A thorough breakdown of what each staffing role entails is found in the main body of the Management Manual. We are often asked ‘how much should we do?’, ‘what is expected of me as an assistant?’ and other questions. The following is a guide, but obviously, each camp is different and circumstances change, so flexibility is a key virtue in a staff member.
An over-arching priority is the quality of Folk Camp experience being offered to campers, so there will be times when the following guidelines are not appropriate and staff should take on additional tasks themselves, above and beyond those described below.
Full and Joint Staff
The staff member takes full responsibility for the role and is expected to be present and available for the full period of the camp. Where joint staffing, then both staff have equal responsibility for the role, tasks should be divided on an equal basis and both members are expected to be present and available for the full period of the camp.
When there is an assistant attached to their role, then the full staff member should be the senior partner and give direction and guidance to the assistant. The full staff member is expected to contribute more of their time to their role than the assistant.
There will only be an apprentice attached to their role following agreement between the full staff member and the staffing coordinator on Council. The full staff member will be expected to give guidance and leadership to the apprentice, to explain the requirements and responsibilities of the role and generally act as mentor. This should include giving the apprentice some independent tasks to carry out.
The assistant is expected to follow the instructions and leadership of the full staff member and provide appropriate support. They are not expected to contribute as much of their time to the role as a full staff member. But they are expected to share much of the work.
As being an assistant is usually a stepping stone on the way to taking on a solo or joint staffing role, it would be hoped that the assistant could be given responsibility for some tasks, although the ultimate responsibility will rest with the full staff member. For example, where the roles concerned are for caterers, the assistant could be given full responsibility for overseeing one or more day’s meals, although the full staff member would still need to make them self available in case of problems.
The full staffing member acts as mentor, showing and training the apprentice in what the job entails and its requirements and responsibilities. The apprentice needs to shadow the full staff member and gain hands-on experience of some of the tasks. The aim is for an apprentice to gain the knowledge and confidence to take on an assistant or full staff role at a future camp.
See Folk Camps Training.
The staff member stays in the background, not announced to campers but being on call to provide support and guidance to the staff member being mentored, and keeping an eye on developing situations relevant to the role, being ready to assist with guidance when required. Experience in the staffing role as a full staffer, or relevant experience in the field being mentored is usually required for a mentor role.
A mentor could be there to support an apprentice or a member of staff new to that job – they will not be asked to undertake this role without their agreement and that of their charge.
The allowances for each staff position are:
- Sole or joint staff: own place free plus additional credit of one full price adult place plus travel allowance
- Assistant staff: own place free plus travel allowance
- Apprentice staff: own place free
- Mentor staff: own place free
Subsistence: For self-catered camps only, a subsistence payment is provided to sole, joint and assistant staff to help with food costs.