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

Revised April 5, 2022


The VNC was created to allow volunteers to support and contribute to the development and success of the VIP program at CNM.  This committee strives to do this 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 always provide continuity, 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.

The VNC focus is a project-oriented group, secondarily an information-sharing forum. As such, they will assist the park in completing projects and developing park-needed processes, procedures, and products. These tasks can originate from both park tasking and self-initiated efforts based on perceived needs.


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 and assist with communication and information sharing with these groups.
  • 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 and social activities.
  • 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, especially if operational gaps are identified
  • Assist with volunteer recruitment and on-boarding, retention, recognition, and release

Roles and Responsibilities

Role(s) Responsibilities Filled By
National Park Service Liaison This ranger acts in an advisory capacity as the conduit of information between CNM staff and the VNC. VIP Coordinator and Park Staff
Chair Coordinates VNC meetings (time and location); provides the agenda and ensures all action items are tracked to completion; leads all meetings or ensures the vice chair is available to do so; provides leadership in determining VNC priorities and activities; 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 and status of action items of all VNC meetings, procures staff approval of the draft minutes, ensures they are distributed to all interested parties in a timely fashion, and archives them.  The VIP Voice, VIP Newsletter, Volgistics, and email are acceptable means of dissemination. Volunteer
Volunteer Liaisons to Park Partners Represent the VNC at meetings of cooperating associations, especially the Cabrillo National Monument Foundation (CNMF), and other 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
Community Outreach and Engagement Liaisons Engage with park staff to provide necessary volunteer support for all aspects of park outreach activities. Volunteers with 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.


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. Team Leads, Project Leads, and other VNC 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. At the request of other committee members or staff, the Chair can request a non-performer to vacate their position. 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.


Initially, VNC meetings will generally be held once a month. The group may determine when/if to initiate quarterly, or special needs meetings. Meetings may be held in-person or virtually. When a meeting is scheduled to be in-person, a virtual/call-in option may be provided to accommodate those who cannot attend. 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.


    • 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

Meeting Procedure – Excerpt from The Keys to Successful Meetings Process


  1. Establish type of meeting, 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.
  2. Establish entrance criteria and exit criteria for the meeting
    1. The meeting leader determines what must occur prior to the meeting to make it successful, and what must be accomplished for the meeting to be closed; entrance and exit criteria above are the minimum.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 out 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
  7. 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 12-Apr-22