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Volunteer Needs

Updated 12/14/2019.

All hands are needed to keep our team community running smoothly!
Pray about how you can best contribute, and let us know how you can help.
Student-athletes may count team-service help toward their PVSA hours.

Please strongly consider holding your position for at least two seasons (it's easier after you've done it once!), and plan to train your replacement when you need to step down.

Team leaders: Of course you may ask for help from others (yay, Team Forum) and delegate. :)
To add events to the Team Calendar, follow the instructions here.

Let us know if you have questions or ideas! Items with job descriptions are the greatest needs at this time.


Prayer Team
Purpose: Every season is a gift by God's grace and never to be taken for granted; there are many layers to our team's participation and community. It would is a great encouragement to know that the directors, coaches, and student-athletes are covered in prayer!

This team can be whatever you make it. Past leaders have sent emails to team members, but you could also try texting or even meet in person (CC/T&F meets have plenty of time for this!). Communication frequency is up to you. Pray as you feel led, or check in with the coaches/directors for specific requests. We'll let you know if something big comes up. :)

Currently, the Prayer Team leader assigns a day and time (AM/PM) to each team member, and that is your weekly commitment to pray throughout the season.
 


Registration Paperwork Team

Purpose: Maintaining records and applying for the privilege of competition each season involves an enormous amount of correctly completed paperwork. We typically turn in paper applications of approximately 100 pages in addition to a series of email requests for approval. Being thorough and organized keeps the MSHSL office happy.

Must be detail oriented.

Read all instructions for the season's paper forms and come with yours complete. Ask questions if needed!

Team Registration Meeting

  • Arrive 30 minutes early for instructions and an example run-through.
  • Assist team families in submitting paperwork and signing documents.

Day after registration (afternoon): Meet to organize paperwork and ensure that all is correctly filled out and complete.

  • MSHSL Cooperative Sponsorship (high school) forms. For each home school, include together: Membership Resolution, school district reporting form(s) (all are required to have these in the fall; track-only families will have these in the spring), Activity Registration form. Arrange in order of home school list on main application.
  • Sports Physicals: organize ring binders and notify anyone whose physical will expire (3 years) before or during the season.
  • MSHSL Eligibility forms: alphabetize by family last name.
  • Prepare list of high school cooperative sponsorship home school names. Compare to last year and include a list of home schools that participated last year but are not participating this year--and the reason ("student graduated," "student no longer participating," etc.). Email to Athletic Director.
  • Follow up with any team families who are missing anything.
     

Facility Care Crew

Purpose: With so few facility options, it is critical that we care for borrowed spaces and leave them as good as or better than when we arrived. Some venues no longer rent to home school groups due to disrespect and damage, and we want to be the exception--"Nighthawks Were Here" should be a good thing! Our program's future and our team's reputation depends on this.

Ideally this job would be covered by a group of student-athletes, but either a student or parent can take the lead/coordinator position. Feel free to split up into different days, weeks, etc.--whatever it takes to get it done.

If your teammates clean up after themselves, this should be a quick and easy job! If this takes more than 5 minutes after practice, then ask Coach for time at the next practice so you can make an announcement regarding things team members need to be mindful of.

Bathrooms

  • Wipe water splashed on sinks, mirrors, and floors
  • Dispose of any trash

Floors

  • Clean any obvious mud from shoes
  • Sweep if needed

Look for anything else that needs to be done. If you see anything that needs extra attention, repair, etc., let the coaches know. When possible, find something encouraging to say to a facility staff member.
 


Uniform Manager
Purpose: Uniforms are our biggest financial asset. Caring for these is good stewardship of our resources and spares families from having to purchase their own.

The program directors will continue to work with the vendor to choose uniforms and team clothing items.

Uniforms

Pre-season

  • Inventory uniforms.
  • Work with coaches to set dates/times/locations for Uniform Try-on Day(s).
  • Create/organize timeslots via SignUpGenius or whatever method you prefer.
    Do all you can to get team members to sign up for a timeslot. :)
  • Add dates for try-ons and/or distribution to the Team Calendar. See instructions.
  • Request helpers (direct contact, Team Forum, or calendar sign-up) if desired.

