It's almost the big day! Be sure to wrap up any loose ends so that Build Day goes as smoothly as possible.
As you approach the build, it's time to finish solicitations and finalize the details of your logistics plan. Here's a summary of your home-stretch tasks:
Organize volunteer and donor confirmation calls
The week before the build, it's important to check in with your team. Verify their arrival times. If donors will be delivering supplies directly to the site, call to remind them and confirm the details.
One of your responsibilities is to arrange a safe and secure location for playground equipment to be delivered, inventoried and stored. If your facility has an indoor space, this was an easy job! If not, you may be renting a storage unit. If keeping your equipment outside is the only option, be sure to arrange for nighttime security to keep an eye on the equipment. You can certainly hire a security company if your budget allows, or consider organizing late-night volunteers in shifts. We've even known scouting troops to camp out on site to keep equipment safe!
Build Day signage
Make sure your restrooms and parking are clearly labeled. If your location is hard to find, consider putting signs out a few blocks away to let folks know they're headed in the right direction!
Trash and recycling
If you are using an existing dumpster, try to arrange for it to be emptied the day before Build Day, or even better, before any site preparation days when your materials will be delivered. That way, you'll be sure to have lots of room.
Create a site layout/build timetable
Your co-chairs will need your help in creating a detailed site layout that shows the location of all the teams' activities. To do your part, sketch the build site and indicate the location for electric and water hook-ups, storage unit, bathrooms/portable toilets, parking, trash dumpsters (if used) and tents/tables (if used). Take into consideration where items will be dropped off, picked up and how far they will need to be transported.
Work with your Construction Team Captain to determine a safe location for the safety surfacing. If volunteers will be hauling mulch KaBOOM!-style (using lots of elbow grease, shovels and tarps), you will want a clear path of travel from the mulch pile to the actual site.
An official Build Timetable is another way to make sure that everyone is on the same page...literally! It's essentially a script for the site prep and Build Days, a single document that pulls together all the teams' activities and lists them in order. To make one, your co-chair will want a detailed Logistics Team schedule, including your delivery times, volunteer arrival times, tasks, and what supplies/equipment are needed.
Your playspace is the culmination of months of planning and dedication, so although you'll be busy, be sure to get dirty and enjoy yourself! You deserve a big reward for working so hard to change a child's world. Here's an overview of your major tasks for the big day!
If you are the person with the keys or other way of opening up the unit or room where playground equipment is stored, all will be waiting on you! Get there early so the Construction Team has plenty of time to move and stage equipment.
This task is timely – you'll always have "surprise" volunteers that arrive earlier than expected. Be sure that you and your teammates plan to arrive early enough so that parking is clearly marked for even the earliest and most enthusiastic of volunteers! It is always a good idea to assign a team member or volunteer to parking duty; direction adds a nice personal touch to arriving volunteers.
Again, displaying clear signs early on Build Day will help your volunteers find bathrooms on their own – resulting in fewer questions for you and the Planning Committee. As soon as you arrive on site, plan to verify that bathrooms are open, clean and well-stocked with supplies like toilet paper and paper towels.
Be sure to have a clear point of contact on your team for set up. It's best to get tents up very early in the morning, before volunteers arrive. Encourage volunteers to help dismantle tables and put away chairs at the end of the day!
Simply remind the Construction Team Captain of locations, and be available for questions or troubleshooting.
Thanks to your efforts, your community is now a better place for children and their families. Great work! You've shown people what can happen when citizens fight for positive change, and you've created a working model for future projects. To make sure that these seeds of change grow and blossom in the years ahead, we suggest taking a few simple steps toward maintaining your playspace and its network of supporters:
Return tools and clean the site
If pick-up deliveries were not scheduled, make sure to return all rented equipment. Don’t dismiss all your volunteers until the site is tidied up!
Send thank-you letters
Can you think of people who deserve a special thank-you for their hard work and support? Let them know! By taking the time to recognize them and make them feel appreciated, you ensure that they'll stay involved in your community in the future. For many people, the thrill of participating in a playspace build is the start of a lifelong commitment to service.
Evaluate your planning process
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently? What worked and what flopped? Your experience will prove invaluable to community organizers down the road, so take the time to record your team's thoughts. (You'll find an evaluation form below.)
Contribute to a "Friends of the Playspace" group
Your co-chair(s) or fellow Team Captains may be interested in forming an ongoing group to support your new playspace. Logistics Team members can contribute by helping find locations for group meetings, sharing tips and contacts for future programming events, and by participating in future programs and fundraisers.
No matter how well your project went, it's always a good idea to stop and assess what worked and what didn't. Get started with the evaluation form below, and consider discussing the results with your fellow Team Captains.
Name of Team Captain: