Y.E.S. – Youth Education Stewards
Y.E.S. – Youth Education Stewards

Y.E.S. – Youth Education Stewards

This leadership volunteer program is designed for youth ages 11-18 who are interested in volunteering in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden. Youth Education Stewards will implement daily educational activities, read stories, complete daily chores, answer questions, and encourage and inspire kids and adults alike to play, laugh, and discover in an enchanting garden setting. The program begins in late June and continues until the end of August. Stewards must sign up by June 30th, 2015 in order to participate in this year’s program.

Those interested in joining the Y.E.S. Leadership Program are expected to fill out an application (see below) and attend a volunteer training to gain confidence, learn volunteer skills, and familiarize themselves with the Children’s Garden and Y.E.S. volunteer responsibilities. After completing training, Y.E.S. participants sign-up for weekly three-hour volunteer shifts in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden. Those interested in becoming a Youth Education Steward must commit to a minimum of five volunteer shifts in order to participant in this program.

Please download an application here, and see additional information about the program below.

Y.E.S. Responsibilities:

  • Read to children during Storytime in the Children’s Garden.
  • Administer easy-to-understand Nature Investigations.
  • Perform garden/nature themed puppet shows with other stewards.
  • Answer visitors’ questions and inspire interest in the Children’s Garden.
  • Invite the public to join you as you implement the Daily To-Do List, such as feeding the chickens.
  • Help care for and teach visitors about our Learning Garden.
  • Tidy the Story Barn and other structures as needed.
  • Assist with closing and opening duties of the Children’s Garden.

Additional Opportunities

We need your help! Y.E.S. participants who are interested in helping in more specialized ways in the Children’s Garden can sign up to be a part of four different programs. Participants who sign up for one of these programs will receive a specialized training in addition to the general training for Y.E.S. participants. Those interested in participating in one or more of the programs below should indicate their interest on the Y.E.S. application.

These programs include:

Garden Helpers – Learn how to care for our Learning Garden and help to maintain this garden during your normal volunteer shift. Responsibilities will include watering, weeding, organic pest management, harvesting and making flower arrangements.

Fairy Fridays – Help with special fairy activities in the Children’s Garden every Friday in July and August. Activities will include fairy games, crafts, stories, fairy music for dancing on the maze, and the Great Bubble Machine.

Nature Camp Assistant – Do you like working with young children or want more experience working with them in an a fun, educational environment? As a camp assistant, you will help the camp coordinator with daily camp activities such as games, nature hikes and arts-and-crafts projects, as well as group management. Assistants are needed to help with nature and gardening camps this summer. Those interested are asked to sign up forat least one session of camp (3 ½ hours daily for one week).

Y.E.S Mentors – Returning Y.E.S. participants can sign up to mentor new Y.E.S. participants. Seasoned stewards will be paired with new stewards during volunteer shifts, helping them to become familiar and comfortable with the responsibilities of being a Youth Education Steward. This program is for returning stewards who are looking for a bit more leadership experience this summer.

Why become involved in the Y.E.S. Leadership Program?

  • Meet new people.
  • Gain experience working with the public and with children.
  • Improve communication skills.
  • Build a resume.
  • Explore career options.
  • Learn how to care for a garden.
  • Teach young children about gardening, nature, and Maine literature.
  • Have fun in the beauty of the outdoors!

What is expected of a Youth Education Steward?

  • Complete an application.
  • Attend a volunteer training (training dates to be announced or scheduled on an as needed basis for participants).
  • Sign up for a weekly volunteer shift in the Children’s Garden.
  • Carry out Y.E.S. volunteer responsibilities in a respectful and engaging manner.
  • Play an active role in making the Children’s Garden a fun and welcoming environment for Gardens guests.

Participants will be scheduled for weekly volunteer shifts depending on availability, as follows (Sunday-Saturday):
9:00 a.m.-noon
Noon-3:00 p.m.
3:00-6:00 p.m.

How do I sign-up?

Complete the application and return to Erika Huber at ehuber@mainegardens.org, Youth and Family Program Coordinator by June 30th, 2015. Please feel free to contact Erika with any questions about the program, 207-633-8000 ext. 8031.