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 and confirmation letter 

  • 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 upon application.

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.

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 2018:

Number of Applicants 450
Number of Applicants Interviewed 375
Number of Volunteers Hired 247

For 2019 we hope to hire approximately 300 volunteers.

What is the timeline that you follow?

This is the number one question we receive. The general timeline for 2019 is:

Application System Opens January 14, 2019
Deadline to Submit Application April 21, 2019 @ 11:50pm
Interview Invites Sent April 23, 2019
Interviews

April 27, 10:00-11:45am

April 27, 1:00-2:45pm

April 30, 6:00-7:45pm

May 1, 6:00-7:45pm

Deadline to Submit Availability

May 12, 2019

Offers/Regrets Sent by Email

May 17, 2019

Schedule Sent by Email June 10, 2019
Training June 18 & 19, 2019
First Day of Camps July 2, 2019

 

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 you 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 a group interview. 

  • Step 2: We invite you to a group 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.

Group Interviews

What can I expect at the interview?

Interviews are typically held in early May. The interview will last approximately 2-hours and is group based meaning that you will be working in a pre-assigned group for the majority of the evening. You can expect that there will be approximately 75 other applicants present at you interview.

As a group you will participate in various activities that allow us to assess whether or not we feel you will a good fit for the SFU Camps Program. You will also participate in a 10 minute 1-1 interview with a member of the administrative team. Don't let this scare you. This just gives us the opportunity to get to know you. Your performance during the group activities is much more important to us.

To help us run these interviews, we will have staff for the upcoming summer assist us with the activties. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them.

Do I have to attend an in-person interview? Do you conduct Skype/phone interviews?

Yes. All applicants must attend one in-person interview on the SFU Burnaby Campus.

We do not conduct Skype/phone interviews. We only conduct in-person interviews on the SFU Burnaby Campus.

When are your interviews held?

Group interviews will be held at the following dates & times:

April 27, 2019 - 10:00-11:45am

April 27, 2019 - 1:00-2:45pm

April 30, 2019 - 6:00-7:45pm

May 1, 2019 - 6:00-7:45pm

What are you looking for during the interview?

During the interview the staff and administrative team will be looking at four qualities. There qualities are: leadership, professionalism, communication and teamwork skills.

We want to make sure that we can trust you to work closely with campers, parents, and staff. Please remember to avoid the use of inappropriate language and make sure to wear appropriate clothing!

Don't forget, your interview begins as soon as you sign in!

How can I prepare for the interview?

Here are some helpful tips to prepare for the interview:

  • Wear athletic clothes and shoes that are appropriate

  • Be prepared to work in a group

  • Practice some typical interview questions

  • Practice working in a group

  • If you have never been to the Burnaby Campus, look at a map ahead of time so that you are on time

  • Enroll in our Leadership Camp

What should I wear to the interview?

We recommend that you wear athletic clothing and shoes to your interview.

Examples include a t-shirt with shorts or track pants. We also ask that your choice of clothing be appropriate (e.g. would you wear this outfit to your first day of camp).

What are the exact activities or stations that I will experience during my interview?

We do not disclose what exact activities or questions we ask during the interview. Just come prepared to participate in group activities that will test your professionalism, communication, leadership and teamwork skills. You will also have a 1-on-1 interview with a member of the administrative team.

Can I receive feedback from my performance?

Yes you can!

All the evaluators will have a clipboard where they will mark down any notes they have about your performance. If you would like feedback about your performance, please email the Head Programmer of Volunteers at admin_camps@sfu.ca.

Due to privacy reasons, we can only disclose your performance with you, the applicant.

Can I change the date of my interview?

You were scheduled for your interview based upon the availability that you provided on your application form. If you need to request a change, please email admin_camps@sfu.ca to see if we have another available slot. Please note that requesting a change may have a negative impact on your application.

References

Can I request a reference from SFU Camps?

Absolutely! I am 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 50 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)

What are the requirements to receive a letter of reference?

Criterias for receiving a letter of reference from SFU Camps include:

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

  • Volunteer must have completed a minimum of 50 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 (ie. requests will not be accepted by parents, teachers, or friends)

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

Please send an email to admin_camps@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

  • 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 admin_camps@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 fhe 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 training session in June.

Training: June 18 & 19, 2019

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.

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 admin_camps@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

  • 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 Clan Junior, then you would be scheduled in Clan 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 seperate 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 Head Programmer and Assistant Programmer of Volunteers. 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 on June 26th, 2019 from 8AM-4PM.

GOT QUESTIONS?

For all volunteer inquiries, please contact:

Justin Chui
Head Programmer of Volunteer Services
 camps_volunteer@sfu.ca
 (778) 782-4307

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

Please include "2020 Volunteer Inquiry - Your Name"  in the subject line of your email.