Volunteer Handbook

Welcome to Sail Sand Point!

Sail Sand Point is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community sailing center started in 1998 by passionate sailors and their families in order to create sailing opportunities and small boat programs for youth and adults in the greater Seattle area. Our mission is to bring the joy and life-enhancing benefits of sailing and small boats to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Since then, Sail Sand Point has grown by leaps and bounds, transforming a small neighborhood program into a thriving boating community that serves people from around King County. Beyond providing learn-to-sail camp and classes, race team coaching and boat storage, Sail Sand Point also has a robust outreach program in place, awards thousands of dollars in program scholarships, and is incorporating a comprehensive STEM curriculum in all our youth camps and classes, as well as developing our adaptive sailing program.

In doing this work, Sail Sand Point relies heavily on our volunteer community. Volunteer positions touch on every aspect of our programs, and involve a diverse and varied group of people sharing their time and expertise. With volunteers forming such an important part of the organization, we believe that all volunteers have a special responsibility to adhere to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in representing SSP and fulfilling our mission. Our hope is that every single person who walks through our ‘doors’ experiences not only exceptional sailing instruction, but also a friendly, welcoming, and communal atmosphere.

We greatly appreciate your help and hope you will have an excellent experience.

Volunteer Opportunities

Many different opportunities are available for volunteers at Sail Sand Point. Regardless of your area of interest, there is almost certainly something to be done. Certain positions may require previous experience. Training may be provided by Sail Sand Point at times, but is not always available.

Facility Maintenance – dock and building projects, carpentry, painting, boat yard, landscaping or gardening

Boat Maintenance – fiberglass work, rigging, cleaning, etc.

Seasonal Preparation – Spring and Fall work parties to prep for summer or wind down for the winter

Group Visits – assist instructors with teaching groups that come to SSP for a day, including groups of youth and adults.

Youth Racing/Regattas – coaching, event race committee, parent liaison for high school teams, Octoberfest or other regattas hosted by SSP

Open Boating – assist Dock Masters with rentals, customer service or tracking participation

Weeknight Racing – running casual evening races, assisting with potluck dinners after racing

Special Events – trade/boat shows, camp fairs, farmer’s markets, open houses, etc. or onetime events such as fund raisers and benefits

Office Projects – Filing paperwork, maintaining databases, greeting visitors, answering phones, helping with the website, collaborating on newsletters and brochures or distributing promotional materials

Sail Camp – assistant instructor for summer camps with youth ages 6-17.

The Basics

Benefits

We hope that you will find the greatest benefit of volunteering to be the personal fulfillment and sense of community you gain by sharing your passion with others. Additionally, we want to thank you for your dedication by offering 1 hour of Open Boating for every 3 hours of volunteer work. We will also host a volunteer appreciation event each December- be ready to mark your calendar.

Logging Hours

There are two ways to log your volunteer hours. The preferred way is through online tracking software, which automatically tracks hours for shifts that were signed up for. If you volunteer without signing up online, you can still track your hours in the Volunteer Log Book in the office. Please remember to log hours so that you can claim your Open Boating hours. Volunteer hours are also counted in Sail Sand Point’s public benefit, and help us later on.

Communication

Most communication with volunteers happens through our online volunteer sign-up system. You can create an account and then log in to view and sign up for opportunities. Additionally, we send out a monthly volunteer e-newsletter about important dates and events, specific projects, and areas in which we need help.

Rights & Responsibilities

Volunteers are one of the most important parts of our workforce. As such, your position comes with important rights and responsibilities: they are designed to create a safe, enjoyable, and productive working environment for you, your fellow volunteers, and our paid staff.

Your rights

  • Meaningful assignments
  • Timely follow up from staff when requested
  • Training and supervision appropriate to your position
  • Recognition, both formal and informal, for your contributions
  • A safe working environment
  • A harassment-free working environment

Your responsibilities

  • Serve as a goodwill ambassador and interpreter of SSP’s mission and programs
  • Understand the commitments and duties of assignments before accepting them and fulfill them to the best of your abilities
  • Be a team player
  • View staff and other volunteers as allies, colleagues, leaders and team members
  • Respect the confidentiality of our staff, volunteers and visitors where appropriate
  • When possible, give at least 2 days’ notice if you are unable to come to your scheduled event or class
  • Observe safety procedures for all boats, tools, and docks
  • Clean up after projects
  • Seek and expect honest feedback on performance. Remember that feedback is a tool for growth.
  • Be honest with staff regarding your intentions, goals and skills
  • Log volunteer hours

Policies

Background check

Sail Sand Point will run a Washington State Patrol and National Sex Offender Registry background check on all volunteers. To ensure the safety of our program participants, volunteers, visitors and staff, we cannot accept volunteers who have any history of assault or a crime against a person. Falsification of information used to obtain official background checks, including name and date of birth, may result in immediate dismissal.

Harassment Policy

Inappropriate behavior such as sexual harassment, confrontation, rude language or other acts that cause notable discomfort among patrons, volunteers or staff may be cause for immediate dismissal without probation. All volunteers are required to abide by the terms of SSP’s Harassment Policy anytime they are on SSP property – whether or not they are performing volunteer tasks during that time. Your consent to adhere to the SSP Harassment Policy is implied by your participation in our volunteer program.

Safety & Emergency Procedures

A staff member will inform you of all safety procedures relevant to your volunteer job. Disregarding safety procedures is cause for dismissal. In the case of an emergency, immediately alert a staff member and report the incident to the office.

Lifejackets/PFDs

Any employee or volunteer who is on the water, in the motorboat bay or on one of the floating docks must be wearing a lifejacket unless inside an enclosed building where there is no risk of falling in the water (i.e. the Instructor Room).

Working with Youth

The safety of youth at Sail Sand Point is our top priority. Violations of these policies may result in immediate dismissal, even if no harm is done. For the purpose of this policy, “present” is defined as having line of sight view.

  • There should always be two adults present with any individual or group of youth whenever possible. The adults may be any combination of CWB staff, volunteers, teachers, and/or chaperones.
  • In situations where the preferred ratio is not possible due to the nature of the program, and all of the youth are age 13 and over, there must be at least two youth present with any adult.
  • An adult may never be alone with a single youth for any reason.

Minors as Volunteers

Volunteers between the age of 14 and 18 must have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian prior to volunteering. The volunteer responsibilities assigned to a minor will be performed in a nonhazardous environment and will comply with all appropriate requirements of child labor laws. No person under the age of 15 is permitted to volunteer unless they are accompanying a parent or guardian who is a volunteer. Persons under the age of 15 are considered “guests” of the volunteer with whom they are volunteering and therefore are not covered by SSP’s insurance. Should a “guest” of a volunteer violate any of the policies outlined in this document, the volunteer accompanying them shall be held responsible.