Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) Navigation Committee (VNC) Charter

March 2011
Revised July 2012
Revised June 10, 2017

  • Purpose

 The VNC was created to allow volunteers to support and contribute to the development and success of the VIP program at CNM through creative and innovative enhancements, community outreach, and collaboration with and support of other CNM organizations and partners.

Establishment of the VNC provides volunteers a voice in the decision making process related to the VIP program at CNM. The committee will maintain information related to volunteer opportunities, training, and mentoring of VIPs.

The VNC will cooperate closely with park staff to provide continuity at all times, especially during periods of staff turnover. The VNC will be a resource for maintaining and providing information on the history and legacy of volunteer programs at CNM.

The VNC will serve as a conduit for the voice of volunteers on how to improve the CNM VIP program. The VNC will work to make the volunteer program a reflection of both the park’s needs and the abilities, talents and expertise of its volunteers. And the VNC will ensure that the needs of both the park and its volunteers are considered and supported.

 

  • Activities

 The following list of activities is based on needs identified at the time of this charter. A later section of this charter provides authority and defines the process for expanding this list.

  • Represent all volunteers to local NPS management
  • Represent the VIP program to CNM cooperating associations, friends groups, and other partners
  • Represent the VIP program and the park in outreach activities
  • Provide input for maintaining current information on volunteer opportunities at CNM and help staff develop and execute training related to each opportunity
  • Assist in planning annual training, continuing education, lecture series, and VIP outings
  • Maintain and archive training material relevant for volunteers
  • Assist park staff in planning and participating in special events
  • Provide input for maintaining a master event calendar pertaining to VIP opportunities
  • Help make sure online VIP information is kept current and robust (such as the VIP Voice, VOG, and E-binder)
  • Suggest new activities for the VIP program
  • Assist with volunteer recruitment, retention, recognition, and release

 

  • Roles and Responsibilities
Role(s) Responsibilities Filled By
Park Service Liaison This ranger acts in an advisory capacity as the conduit of information between CNM staff and the VNC. Park Staff
Chair Coordinates VNC meetings (time and location), provides the agenda, ensures all meeting minutes are disseminated in a timely fashion and all action items are documented and tracked to completion, leads all meetings or ensures the vice chair is available to do so, provides leadership in determining VNC priorities and activities, and works directly with the park service liaison in guiding the VNC. Volunteer
Vice Chair Assists the chair with their duties and assumes all chair duties in the chair’s absence. Volunteer
Recording Secretary Records the minutes of all VNC meetings, ensures they are distributed to all interested parties, and archives them. Volunteer
Volunteer Liaisons to Park Partners Represent the VNC at meetings of cooperating associations and partnerships to ensure communication, cooperation, and collaboration between groups, and report to the VNC on behalf of said groups. Volunteer(s) or park staff
Volunteer Liaisons to all other Subcommittees/Groups Represent the VNC at all meetings of subcommittees and other groups/entities involving VIPs, and report to the VNC on their behalf. Volunteer(s) or park staff

 

The VNC may add other roles as needed according to its mission and current activities. Leaders in each role may solicit other volunteers to assist in fulfilling that responsibility.

 

  • Membership

 All volunteers, park staff, and board members of CNM friends groups and cooperating associations are considered members of the VNC and, as such, are welcome to attend any VNC activity and have voting privileges at any meetings they attend. Committee roles and responsibilities are based on the needs of the park at the time of this charter and may be modified as necessary. Officer roles shall be filled by volunteers. Committee roles shall be filled by eligible persons (as stated above). Said persons will either request a role, be asked to assume a role, or (in the case of multiple people desiring the same role) be elected by the VNC. Each role has a service period of one year. At the end of their term, a person will indicate their desire to continue or step down. A person may resign their position at any time and will help the VNC find a replacement. There is no limit to the number of times a person can hold a position, and a person may take on more than one role. The Park Liaison role will serve at the discretion of the park.

 

  • Meetings

 Initially, VNC meetings will be held once a month. The group may determine when/if to initiate quarterly meetings. Weekends in the morning are the preferred times. Meetings will be kept under two hours and will be conducted in accordance with the meeting procedure documented in Appendix A.

The VNC shall hold an annual status meeting (coinciding with the park’s annual reporting cycle) in which it reports the past year’s activities and accomplishments to VIPs.

 

  • Revising this Charter

 The VNC may amend this charter at any time with a majority vote of the committee and the subsequent approval of the park superintendent. It shall be the VNC policy to review the charter annually at a VNC meeting and make all revisions recommended at that time.

Procedure:

  • Proposed revisions are presented at regular VNC meetings as agenda items
  • Members discuss and agree on revision wording
  • Voting is conducted by volunteers in attendance
  • Approved revisions are updated in the charter
  • The updated charter is given to the park superintendent for approval
  • The updated charter takes effect upon superintendent approval

 

Appendix A

Meeting Procedure

 

Excerpt from The Keys to Successful Meetings Process

Tasks:

  1. Establish type of meeting and goals and objectives
    1. The meeting leader determines type of meeting, i.e., review, status meeting, staff meeting, etc., and what guidelines or standards apply. Leader also publicizes the goal/objective of the meeting.
  1. Establish entrance criteria and exit criteria for the meeting
    1. The meeting leader determines what must occur prior to the meeting in order to make it successful, and what must be accomplished for the meeting to be closed; entrance and exit criteria above are the minimum
  1. Be organized, be prepared
    1. The meeting leader: 1). Ensures the right participants attend, 2). Assigns roles as necessary, 3). Creates an agenda, distributes it along with prior meeting minutes and action items before the meeting
    2. Participants: 1). Will be prepared to contribute to the meeting goals/objectives
  1. Get off to a good start
    1. The meeting leader: 1). Makes the participants feel comfortable, 2). Ensures adequate facilities, room arrangement, refreshments, 3). Provides welcome and introductions, 4). Summarizes roles, goals, objectives, agenda, timing issues, 5). Verifies that Entrance Criteria have been met.
  1. Establish ground rules
    1. The participants agree on: 1). Getting participation from all participants, 2). Limiting number and length of presentations, 3). Handling disagreements or conflicts
  1. Follow agenda, take minutes of proceedings and assign action items
    1. The meeting leader conducts the meeting based on the agenda, and serves as the Facilitator and Timekeeper if these roles are not otherwise assigned
    2. The Facilitator ensures the meeting follows ground rules
    3. The Recorder: 1). Reviews action items and decisions with other attendees prior to close of meeting, 2). Confirms that exit criteria are met, 3). Sends our minutes in a timely manner for review and comment, 4). Ensures action items are tracked in a tracking system or database and reviewed for closure
    4. The Timekeeper ensures the meeting schedule and timing rules are followed
    5. The Participants contribute constructively to agenda items and discussion
  1. Request feedback on how to improve the meeting process
    1. Participants discuss changes that can improve future meetings. Example feedback questions: 1). Was the agenda available beforehand as well as minutes of previous meetings and were they useful?, 2). How can we foster better communications?, 3). Do we have the right attendees?, 4). How can our meetings be improved?

 

Last Revised 14-Jul-17