Chaperoning

(This Chaperone Responsibilities & Rights adopted by the NTS Board February 17, 2022)

Thank you for volunteering to chaperone for New Trier Sailing (“NTS”).  Chaperoning an NTS event may be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have as a high school parent.  You will get to see your young adult “in the wild” in a way you probably don’t get to in everyday life.

Chaperone Responsibilities

As chaperone for an event, your primary responsibilities are to manage the team’s logistics and ensure the safety and good behavior of our sailors.  Specifically:

Chaperones manage food, lodging, and transportation logistics for travel events.  (Sailors and their families are responsible for these for in-town events.)  One of our Regatta Chairs may make travel arrangements prior to a trip, but chaperones are responsible for everything during the trip.  NTS does not allow its sailors to drive to, from, or at events outside Illinois, even if they are licensed. 

During travel events, chaperones are responsible for sailors until they report to the event each day and after their coaches dismiss them for the day.  Coaches are only responsible for supervision during daytime sailing activities.  Coaches are often on the water during events, however, so chaperones may supervise or assist on land.  In any event, coordinate with our coaches and remain reasonably close to our sailors in case of an emergency.

Chaperones should let our coaches handle coaching and let them or our sailors handle any protests about on-the-water events.

Prior to the event, an NTS Regatta Chair will give you a package that contains a medical history, a medical power of attorney, health insurance information, and emergency contact for each NTS sailor at the event.  In the unlikely event it is necessary, you should ensure sailors get any immediate medical care they need and contact their parents as soon as possible.

Chaperones should attempt to ensure our sailors comply with our Code of Conduct and New Trier’s Extracurricular Code.  NTS has zero tolerance rules for sailors’ use of alcohol and drugs. 

As a chaperone you should only consume alcohol to a degree (if any) it models responsible behavior and does not impair your ability to fulfill your responsibilities as a chaperone.  You may not use or possess drugs or firearms while serving as a chaperone.

Chaperones should set a curfew and not retire until all sailors are in their assigned rooms for the night. 

In accordance with the youth protection guidelines from SafeSport, chaperones should not be alone with individual sailors (except their own children).  If a private discussion is merited, do so in a place that is visible to and where it can be interrupted by others.

Chaperones should report any serious issues that arise at an event, including potential violations of the NTS Code of Conduct, to the NTS board of directors.

Finally, chaperones should do anything else reasonable that helps make for a successful event. 

Chaperone Rights

You will be reimbursed by NTS for any reasonable relevant expenses you incur while chaperoning. (See our reimbursement policy and form.)

You may, as part of your responsibilities to ensure the safety and good behavior of our sailors, require a parent to pick up a sailor from an event, suspend a sailor from some or all further participation in an event, or withdraw the team from an event.  The responsibility for issuing any post-event penalties lies exclusively with the NTS board of directors.

Qualifications

A chaperone must be a parent or guardian of an NTS sailor attending the event, or another adult with the unanimous agreement of the attending sailors’ parents or guardians.

All chaperones must have completed SafeSport youth protection training in the previous two years (please find information on SafeSport on the NTS website).

The NTS board of directors has the sole discretion to accept, reject, or replace any chaperone at any time.

Suggestions

Bring a folding chair, warm clothes, sunscreen, binoculars, and possibly a handheld VHF marine radio (which you can often use to find out what is going on out on the water).

If you aren’t an experienced sailboat racer, ask any of our sailors for help understanding the format.  They will be glad you are interested.  Plus, they are much more likely to be patient with you than your own sailor!

Plan team activities, with sailor input, for the times outside the sailing actives.  It helps build team morale and prevent misbehavior.  Although we have rarely had issues in the past, when we have it has almost exclusively been outside of the daytime sailing activities.