Uniform Try-On Day(s)

  • Assist team members with try-ons. Record sizes.
  • Determine whether additional uniforms are needed, and report those numbers to the Athletic Director by 9:00 P.M. on the last day of uniform try-ons so we can place the order in time to receive uniforms for the first meet. Be sure we have at least 1 "extra" of each size, just in case.

Early Season

  • Pick up Team Store orders from the vendor (currently J&J Athletics in Buffalo).
  • Pick up uniforms from the vendor (currently J&J Athletics in Buffalo--usually 2 weeks after the order is placed).
  • You may request helpers for a Uniform Distribution Day, requiring student-athletes to bring a bag with their name on it--or distribute them as you wish.

Post-season:

  • Collect uniforms on last day of practice. Check for any that need repair or cleaning due to stains or smells before storing. You may clean them yourself, or you may return them to student-athletes for remediation--just be sure to set a final due date and meetup location (end-of-season banquet might be easiest). Enforce late fees.

Spike Exchange (optional)

This is an optional duty for someone who wants to provide this opportunity to our student-athletes. You can either manage the inventory in a check-in/out system or simply give them to athletes who can use them (verify with the coaches that the athlete is physically ready and that the spikes are appropriate for the athlete's typical event), with the understanding that the shoes will be returned to the team when outgrown, graduated, etc. See https://www.homeschool-life.com/2515/custom/65488
 


Team Store Committee

Purpose: The Team Store is the source of team clothing and gear beyond team-issued uniforms. The priority is to offer items that allow us to arrive at meets looking sharp--it matters! Beyond that, items can be chosen for practice wear, fun, etc.

Select items, design graphics (or find graphics you like, for which wording and logo can be substituted--J&J artists can work with a sketch), and update descriptions for seasonal Team Store and information page.

Design and organize orders for special items such as Section Qualifier t-shirts, etc.

Pick up orders for distribution to team members.

All final designs and clothing selections must be approved by the program directors. See the additional considerations here: [LINK coming soon--ask the coaches until then.]

 


Website Calendar Coordinator
Purpose: The Team Calendar is the hub of scheduling information for the season. It is the first place team families look for details regarding practices, meets, community service opportunities, and other team events. This position requires some technical confidence, but the website interface is fundamentally user friendly. The bulk of the work will need to be done in November (preparing for track & field) and May (preparing for cross country).

Before registration opens
Many calendar entries and accompanying details can be copied from the previous year/season using the "Recurrence" feature of the Calendar. Practice details can be copied forward in a similar manner within the current season (e.g., every Tuesday contains the same details). In all cases, be sure to set the "Recurrence Ending Date" to the current season to avoid eternally recurring. Once you get the hang of it, this process is more tedious than difficult.

Note: sometimes protocols change from one season to the next, so for certain things (e.g., GPA collection, banquet info, etc.), you might want to check the most recent season, versus a full year back. Let us know if you ever have questions.

  • Practices
  • Meets (to the best of our knowledge--state details for each as "Tentative" until we receive current-season info from the host)
  • Uniform try-ons
  • End-of Season Banquet
  • Fundraisers/community service (confirm with Student-Athlete Recognition Coordinator)
  • Mega Fun Day, CC Junior
  • ACT dates (see act.org)
  • TCO free sports physicals (July) (visit www.TCOmn.com/SportsPhysicals or contact them for this year's dates)
  • Due dates (GPA's, captain applications, etc.)

Throughout the season
Coaches will forward updated meet/event information to you via email for updates to the calendar. This is typically a matter of making sure that timing and other details are correct on the Team Calendar and in the Team Googledrive.

For now, coaches can continue to update the Team Calendar directly with any last-minute schedule changes.
 


Student-Athlete Recognition Coordinator
Purpose: Northwest Homeschool Athletic Cooperative offers several ways for home schooled student-athletes to earn awards and recognition. Our desire is for our student-athletes to have as many opportunities as possible to be recognized and to help build their resumes for college/job/scholarship applications. This position covers state- and national-level awards.

Must have a printer capable of printing on card stock.

