Viewing posts from: February 2014

Last Chance to be a Spring 2014 Staff Member!

by stanfordsierra

02 24, 2014 | Posted in Employment | 0 comments

Do you have a positive attitude, good work ethic, are interested in helping people and love the outdoors? Then we have a job for you! This is the final week to submit an application to work during our spring conference season which begins April 13 and ends June 13. We are hiring all-purpose staff, which means no two days will be alike. You could be setting a room for a meeting, serving dinner, cleaning toilets, leading a hike, or all of these in one day!

Setting meeting rooms is a common shift for all purpose staff

Setting meeting rooms is a common shift for all purpose staff

We hire about 40 staff to work the two-month spring season. Our staff live onsite in cabins and all meals are provided.
DSCN2425

Staff cabins along 'rustic row'

All-purpose staff normally work from 30 to 40+ hours per week, depending on how busy the conference schedule is. Then your time is free to spend as you like. You might have a morning shift, then free time in the afternoon, then work again in the evening. We have a boat dock onsite with kayaks, peddle boats, stand up paddle boards and sailboats, so many staff get out on the boats during free time or just relax on the dock.
A staff member relaxing on the boat dock

A staff member relaxing on the boat dock

It's fun to see the staff's variety of backgrounds and hometowns. We'll tend to get groups from the same state, Texas and Ohio one year, New Hampshire and Florida the next year. Living, working and playing together the staff bond as a community and many make lifetime friendships.
Soccer games on the tennis courts were popular with the fall '13 staff

Soccer games on the tennis courts were popular with the fall '13 staff

Our spring events range from a silent retreat to scientific meetings to family getaways for members of the Stanford community. We encourage our staff to work hard, but have fun! For a full description of seasonal work at Stanford Sierra Conference Center, see our 'Seasonal Assignments Description' .
Laine, Halie & Jenny sport their best 80s garb on a Hobart shift

Costumes encouraged for washing dishes aka "Hobart" shifts

After working a season, many of our staff return for a second or third season. We will hire again in the summer for our fall conference season which runs from early September to early November. Charlie Powers, conference staff director, conducts phone interviews with each applicant. Charlie is looking for applicants who present themselves well both on their application and over the phone. Charlie looks for consistent education or employment history and a clear direction.
A couple of our spring 2013 staff returning from a hike

A couple of our spring 2013 staff returning from a hike

You can complete the application online, but do it soon, the deadline is March 1! For questions or more information, you can contact Charlie Powers, conference staff director, at 530-541-1244 or cpowers@stanford.edu.  

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Use Excel and Google Drive to Coordinate Events

by stanfordsierra

02 12, 2014 | Posted in Event planning, Meeting | 0 comments

We host about 12 events during the spring then again in the fall each year. Before each event, I work with the group's coordinator to identify needs for their visit such as meeting and activity times, how many attendees, what room set up and equipment is needed, etc. I then package the information to share with our managers, so we can provide what the groups needs, when they need it. The process starts at least two months prior to the scheduled event when I send overview information to the group coordinator. Lately we've been sharing documents on Google Drive. Here is our fact sheet shared on Google Drive

Our fact sheet shared on Google Drive

I also share planning guidelines plus our A/V, wine and hors d'oeuvres lists. The group contact can then use this information to complete an Excel schedule spreadsheet which I also share on Google Drive. Here is a sample schedule from our alumni creative camp, Creativity in the Wild
Daily logistics schedule

Daily logistics schedule

Once the schedule is completed, the coordinator and I review it together item-by-item. The schedule is color-coded by department, so each manager can quickly see what they need to provide. Every Friday during conference season I review each event with our managers. Usually a few more questions come up during the logistics meetings, so I get back to the coordinator to clarify these final details, then I print a final logistics schedule which we post in the office. During events, we rotate as manager-on-duty so each of us know that we can go to the master schedule in the office with any questions. It's inevitable that changes occur during an event, so I'm sure to update the schedule and create a change form to notify managers of the changes. Before I go on my days off, I share the schedule file with Nichole, our assistant office manager, so she can make any changes that occur on those days. The process works well and events at our business conference center run smoothly. We're always looking for ways to streamline and improve our systems, so if you have ideas or suggestions, let me know!  

