Volunteers who take part in the workcamp will assist Sprout Programs in a variety of ways. The main duty is working as a Trip Leader providing supervision, support and companionship to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities on overnight vacations. The vacations are 3 to 8 days long and take you to various popular tourist destinations throughout the United States. You are required to participate in our training class during the first few days of your workcamp. Leaders work with different co-leaders for each trip. The leader teams consist of 3 volunteers with groups of 8-11 participants. Within the co-leading team there will be at least one leader who has experience working with Sprout. This leader is known as the Primary leader. The co-leading team will have access to the Leadership staff 24 hours a day to answer any questions during the trip. Responsibilities include but are not limited to ensuring safety for the participants at all times, planning and participating in activities, overseeing the group budget, helping with hygiene needs (e.g. separating dirty and clean clothes, applying deodorant, assisting with showers, etc), driving/navigating, carrying luggage, providing general emotional and physical support, and ensuring everybody has a fun time. While on trips, leaders are responsible for their group 24-hours a day and therefore cannot leave the group for any reason or consume alcohol/narcotics (Please refer to Leadership Guidelines, below). Although the work is not physically strenuous, it can be exhausting as you are likely to work long days, have little privacy and are always responsible for your group. That said, you will probably find it to be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences you will ever have.
While on trips, leaders will stay in hotels and eat all meals in restaurants as a group. All 3 leaders (male and female) will share one room at the hotel. Between trips, when the volunteers are in New York City, they will stay at the American Youth Hostel. Volunteers will be responsible for their own meals, transportation and activities when not on a trip. The hostel offers shared accommodations (dormitory style) with shared shower, cooking and laundry facilities. The hostel does not allow sleeping bags or bed sheets since they provide sheets and blankets. Sprout will pay for your accommodation on trips and in New York City for the entire duration of your workcamp based on the agreed dates.
Between trips, leaders will receive some free time to explore New York City, which is easily accessible via public transportation. Local leaders will be able to help volunteers find the best places to relax and enjoy their time. Volunteers can visit the many tourist attractions such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square or the many Broadway shows, sporting events, museums or dance performances available in New York City.
Sprout is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities grow through challenging, creative and fun experiences that enhance socialization, self-confidence and inclusion. Since its founding in 1979, Sprout has provided a year-round travel program of vacations as well as a year-round program of day and evening cultural, social and art-related activities in New York City for people with developmental disabilities. Since 1995, Sprout has run an annual weekend-long music and arts festival for an average of 225 people with developmental disabilities complete with live bands, video screenings, interactive art projects, carnival games, and other entertainment. In 1994 we created our Make-A-Movie Program which uses people with developmental disabilities in all the major acting roles. In 2003 we founded the annual Sprout Film Festival to showcase film and video related to the field of developmental disabilities, made in the United States and abroad.
You are welcome to arrive earlier than your scheduled workcamp date to enjoy New York City, and/or to leave at a later date to have time for tourist activities or personal interests. If you would like to come earlier or leave later, we can make hostel reservations for you at a discounted rate, but you will need to pay for these nights yourself (about $60/night through PayPal, check or cash). Please notify us in advance. You must send your arrival and departure details to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Dates for this upcoming season: · June 1 – June 30 : 5 leaders · July 1-July 31: 6 leaders · August 1-31: 8 leaders · Sept 1-Sept 30: 6 leaders · Oct 1-Oct 31: 4 leaders