  • September 15: President's Volunteer Service Award applications are due from all student-athletes (CC/T&F) (see requirements here). Collect and review these; and then provide names, ages, hours, and award levels (gold/silver/bronze) to Athletic Director by October 1.
  • October 1 (cross country) and May 1 (track & field): Cumulative GPA's (see requirements on the Team Calendar entry date) are due from the parents of JV/Varsity (high school) athletes for individual and team academic awards. Begin reminding team members approximately 3 weeks ahead of time, then collect and submit to Athletic Director. Keep data confidential.
  • November and June banquet printing: the Athletic Director will have these ready in PDF form, 2-4 days before the banquet--the short timeframe is due to ensuring that we have all season-end stats in hand. Return to Head Coach/A.D. for signatures.
    • Banquet programs in black/white on regular paper, 2-sided.
    • Certificates in color on cardstock.
    • Local newspaper articles scans in color on regular paper.
    • Coaches will receive All State and All-State Academic certificates at the State meet. Print student-athletes' names on these.
    • JV/Varsity student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.0 qualify for MSHSL Spotlight on Scholarship awards. The Athletic Director will order the blank certificates based on the information submitted above. Print with names, applicable season, etc. (see example here). We can get these to you earlier in the season. :)

Community Service/Fundraising Coordination Team
Purpose: Fundraising offsets costs and keeps activity fees reasonable for team families.
We rely on local organizations to support our programs, so it is important to maintain those relationships through communication, appreciation, and recognition. Community service is closely tied to our sponsorships, and it has the added bonus of giving student-athletes the opportunity to serve, represent the homeschool community, and work toward goal-hours for volunteerism awards. Several of these organizations also offer college scholarships.

Submit any receipts to the Athletic Director (A.D.) for reimbursement.

Signing up to be a parent chaperone is a great way to contribute to this team!

Volunteer Sign-ups. Maintain team service and fundraising events--unless you want to change something, just let us know! The Team Lead does not have to attend all these, just make sure they keep rolling and have enough volunteers. You can find the contact list here.

  • For annual events, this should simply be a matter of duplicating sign-ups and replacing information to reflect the current year.
    • August (first Friday): Hanover Harvest Festival setup (SignUpGenius). This is to thank the city for use of their indoor and outdoor spaces.
    • August (first Tuesday): Corcoran Night to Unite. This is hosted by the police department. They use their own SignUpGenius form, so make sure we have a link on our team calendar.
    • October (fourth Sunday): Hanover Lions pancake breakfast (Google spreadsheet provided by the host).
    • November (Thursday after Thanksgiving): Hanover Lions senior dinner (Google spreadsheet unless...).
    • February/March (no later than first week of practice--maybe the Saturday before Superbowl next time?):
      Cub Foods bagging for tips (SignUpGenius). We have been working with the Rogers location but are open to moving to a higher-traffic store. Schedule 6-12 months in advance depending on the location. Ask the manager for instructions and send it to all participants a day or two before the event.
    • April (last Saturday): Hanover Lions Smelt Fry (Google spreadsheet provided by the host)
    • June (third-ish Saturday): Kuka Equestrian Center cowboy mounted shooting balloon setting (SignUpGenius).
  • Typically we want to gather the event details about a month in advance and begin encouraging sign-ups at that time. Watch the sign-up counts; and if more participation is needed, send out emails (via Team Forum) at about 2 weeks, 1 week, and a few days ahead of time to fill the lists.
  • Remind participants 2 days beforehand unless the sign-up system does this automatically.

Year-end Fundraising Letters. Work with the A.D. to print and mail funding request letters to past and potential supporters (mid-late November). A.D. can write the letter and provide names and addresses. We typically send out fewer than a dozen.

Thank-you's. Gratitude is one of our program's key values.

  • Signed cards
    • After team picture days (fall and spring), request team photo and supporter address list (sponsors, facility providers, meet hosts, etc.) from A.D.
    • Create and print thank-you cards for team members and coaches to sign at practice. Order a few extras just in case. (See example here. The blank box is for the handwritten thank-you message to be written after everyone signs outside the box; either you or the A.D. can do that.)
    • Address and stamp envelopes, and return all to the A.D. for final messaging and mailing.
  • Team photos
    • After next year's sponsors have responded (usually mid December--get the list from the A.D.), create 8x10 photos of the cross country team as a representative picture of our program.
    • Use a graphics editor to include a thank-you message (see example here, but you might have other ideas).
    • Order one for Hanover City Hall and one for each sponsor of $500+/year.
    • Frame the photos (Dollar Tree frames are fine).
    • Work with A.D. to schedule thank-you presentations (usually 2-3) to major sponsors of $1000+/year (January-February works best). Coordinate team representatives (coaches and athletes) to attend and present framed team photos. It's probably easiest to use the sign-up feature on the team calendar for this.
    • Deliver framed photos to the other supporters (usually 2-3)
       

