SSC Summer Program Director Job Description

Job Title: Sprog (Summer Program) Director

Department: Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) Trainings Committee

Reports To: SSC National Trainings Director and Trainings Committee

Application deadline: Send resume and applications to

Rolling admission until December 1st 2009 , early applications are more likely to be accepted. All Applicants will be notified by Dec. 12th.

Context:  Directors advance SSC training and grassroots organizing efforts by setting up and implementing one, week-long activist training. Directors support and supervise a staff of approximately 6-9 student trainers, and up to 40 participants.  In so doing, the Director coordinates and implements a comprehensive week of grassroots organizing and leadership skills trainings, issue briefings, and outdoor activities, as directed by the Trainings Committee.  Each program has Co-Directors.

Scope: Director is responsible for coordinating the recruitment, retention and logistics for one SSC summer program. The Director is also responsible for integrating SSC priority campaign efforts with SSC summer programs and following up with SSC summer program graduates to promote and advance campaign work among our volunteer base. Regularly works with the Trainings Director, and without direct supervision.

Job Activities:

1. Works with Trainings Director and volunteer trainers to coordinate summer environmental leadership training program for high school and college students.

a. Helps identify an appropriate site (ideally sites will be confirmed before Directors are selected, however this is not always the case, and Directors may be asked to help in searching for an appropriate site) and maintains regular contact with site; is familiar with park rules, check-in and check-out procedures, and materials needed (cooking supplies, fans, cleaning supplies) which the site may not provide;

b. Recruits participants through wholesale and retail outreach methods, both within and outside of Sierra Club and SSC channels. Creates and implements a recruitment plan that will help the SSC reach our diversity goals (2010 goals include a minimum of 35% high school participants and 38% people of color across all programs);

c. Retains participants by working with volunteer trainers to manage regular contact with participants, answer questions, conduct needs assessment, etc.  Coordinate with the SSC National Office to ensure that participant forms and payment are received in a timely manner; the National Office reviews scholarship applications;

d. Coordinate participant travel to site from airport and train/bus stations and ensures participants (and trainers) book travel within appropriate time parameters, both for Training for Trainers and Sprog;

e. Plan and develop program agendas, in coordination with trainers, the Trainings Director and Trainings Committee;

f. Coordinate meals for the program, including checking participant forms for food allergies and diet restrictions to ensure that all participants’ needs are met.  It is strongly encouraged that you recruit 1-3 cooks to help manage these responsibilities before and during the program.

2. Prepares training team by holding regular conference calls and one-on-one check-ins with each member of your team during the spring semester, planning and team-building sessions at Training for Trainers weekend, and assisting trainers in the development of their training workshops and personal training skills. Responsible for aiding in leadership development of trainers and helping to identify potential directors for the following summer.

3. During training week:

a. Sets respectful, fun and friendly tone; creates a safe space for all participants and works with SSC staff to make sure that SSC policy and site rules are both communicated and enforced;

b. Ensures adherence to the agenda– including training sessions, breaks, and meals;

c. Manages and leads team of trainers: regularly takes temperature of group, gives feedback on trainings and ensures a culture of peer to peer feedback & debriefing among trainers, leads nightly staff team meetings;

d. Remains available as a resource to participants and trainers during and after the program.

4. Compiles data on the effectiveness of programs including doing a site evaluation (how well the site met the needs of the program and making a recommendation of whether to repeat programs at the site) ensuring participant evaluations are administered and reviewed by trainers and consolidated into an end-of-program director’s report, and doing follow-up surveys with participants, etc.

5. Manages site budget in coordination with Training Director.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Prior student training, student organizing, and/or event coordinating experience.
  • Familiarity with experiential learning process and needs assessment concepts
  • Strong written and oral communication.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and interest in current environmental issues.
  • Ability to clearly explain complex issues and effectively communicate to students
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively with public and volunteers in an action oriented environment.
  • Familiarity with the goals and mission of the SSC.
  • Previous experience planning an event of similar magnitude and/or participation in a previous Sprog as a trainer or participant is a plus.

Other Requirements:

  • Ability to devote a min of 10 hours per week during spring semester, and commit one full week over the summer.
  • Have been a Sprog Trainer before (recommended but not required).
  • Lead regular (weekly or bi-weekly) planning calls with you training team
  • Participate in regular (monthly) Director’s calls/Trainings with other Directors
  • Commitment to creating a safe space for all participants and enforcing the rules and policies of the SSC and Sierra Club.
  • Ability to attend Sprog Director’s Retreat in January (15th-18th).
  • Ability to participate in Training for Trainers weekend (Dates & locations(s) TBD); depending on budget and other constraints, help may be required in the logistics and planning for regional T4T events.

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