The duties and responsibilities of being a Program Coordinator will vary from organization to organization. Depending on the organization and sport or active recreation program setting, the Coordinator may be called a Camp Director, Program Coordinator or Team Leader. For the purpose of this resource kit, the term Coordinator will be used for all of these possible titles.
In some cases the Coordinator may be volunteer leader, who has been asked by the organization to become a Coordinator. This is as a result of their experience as a volunteer leader and their skills in facilitating a team to achieve the objectives of a sport and active recreation program. Most leaders value the opportunity, at some stage, of having the experience of being a Coordinator and therefore respect the need for cooperation and support.
The Coordinator has a very important role. As a leader they have the same responsibilities to participate and facilitate other’s enjoyment of sport and active recreation experiences. They are also a peer of the other leaders and are respected by them for the extra responsibilities that they take on.
The Coordinator is responsible for formulating the program aims and objectives in cooperation with the team of leaders. In some organizations this occurs in conjunction with the overall Program Manager, but ultimately it is up to the Coordinator with the team of leaders to ensure that the objectives of the program are achieved.
The Coordinator is responsible for everything that happens on the program and therefore is very reliant on the other leaders to support them to ensure that everything goes well.
A key skill is for a Coordinator to effectively delegate tasks to leaders. A Coordinator cannot delegate their own responsibility. To delegate tasks a Coordinator must know their fellow leaders well in order to best involve each according to their interests, skills and qualities.
A Coordinator needs to continually evaluate the success of leaders to ensure that tasks are accomplished and that the leaders are coping with their responsibilities. The sensitive Coordinator allows leaders the initiative and freedom to carry out their responsibilities and to learn through their mistakes.
The Coordinator usually sets the tone of a program and draws on the qualities of the leaders to achieve a good tone and morale. The Coordinator encourages leaders to apply their wit and humour, their relaxed but efficient way of going about things, their enthusiasm and high motivation, their interest in music or sensitivity to the environment.
The good Coordinator
- Maintains morale through strength and peacefulness, confronting difficulties and coping with them.
- Is perceptive in detecting conflicts, resentment, unhappiness and tensions that may develop between leaders and carefully brings them into the open and assists in resolving them.
- Is clear-sighted and able to maintain a good perspective of the total picture
- Does not waste time on peripheral issues and
- Maintains a good overview of the total situation and assists leaders to do this as well.
The Coordinator ensures that high standards are maintained in the areas of:
- preparation of activities;
- facilitation of activities;
- care of personal property and program property;
- conduct of leaders;
- participant’s learning experience.