants 500
Number of Applicants Interviewed 383
Number of Volunteers Hired 297

For 2020, we were able to hire approximately 40 volunteers with our modified program.

For 2021, we hope to hire approximately 150 volunteers.

What is the timeline that you follow?

This is the number one question we receive. The expected timeline for 2021 is:

Application System Opens February 12, 2021
Deadline to Submit Application April 25, 2021 @ 11:59pm
Interview Invites Sent April 28, 2021
Interviews

Early May, 2021

Offers/Regrets Sent by Email

May 10, 2021

Deadline to Submit Availability

May 24, 2020

Schedule Sent by Email June 8, 2021
Training Late June, 2021
First Day of Camps July 5, 2021

 

Are you able to extend the application deadline for me?

Due to the large volume of applications that we receive, we are unable to extend our application deadline.

Can I use SFU Camps for my service hours or my schools work experience course?

Absolutely! Many volunteers in the past have used SFU camps for work experience and/or service hours. We are more than happy to fill out any necessary paperwork. Please make sure to check with your teacher to make sure they will allow you to use SFU Camps.

Please note that SFU Camps is not a registered non-profit.

Do I need to submit a Criminal Record Check (CRC)?

Yes you do! We require all volunteers to submit a completed CRC to us. If successfully hired, we will provide you with specific instructions on how to complete a CRC.

We recommend that you complete your CRC as soon as possible after we hire you. If you have any questions, please contact us.

What do you mean when you say that you will assess my availability after my interview?

We use a 3 step process to help us fairly evaluate all applicants.

  • Step 1: We evaluate your online application including your answer to the long answer question(s). If you make it past this stage, we ask you to attend our modified interview through an online platform.

  • Step 2: We invite you to the modified online interview where we assess your professionalism, teamwork, communication, and leadership skills.

  • Step 3: We evaluate your availability. When we look at your availability, we are looking for whether or not you are able to commit to our minimum requirements and if your availability matches with our camps that are in session.

References

Can I request a reference from SFU Camps?

Absolutely! We are more than happy to provide you with any form of reference that you need. Please read below for additional information on requesting a reference.

Criteria for Receiving a Letter of Reference:

  • The letter must have been requested a minimum of 3 weeks in advance

  • Volunteer must have completed a minimum of 100* total hours of volunteer work with SFU Camps

  • Volunteer must be in good standing with SFU Camps

  • Requests must have been requested by the individual wanting the reference (e.g. requests will not be accepted by parents, teachers or friends)

How do I request for a letter of reference/letter of recommendation?

Please send an email to camps_volunteer@sfu.ca with the subject line "Volunteer Reference Letter - Your Name".

In the body of the email, please provide:

  • Your full name

  • Year(s) you volunteered and Total # of hours if known

  • Purpose of the letter (e.g. scholarship, job application, university application)

  • Name of scholarship, employer, university, etc.

  • Copy of scholarship requirements, job posting, application or program requirements, etc.

  • Date of when you need the letter / reference

  • Where to send or submit the letter (e.g. email address, mailing address) or how we may be contacted to provide the reference (e.g. email, phone, online)

  • You may also submit your resume, and/or CV to aid us in developing a thoughtful reference

Can you be a referee/verifier for my participation with SFU Camps?

Absolutely! If you wish to have your participation verified, please send an email to camps_volunteer@sfu.ca with the subject line "Volunteer Activity Verifier - Your Name".

In the body of the email, please provide:

  • Your full name

  • Year(s) you volunteered

  • Purpose of verification (e.g. scholarship, university application, etc.)

  • Name of scholarship, university, etc.

  • How to provide the verification (e.g. online, paper form)

Please note the following:

  • To have your activity verified, you must be in good standing with SFU Camps

  • You must have satisfactorily completed your full SFU Camps placement

Training

Is there volunteer training?

Yes there is. If selected, there will be a mandatory in person and online training session in June.

Training: Expected late June, 2021 (there will be two dates available to attend)

I am no longer able to attend my scheduled training session. Can you move me to the other night?

We scheduled you for your training session based upon the availability that you provided us. If your availability has changed, please email us immediately and let us know what the situation is.

Please note that volunteer training is mandatory. Requesting a change may have a negative impact on your file.

Something has come up and I am not able to attend volunteer training. Can I schedule a make-up training session?

As mentioned, in-person volunteer training on the SFU Burnaby Campus is mandatory for all volunteers. We will not be holding any additional training sessions.

A last minute emergency has come up or I am running late, what should I do?

Immediately email us at camps_volunteer@sfu.ca and leave us a voicemail at (778) 782-4307. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

Please note that volunteer training is mandatory.

What can I expect at volunteer training?

At volunteer training, we will provide you with the skills and tools that you will need to be successful as a volunteer with SFU Camps. Throughout the night you will move around to different stations that will go over different topics. Some topics include:

  • How to send a professional email

  • COVID-19 Policies & Procedures

  • Rules and regulations

  • SMART goal setting

  • How to run a rec time

  • Meet & greet with camp staff

  • Campus tour

  • Question & answer session

At the start of training we will also collect your paperwork, hand out your volunteer t-shirt and provide you with some pizza.

I am a returning volunteer. Do I still need to attend a volunteer training session?

Yes. All new and returning volunteers are required to attend volunteer training.

Scheduling

How does scheduling work?

First of all, your schedule is based upon the availability that you provide us in May. If on this sheet you tell us that you are not available during a particular week then you will not be scheduled for that week.

You will be scheduled for a full week at a time. For example, if you say you are available Week 2 from 8:00am-4:00pm and there is a spot available in Junior, then you would be scheduled in Junior for the entire Week 2 from 8:00am-4:00pm.

How do you select what camp I am scheduled in?

The factors that impact which camps you are scheduled for includes:

  • Which weeks you are available
  • What your camp preferences are
  • What times you are available
  • Which camps are running during the weeks that you are available

Lead Volunteer

Who is eligible to be a lead volunteer?

Only returning volunteers are eligible to apply to be a lead volunteer. Returning means that you volunteered with SFU Camps & Youth Programs in the past.

Will I have to attend an interview?

To become a lead volunteer you will be required to take part in a phone interview. Phone interviews will be conducted in late April into early May. If you are in good standing you will not be required to attend a regular in person interview.

I applied to be an instructor, do I have to apply to be a lead volunteer as well?

You will not have to apply to become both an instructor and a lead volunteer. Should you be unsuccessful in your instructor application we will provide you with further steps. You will not have to complete a separate application for lead volunteer.

What do Lead Volunteers do?

Each week Lead Volunteers will be assigned a group of camps in which they will be responsible for overseeing with the help of the Administrative Team. These volunteers will have the opportunity to coach and support volunteers, provide additional assistance to staff, and develop problem-solving skills throughout the summer. Lead Volunteers will report directly to the Camps Programmers. This role is best suited for someone who is looking to build on their leadership abilities, mentor a diverse group of individuals as well as taking on additional responsibilities.

Please see the Job Description for more information.

Is there specific training for lead volunteers?

Yes! Lead Volunteers are required to attend lead volunteer training and volunteer training in late June, 2021

QUESTIONS?

For all volunteer inquiries, please contact:

Amanda Cordeiro
Camps Programmer 
camps_volunteer@sfu.ca
(778) 782-4307

We aim to provide a response to all inquiries within 2 business days.

Please include "2021 Volunteer Inquiry - Your Name"  in the subject line of your email.