From all indications, The First Tee of the Triad is an ongoing regional success story. That success is mirrored locally at Jamestown Park, where the program that launched last year is set to begin its second year with an expanded menu. It is adding a PAR level course to its existing PLAYER level and, as a result, has issued the call for volunteers for the upcoming spring session.
“We’ve enjoyed wonderful success at Jamestown and are looking forward to more growth,” said program director Ryan Wilson. “So, we need help there to keep moving in a positive direction.”
Registration for the spring session will begin on Feb. 15 and the session itself will begin on Monday, March 25, and continue for eight weeks at nine sites in the Triad. Session times are 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
“Seriously, these things fill up in a few days, so I’d mark down that date to get registered,” said First Tee of the Triad CEO Mike Barber. “Each PLAYER level class may include as many as 20 but is pared down to 15 at PAR to give each a bit more individualized instruction.” He added that the program had 378 kids in 2011, which grew to 720 in 2012, and is projected to be between that number and 1,000 in 2013.
Wilson explained the difference between the two levels. “At the PLAYER level kids are just getting introduced to the sport, to the code of conduct and our nine core values. Once they move up to PAR, they have to be at least nine years old and transition into life skills, like how to interact with adults, manage yourself under difficult situations, what we call interpersonal skills. Also their golf games get challenged at a bit more difficult level, from the basics to the finer points of the swing, as well as golfing etiquette. Volunteers can teach multiple levels, depending on what extent they’ve been trained for it.”
Added Barber, “Comparing 2011 to 2012 we went from 48 registered volunteers across our program to 152. We put a lot of emphasis on getting good, quality volunteers. They all receive background checks and many hours of training, plus some on-the-job training by shadowing a coach. We never like to fall below a ratio of five children to one adult.”
Anyone interested in volunteering may go to www.thefirstteetriad.org and register as a volunteer. If additional information about the role of volunteers is needed, please call Ryan Wilson at 336-655-3727.
Ogi Overman can be reached at 336-841-4933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.