SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Belonging

SPIN Volunteer Quick Guide to Belonging (PDF)

Young people want to belong and feel like they are members of a group. As a SPIN volunteer, you can help your SPIN club members feel accepted, connected, and included. Because SPIN clubs only meet for a short time, you must be intentional about creating a place of belonging.

Best Practices for Belonging Ways Volunteers Can Promote Belonging
  • Young people need a positive relationship with a caring adult.
  • Provide guidance and coaching as members work on their projects.
  • Give positive encouragement and feedback.
  • Include young people in decision-making about club activities.
  • Encourage members to experiment and try their own ideas.
  • Young people need a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows them to feel connected to others and appreciated for who they are.
  • Provide opportunities for the members to get to know each other through
    • Ice-breaker activities,
    • Team-building challenges,
    • Cooperative games,
    • Working in pairs or small groups.
  • Young people should feel safe at all times – physically and emotionally.
  • Safety is your #1 priority as a SPIN volunteer.
  • Plan ahead and consider the possible risks involved in activities or the environment and eliminate or manage the risks.
  • Before beginning an activity, clearly explain behavior expectations that keep everyone safe.
  • Teach club members safety practices for the project they are working on.
  • Stop any put-downs or ridicule.
  • Don’t tolerate bullying or cliques.

Adapted with permission from University of Illinois Cooperative Extension.