Supporting a local charity, or a youth sports organization is definitely a worthy cause.

Spending my Friday evening or Saturday morning; however, working at the snack stand isn’t quite my idea of valuable…

Our group requires a $50 snack stand fee deposit. If you commit and complete 2 hours of service time in the stand, you get it back at the end of the month. Ok. Sure. I understand. Let’s make it enough to get people to volunteer, but not so cheap that they forego working their shift and consider the fee another “donation” to support the organization.

So, have I done it? Yes. Actually, even more than once in a season, because last year, while my daughter was working (not enough parent sign ups for the night so an open shift needs to be filled by the snack stand teen staff) one of the parent volunteers didn’t show up. So, we worked the two-hours together. Yes, you can call me Fry-Girl and they were crispy and delicious, but wow, did that bring back memories of working in a deli as a high school-er.

I don’t think a 16 year old should work by themselves, with cash, even if it’s only $25 in pretzel, soda, french fry and coffee sales. It’s lonely and if there is a rush, people aren’t always polite. (Mostly they are… but think about retail and how people have soooo much patience for the checker who works minimum wage.) Having a back up employee is a good idea. Working with your daughter is also enlightening.

Some think it is fun. They see people. The get to work with other parents they don’t normally get to spend time with during the fall soccer season. Mostly though, I don’t recall seeing people I know. Not on Friday night, nor on Saturday mornings, either. Parents feel comfortable sending their children with $1 for a candy treat and don’t always come up to the window with them.

It isn’t at all that I don’t think that it is worthy of my time, but I do think it is a very good learning experience for a relatively inexperienced teen worker. For those of you out there, you can pay her to work your shift. She’ll appreciate the funds and we will make sure she gets there on-time. Oh, and she also smiles and says thank you, even to the 5 year olds who cant decide how to spend their $1 – will it be m+ms, nerds rope or maybe four ring pops!?! Decisions, decisions.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl


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