Tech Trek seeks volunteers with a commitment to STEM education who will either/both a) assist with planning activities during several months before the camp or/and b) offer the workshops, help chaperone the field trips, and/or assist with logistical support we will need during the week of Tech Trek (July 20-27) at Stockton University. All of our volunteer positions are described below.
Generally, camp planning begins in August each year, via emails to all current volunteers. We spend September-November ensuring that AAUW members are willing to interview nominated campers in all 21 counties. Once that commitment is set, volunteer organizers email every New Jersey school with a 7th grade from late November-early February. Educators may nominate one girl per school, who then applies online with family assistance and a written essay. AAUW volunteer committees review the nominations, applications, and schedule in-person interviews across 21 counties to make final camper selections. A fundraising committee meets in-person and//or via email all year round to raise enough resources so that all campers pay no more than $50 to attend the entire week of camp; some campers may even request hardship waivers of this fee if the fundraising committee reaches its annual goals.
Volunteering with Tech Trek is a great way to get involved in helping middle school girls discover their potential in STEM. Tech Trek is staffed almost entirely by volunteers, and couldn’t be done without volunteer efforts. All overnight and multi-day volunteers receive complimentary room and board on campus, and a modest stipend. The camp pays for all background clearances, insurance and camp staff t-shirts.
Student Selection Committee Member
Selection Committee Members are AAUW volunteers responsible to read nominations and applications (February-March), following Tech Trek selection criteria and guidelines. Zoom call training meetings happen in late-January/early-February. Some selection committee members are responsible for conducting interviews (Zoom or in-person) with prospective campers and their parents or guardians (in April). Each branch or region who signs up 2 or more volunteers may invite schools in their counties to nominate campers.
Fundraising and Grant Writing Committee Member
These volunteers help to send out fundraising mailers, to write grants that support camp, and to send thank-you notes to donors. Fundraising Committee members also coordinate in-kind donations to camp such as snacks and juices, branch-personalized notebooks, and AAUW keepsake items for the campers. Help in any of these areas is welcome all year round; snack and juice donations take place in May through July. Volunteers who help to send out fundraising mailers, to write grants that support camp, and to send thank-you notes to donors. Fundraising Committee members also coordinate in-kind donations to camp such as snacks and juices, branch-personalized notebooks, and AAUW keepsake items for the campers. Help in any of these areas is welcome all year round; snack and juice donations take place in May through July.
Dorm Leaders are responsible for a small group of Tech Trek campers, provide emotional support, and respond to campers’ questions and concerns for 2-3 day shifts throughout the week. Each Dorm Leader supervises a ‘dorm group’ of seven to ten girls overnight. They accompany girls to evening campus activities and are in charge of the enforcement of camp rules and policies. Dorm Leaders rotate throughout the camp and pass along updates to their replacements for each shift. Camp provides dorm rooms and all meals for these volunteers and offers a small stipend. All dorm rooms will be single occupancy with shared restrooms – up-to-date vaccination and rapid testing are required.
Camp Day Counselor
Camp Day counselors are volunteers who assist teachers, Leaders and the Camp Director during the week of Tech Trek (or Alumni STEMinist) camp with activities, field trips, material preparation and general camper needs.
Camp Day counselors supervise campers throughout the day and assist camp staff with classes and other activities. They help to provide a safe environment, monitor campers, ensure they are where they need to be, and act as a role models for the campers by demonstrating a warm, positive outlook and attitude as well as an excitement for STEM. Up-to-date vaccinations and rapid testing are required.
Workshop Presenters offer ninety-minute or three-hour, hands-on STEM workshops to campers during the week of Tech Trek.
Workshop presenters should be organized, prepared and have a disposition that reflects excitement for Tech Trek and STEM learning. They should have a good reputation in their workplaces, schools, or communities as an involved STEM practitioner or educator and role model. Up-to-date vaccinations and rapid testing are required.
One Day Volunteer
One Day Volunteers assist with a pre-camp planning task, such as assembling camper backpacks or assisting with move-in, or joining a group of campers for one day, to assist teachers, workshop presenters, or field trip chaperones. One Day Volunteers also help to move girls out, restore the dormitories to pre-camp condition, or assist in mailing girls’ thank you cards to camp volunteers and donors. One Day Volunteers offer a specific day or days that fit their availability between typical camp Meet and Greet (in May) and late July (move-out/clean up). Up-to-date vaccinations and rapid testing are required.
Snack Donors participate in gathering tax-deductible donations of snacks for the campers. Donors coordinate their efforts by region of the state: North, Central, and South Jersey. All tax-deductible materials (packets with tax ID on letterhead) will be provided.
Professional Women Mentors – Dinner Thursday 7/27 (6:00 – 9:30 PM)
During typical camp, the goal of the “Professional Women’s Night (PWN)” is to plan one major event that inspires the girls to continue their education in STEM fields and to expose them to the many careers that are available to them. Table moderators help keep the dinner table conversations lively, using a set of prompts designed for that purpose.
We are seeking Professional Women Mentors and Table Moderators. Up-to-date vaccinations and rapid testing are required.
Thanks to Dottie Pearson, Chair, and Shevi Salberg, VP Communications, AAUW NJ, for organizing these amazing evenings 2015-2018! Thanks to Virginia Rettig for 2019-2023!