I love the Junior Staff program. I think, if run well, this program can be incredibly impactful. Here are some tips and tricks I have learned over the years to ensure the program is quality and meaningful.
Implement an Application Process
Have an application process that weeds out the members who will not take the program seriously. Also, the application process allows you to see how members will organize and if they will take pride in becoming a Junior Staff. I also think it is important however, to give some kids you might be on the fence about, the chance to prove you wrong. If you don't provide members with leadership opportunities, it will be difficult for them to become leaders.
Hold Members (and Parents) to High Expectations
It is beneficial, once Junior Staff have been selected, to provide a list of expectations to both members and parents. This way members understand their role and parents understand when and where members need to be each day!
Provide Clear Understanding of Goals and Objectives
Informing members of the goals and purpose of the program is so beneficial. If there is a reward, let members know about it. For example, Junior Staff members at our Club earn Club bucks per hour of work. They clock in and out, just like a regular job. They get paid and can cash in their money for items in the Junior Staff store. Also, it is important to let members know that their leadership is essential and the influence on members is very real. Younger members will look up to them. Put the responsibility on Junior Staff.
Develop a Successful Tracking Method
Use a time sheet or hour tracking system that hold Junior Staff accountable and to keep your Staff organized.
Reward Positive Work Ethic
Call members out for being excellent leaders, following instructions, etc. Send parent notes home, recognize a Junior Staff of the Week/Month, etc.
Have a Structured Schedule with Back Up Assignments
Make sure Junior Staff know where and when they are supposed to report to areas. Often Staff will have things for your Junior Staff to accomplish, however having a list of back up assignments can ensure Junior Staff are not distracting other or becoming complacent.
Start the Program Off With a Bang
Get Junior Staff excited. Let them know that not everyone is chosen for this program and that you are so happy to have them. Review expectations and pump them up! You could even have a kick-off party!
Make the Program More than "Helping Staff"
Utilizing the facilitator's guide provided by BGCA is an excellent idea. It makes the program more than just helping staff. It is a good idea to help make leaders and Club advocates and not just errand runners.
Check out these resources below for running a successful Junior Staff Program!