We are looking for volunteers that can provide at least one weekend every four months. It takes a fair amount of training to prepare volunteers and we like our teens to be able to have friendly faces they recognize when they attend.
The Hangout is a ministry of MPNaz Church of the Nazarene. Our goal of The Hangout is to provide a safe and sober place for all teenagers in McPherson county to go knowing they can have fun and their parents can rest easy knowing they are chaperoned.
All of our volunteers will need to go through a training (around hours) that will include child abuse and neglect, mandated reporting, safety and regulations, discipline and procedures, mental health, and trauma and suicide prevention. Our goal is that, although we can never train for every situation, we will be able to prepare you for most situations teens may present while at our center. We want our teens to be safe, not further traumatized, and be able to seek help with in our center. We will also be running background checks and personal checks on each volunteer.
Responsibility of Volunteer
It is the responsibility of the volunteer to put the teen first, although we want volunteers and teens to enjoy themselves in The Hangout, volunteers should always put the well being of the teen ahead of their fun. The teens need an environment appropriate for their development. This includes age appropriate content, appropriate boundaries between teens and volunteers (we are not their friends), realizing that being the adult often means you are unpopular.
Every volunteer at The Hangout is a leader, a leader must represent the standards and reputation of our organization. As a volunteer, you will be accepting our safety standards and rules and knowing you are representing The Hangout and therefore, its reputation. In order to help maintain this safety, we have a thorough screening process.
How to become a volunteer
- You must first apply through the Volunteer Application
- You must meet and interview
- Reference Checks
- Criminal Background Checks (it is suggested you donate $20 to cover these)
- Any crimes involving children, sex, or violent crimes will disqualify you from this position. Other violations will be taken into careful consideration based on seriousness, time lapsed, the nature of the crime, and must be approved by insurance. If you do not disclose a crime and it is found later on an application you will also disqualify for any position.
- Evaluation and Decision
You may be asked during this process to do a one time trial basis night at the teen center before step 5 to see how you interact with our teens and if you are a good fit.
Please know we do not use past crimes against you, we know that you are not your past or crimes you have committed, but because of the nature of working with children we must have a very strict qualifying process to work with them. You are still loved and valuable and if you truly feel called to volunteer we may have other areas in our ministry that may be a good fit.
Level 1- Concession Stand/Video Monitoring
Level 2- Assistant Volunteer
Level 3- Lead Volunteer (must have prior experiences with teens/child development)
Cooking Instructor Volunteer
Level 4- Administration
Interactions with Teens
Volunteers should maintain appropriate boundaries with teens. Volunteers should not give out their personal number, social media, or emails to teens. If a teen needs someone to talk to or needs further contact instead refer them to the administration number and alert administration about the teen in need. Volunteers keep discussion centered around the teen and their life. Remember you are the adult leader not a friend.
There are appropriate and inappropriate interactions with teens. Appropriate physical contact with teens includes: side hugs, pats on the upper back, handshakes and high fives, touching hands, shoulder/arms, arm around shoulder. Inappropriate Physical Interaction includes: full frontal hugs, extended and prolonged hugs, kissing, interaction behind closed doors and isolated areas, touching bottoms, chest, stomach, and upper leg, inappropriate wrestling, piggy back rides, ticking, any type of massage, bullying, hazing, corporal punishment, romantic of sexual contact, viewing pornography, and any form of affection that is unwanted. There is also appropriate and inappropriate verbal communication. Appropriate communication could involve praise, positive reinforcement, casual conversation, positive electronic communication, and appropriate jokes. Inappropriate Communication includes harsh and threatening language or cursing, derogatory remarks, belittling or name calling, risque or sexual joke, sexually provocative language, jokes at others expense, telling stories that others do not wish to have told, involving youth in personal problems, secret or private electronic communications, and sharing secrets with youth.