Sponsor Ad Graphics Coordinator

Banquet program (2-sided, black & white).
Due the day after the Section meet. By then we know whether we have qualifiers to add the State Championship to the list of meets.
Submit PDF to the program directors for final review and then to the Student-Athlete Recognition Coordinator for printing.
Include:

  • Season, date, and time
  • Names of team members (also note captains), manager(s), and coaches. See Roster and Volunteer pages.
  • List of corporate sponsors by sponsorship level
  • Corporate sponsor ad graphics (for sizing/proportions, see Sponsorship Benefits chart on the Support Our Teams page)
  • Additional donors and in-kind supporters
  • Meets (you could include other events if you feel that would be beneficial)
  • Any special announcements if we need to fill space

Website Sponsor Ads. Using the "Photo Gallery" tool, maintain a slideshow of rotating ads:

  • Update on January 1 (T&F sponsors) and July 1 (CC sponsors) or any time a new sponsor is added for the current season. Since we send sponsor requests at the end of November, leave last season's logos up through January; if they don't renew by February 1, then remove them from the slideshow.
  • Create sponsor logos of 200x200 pixels. You might have to add whitespace to keep things centered and uniform.
  • Add as many identical images to the slideshow as necessary for any given sponsor to fulfill the Sponsorship Benefits chart on the Support Our Teams page.
  • Until the website service provider creates random image functionality, just put them in order such that it scrolls through all sponsors once, then another round until the next sponsorship level is covered, etc.
     

Multimedia Team
Purpose: Everyone loves photos and videos! We use them for team publicity, thank-you cards, end-of-season banquets, and more.

Team Lead and Contributors needed.

Important Tips

  • When sharing photos in a group project like this, limit your photos to the best of the best. This reduces overwhelm for the Team Lead. Be selective! Avoid photos that are distant, blurry, dark, repetitive, etc.
  • Google Drive folders have worked best for multimedia team access, but you are welcome to try something else. Create a new shared folder each season.

Team Picture Day
If needed, Coach Jennifer can do the photo-taking and hand off the data for editing and uploading.

  • Take individual closeup photos of each athlete, choose one of each, and crop for consistency.
  • Take team photos: entire group, seniors, high school girls, high school boys, junior high girls, junior high boys. Choose the best 3-4.
  • Upload to the team Google Drive for download by team families, banquet team, etc.

Action Shots. The goal is to get at least 2-3 pictures of each team member (athletes and coaches) sometime during the season.

  • Practices
  • Meets
  • Other events 

End-of-Season Slideshow

  • You may have up to 20 minutes of photos and/or videos. If you need reimbursement for music, please let us know!
  • Must include every athlete and coach.
  • Be sure to credit all contributors.
  • Music must be approved by the Head Coach. Please review the lyrics first.
  • Final presentation must be approved at least 2 days before the banquet so that corrections can be made if needed.
     

Public Relations Team
Purpose: The purpose of public relations is to share our team's story and preserve it for the future. We rely on local organizations to sponsor our programs, so it is important to show how the Nighthawks program makes a difference in our student-athletes' lives and contributes to the local community. Sponsors love facebook posts! With misconceptions out there about home schooled students and home school teams, this is a wonderful opportunity to shine. 
Basically this position is one of gathering information.

There is a certain amount of overlap in preparing press releases and Facebook posts; once one has been created, the other comes together pretty easily.

Press releases (due on Saturdays).
Collect information to be used in press releases for varsity events.
Submit to Head Coach/Athletic Director, who will add coach quotes and forward to the local news reporter.

Include the following for both boys and girls:

  • Meet name, date, and location
  • Team results (Xth place of XX teams)
  • Link to detailed results (e.g., MileSplit.com, Wayzata Results, Gopher State Events)
  • The next upcoming meet date and location
  • 2-3 photos (and name of photographer). Coordinate with the multimedia team to capture these. The paper will usually print 0-2 of them. :) It is hard to spread out the kids’ photo opps due to the nature of the sport and competition level (news favors the most “successful”), so sometimes we have to get creative or be super selective about what we give them.
  • Cross country, for each varsity race: Names, placings, and times of top 7 runners (just cut and paste from online results); note any team records.
  • Track & Field: Notable varsity performances (e.g., scorers and team records; these usually sent out by the coach with the meet results)

Scan local newspaper articles (Crow River News) for the team archives.
Upload to the team Google Drive for download by team members, banquet team, etc.