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Dave Bunnett Keeps the Camp Magic Going

by The Aviator

02 04, 2014 | Posted in History, Location, Recreation | 0 comments

Every fall Stanford Sierra Conference Center hosts a group of fifth and sixth graders from East Palo Alto. Briefly liberated from their urban environment and enthused by mountain air, water games and sugar--the children run wild. On one of my first days at camp I stood in the lobby watching a competitive game of tag. One boy running helter skelter, nearly collided with the Camp Director, Dave Bunnett. Tilting his head to look at Dave, the boy's jaw went slack. Dave looked down, smiling. After a moment of appraisal the boy broke the silence, “You're a giant!”

Dave 'the giant' giving a crawdad lesson to a group of preschoolers

Dave 'the giant' giving a crawdad lesson to a group of preschoolers

And he was right. Dave is 6'5''. Bemused at the child's assessment, Dave watched the boy walk away. That was one of my first encounters with Dave and it encouraged me to subscribe to the general consensus here at camp: Dave is a nice guy. Dave has been the Camp Director here at SSC since 1995, but he began at the bottom. He was a Stanford University student and summer staffer here in the early 80s. Feeling at home on the lake, Dave stayed on and began working his way up through the ranks. “I can still remember the day I drove onto Fallen Leaf Road for the first time,” Dave told me as we sat and talked in the old lodge. “I was coming to work and I drove in on the road and I looked around and I just said, 'Wow, this is pretty incredible! I have to figure out how to stay around here.'”
The beauty of Fallen Leaf made Dave want to stay

The beauty of Fallen Leaf made Dave want to stay

After Dave worked as a summer staffer responsible for supervising children, cleaning dishes and making beds, Dave was promoted to DOPO, department of plant operations, where he handled maintenance issues.
Dave likes to stay 'hands on' with maintenance projects

Dave likes to stay 'hands on' with maintenance projects

Then Dave traded his work belt for a telephone when he assumed the position of assistant camp director. Seven years later he was made the camp director, a position which he has held for nearly two decades.
Dave working at his desk overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake

Dave working at his desk overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake

The annual visits for the East Palo Alto youngsters is one of the accomplishments of his tenure for which Dave is most proud. It was not his idea. During a midseason interview with a summer staffer, Dave was informed that while happy, the student felt unfulfilled. His reasoning was that while he was having an excellent summer, it was a selfish pursuit--he hadn't helped anyone but himself. This sparked a long, involved conversation. The result of that conversation was the pro bono, annual visit of underprivileged children which continues to this day. It is fairly evident to most people who encounter Dave that he has an adventurous spirit. That spirit is imbued within Stanford Sierra Camp. After Dave graduated from Stanford, he joined the Peace Corp and worked in the Solomon Islands. He said of his experience, “At the time it was very, very third world with very little medical care. People were happy and well-fed because they had a good supply of natural resources, but it was very, very primitive where I was.” Some of Dave's best adventures were sailing.“At one point I sailed a boat from Spain to Venezuela,” he told me, his signature smile beaming across his face. “I'd done some Hawaii trips before. But Spain to Venezuela, we had some good times. We got caught in a big storm at one point, and that was sort of fun.” That's they type of guy Dave is, someone for whom storms are an adventure - not something to keep you from going out again. Dave keeps the sailing program going strong at Camp with a good fleet of boats and staff training every season. See Dave in our Stanford Sierra sailing overview video.
Dave training summer staff at the boat dock

Dave training summer staff at the boat dock

Since assuming his position as Camp Director, Dave no longer backpacks across Europe, but he still partakes in the adventures that can be found around camp. He runs the Angora Loop nearly every day during the summer and often sails Lake Tahoe. Dave shares his camp experience now with his wife, Tamara, (they are about to celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary!) and his daughters Danica and Tatum. During the second to last week of the fall conference season, we had our first heavy snow. The clouds hung low, hiding the mountain peaks. Snow drifted serenely to the ground, as if each flake had all the time in the world to fall. Standing in front of the Main Lodge and looking out at the lake really felt mystical. The clouds and snow buffered all other sound, leaving camp a tranquil refuge seemingly all on its own. Dave believes that it is his responsibility to make this feeling of magic last, allow it to permeate everyone's experience here—from guests to staff.
A magical day with a fresh layer of snow at Fallen Leaf

A magical day with a fresh layer of snow at Fallen Leaf

When I asked Dave about whether that initial feeling of magic has lasted his thirty-years at Stanford Sierra Conference Center, he said, “It's different in my position now. I have to worry and take care of stuff to keep it magical for you guys.”
Dave out on the waterfront

Dave out on the waterfront

 

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