Volunteering with Youth

Currently, Free Ride is in the process of drafting a youth program. We need more volunteers though, so if you’d be interested, please contact us!
Below is all the information you need to get started.


Have one youth volunteer per Saturday open shop, from 1 to 5pm, to work with any children who come into the shop. A once a month commitment would be preferable, though not necessary.
Eventually we would like to work up to youth nights, contact us even if you can’t do Saturdays but would be interested in helping out with a youth night!


Everyone will need clearances to work with kids. The links needed are below.

-Select ‘New Record Check’
-Select ‘Other’
-choose ‘Volunteer’ later on
-Fill info
-Generate Background Check, Print & Save

-‘Create Individual Account’
-‘Create Clearance Application;
-use Volunteer Code to waive $8 fee
-you can email us for a code (freeride15224@gmail.com)

If you have not been a resident of PA for the last 5 years you need to get your federal criminal history record on https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_dpwNew.htm

Under the Sandusky act of 2014, all PA residents who have contact with children are now mandated reporters. Here’s a link to an online training for that. (It’s free, you just need to register.) Link: https://www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu/webapps/portal/execute/tabs/tabAction?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1
One of our fellow FreeRiders let us know about this. Not a clearance, but useful.


Youth need permission slips from parents/guardians to be allowed into the shop. This would be the responsibility of the youth volunteer to ensure that the youth have this. Unfortunately this is a legal thing we have to go by. But once we have one slip, we don’t need any more. Calling the parent/guardian can also be an option, more informally (not necessarily in replacement of slips).


The way we can make sure we are consistent about having youth volunteers is for you to sign up on the calendar after you have contacted us and gotten your clearances. Steps:
-Go to http://www.brownbearsw.com/freecal/freeride
-Click on day/event(open shop) you want to cover
-Under Modify this name, enter ‘Youth: YOURNAME’
-Click ‘Replace event’


Even if you cannot participate, any feedback would be useful. If you could email us with any ideas regarding the questions below, that would be awesome!

How many children do you think you all would be able to handle? Should we wing it or have a set number, like 3 or 4 kids per youth volunteer or something?
Another plan is to start a youth night if we start to get a lot of kids during open shop. When would people be free for that? Days, times, etc?
Should we start a youth space in the shop? Or do y’all think that it’s fine as is. Maybe if we get more kids we can start a space?
How should we get the word out that we are starting this? Any ideas on organizations to contact? ex. YMCA in Homewood

Looking forward to hearing from you!