Facebook posts (approximately once per 1-2 weeks, as soon as possible but within a week of the event).

  • Prepare photos of meets and team events (1-5 photos per post) and send to A.D. for the team Facebook page (A.D. will upload photos and tag sponsors). Try to include pics of each senior at some point during the season. Beyond that, it's a bit of an art in deciding what captures our story best.
  • If you have text ideas, please include them, keeping in mind that these posts are less detailed than the press releases.

Events:

  • Team community service
  • First day (or week) of practice
  • First meet in uniform
  • Other meets if there's a story to tell or a photo that captures Nighthawk spirit
  • Team picture day
  • Subsections (T&F only), Sections, and State
  • Team banquet
  • Special awards (scholar-athlete and team academic awards, volunteer service award recipients, etc.)
  • Other exciting news
     

End-of-Season Banquet Team
The purpose of end-of-season banquets is to celebrate as a team family a job well done. Each student-athlete makes a unique contribution to the team and is individually recognized by the coaches.

The Athletic Director will reserve and make payment for the Community Room at Hanover City Hall.
Ice machine rental is $20, so if we can avoid that, great! Otherwise, let us know and we'll reserve it.
Amy Biren is our contact--see hanovermn.org.

Before the Banquet

  • Determine details (potluck assignments, etc.) and add to the team calendar (see instructions in the Team Members' Area-->Team Communications)
  • Promote via the Team Forum.
  • Collect RSVPs from team families.
  • Check with the Athletic Director for possible leftover tableware, decorations, etc. There is a bin for that. :)
  • Confirm budget with Athletic Director.
  • Contact the head coaches to see if we already have a key, and if not, contact Hanover City Hall to make arrangements for key pickup. They often will allow you to pick it up earlier in the week if that works better for your schedule.
  • Ask Amy about putting the microphone in the tables/chairs storage room.

Banquet Setup

  • In some cases, you can set up earlier in the day or even the day before. Contact Amy at City Hall in advance to confirm; it all depends on whether another event is scheduled.
  • Figure in a couple of extra seating tables.
  • Ask Amy for a copy of the Community Room rental agreement for current decorating parameters/restrictions (e.g., no tape on the walls).

After the Banquet

  • Submit receipts to the Athletic Director for reimbursement.
     

Pre-Race Spaghetti Dinner Hosts

The purpose of team dinners is to provide affordable camaraderie outside practice and competition. Not all team members can afford post-race dinners, which is why we try to limit those. But the kids LOVE the spaghetti dinners! This is also a great opportunity to model healthy choices.

Guidelines

  • Dates. Suggested dates can be found throughout the Team Calendar (noted as "Spaghetti dinner?").
  • Timing. Since these are almost always on school nights, "straight from practice" (6:15ish) until 8:00 P.M. has worked well. This allows time to eat and socialize before driving home, showering, and doing some homework before getting a good night's sleep before the big day. Give attendees freedom to leave early ("eat and run") if needed.
  • Menu. Keep it simple! Pasta, sauce, bread, salad/veggies, sugar-free desserts (such as fruit), and water or real fruit juice are great options. Be sure to ask in advance if anyone has a gluten-free need. Avoid artificially sweetened and/or sugary drinks such as lemonade, kool-aid, and pop.
  • Fun. The crew has cooled down from practice and is resting for race day. While there is no need to plan entertainment, if you want to offer board games, cards, or low-key activities like bean bags or ladderball, that is fine. Please do not plan bonfires or anything involving smoke or dust. We need clear lungs for tomorrow!
  • Helpers. You'll probably want to enlist a couple of other parents. Feel free to use the Team Forum.
  • Announcements. Please doublecheck with the Nighthawks program directors before making any dates or details public.
    Then follow the Calendar How-To instructions to add your event. We will then delete the question-marked event. :)
  • Photos. Take (or have someone else take) photos and select 3-4 to send to the A.D. and the Media Team.