Volunteer Host Program

Volunteer hosts serve for a period of 3-5 days at a time each week or weekend that they are scheduled. Volunteer hosts are offered modest lodging accommodations (or a place to park an RV if they have one) during their stay (some stays require moving during the stay depending on group needs) and meals. In gratitude, when rooms are available, volunteer hosts may stay at the Ranch an additional day before or after their scheduled hosting service.

Volunteer Hosts commit to a full day of training followed by an on-the-job training “trial weekend” where they assist the host on duty before being scheduled into the Volunteer Host rotation. Once Volunteer Hosts are trained we ask for one of the following commitments:

  1. Serving one 3-5 day hosting assignment each month for minimum of 6 months. (or)
  2. Serving as a Resident Host for one month where the host lives in residence at the Ranch for one month and serves one 3-5 day hosting assignment each week during their time in residence.

Hosts are responsible for providing gracious hospitality to all our guests, volunteers, residents and staff. The Host’s primary responsibility is to attend to the needs of guests and groups while they are at the Bishop’s Ranch. The host is “on call” and responds to guests’ needs and questions as they arise.

The Host is responsible or working with the hospitality team and coordinating with other hosts to ensure that we: are fully prepared for guest arrival, practice gracious hospitality to all guests, and provide excellent guest service while groups are in residence. The Host responds to off-hour calls for maintenance, safety or other guest needs.

Prepare for group arrivals:

  • Conduct thorough walk through prior to guests’ arrival making sure meeting and lodging rooms are safe, ready and welcoming for groups including
  • Making sure exterior lighting is operating correctly at dusk and that welcoming interior lights are on if guests are arriving after dark
  • Tables and chairs set up as requested by group (through reservations process)
  • Equipment setup is correct and tested prior to use by guests, including any needed audio-visual equipment
  • Fireplace and/or fire circle areas clean and have firewood, starters and matches available for guest use (firewood stocked by Facilities staff)
  • Check pool area before and after groups.  
  • See that linen receptacles and trash areas are ready for use

Welcome Arriving Groups and Individuals:

  • Be present and ready to welcome individuals and groups as they arrive
  • Direct traffic and parking as needed
  • Greet visitors and guests
  • Orient guests to the Ranch
  • Connect with Group Leaders when they arrive to confirm details of their retreat
  • Give welcome talks to groups including directional and orienting messages (e.g. housekeeping, meal times, safety, policies etc…) and key Ranch messaging (e.g. messages about summer camps, programs and advancement initiatives as directed).
  • Answer questions from Guests

Host Groups in Residence

  • Host groups and be on site as scheduled
  • Attend meals to liaison between groups and kitchen,
  • Make announcements and share Ranch messages
  • Supports groups with their A/V and technical needs
  • Be on-call and available to respond to group needs
  • Follow guidelines in hosting manual, know emergency response procedures including fire alarm system
  • Conduct regular walk arounds, as appropriate to respect guests’ space, of all facilities to ensure that everything is neat and in working order.
  • Report maintenance and repair issues to Facilities and Land department using the Request Form. If the issue has an immediate impact on guests (e.g. malfunctioning toilet, shower, heating or cooling systems, property damage, etc…) respond and/or text or call Guest Services Manager for immediate support.
  • Keep FLD Service Request form link on phone to report maintenance and repair issues.
  • Keep Sheriff, Fire Department, PG&E, Residents and Staff phone numbers in phone.
  • Walk campus in the morning and evening to check that pathways are illuminated and areas are safe and ready for guest use.
  • As requested and scheduled in advance, be able to offer additional services to groups (e.g. guided hikes and tours, campfires, social hours, etc…)

Assist with Group Departures:

  • Make announcements at final meals and give departure instructions.
  • Gather feedback and evaluations
  • Collect payment if necessary
  • Direct traffic and parking as needed
  • See that linen receptacles and trash areas are ready for use

Kitchen Support

  • Provide serving and cleanup support at Refectory when needed, in addition to hosting  
  • When hosting check in at Refectory 15 minutes prior to each meal Ask Lead Cook if they need assistance in final preparation (menu board, signage, etc…)
  • In colder seasons arrive 30 minutes prior to build a fire for heat
  • Ring Bell when Lead Cook indicates everything is ready.
  • Provide serving support when needed
  • Act as buffer/liaison between guests and the kitchen staff by sitting at the kitchen door and relaying guests questions or requests to the kitchen staff.

Additional Duties

  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Service-oriented person with a deep love of people and the practice of hospitality
  • Flexible team player
  • With initial direction, able to complete tasks alone 
and manage time
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of basic emergency response skills: contacts, CPR, AED
  • Knowledge of setting up and troubleshooting Audio Visual equipment
  • Good attention to detail
  • Able to lift and carry objects while walking over the property
  • Environmental and religious sensitivity
  • Able to adapt to flexible scheduling, including weekends

OVERALL DESCRIPTION

The Bishop’s Ranch is a self-supporting institution of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

The mission of the Ranch is to serve God by providing for people of all walks of life a place where lives are changed; a place of hospitality amidst the beauty of God’s creation where renewal of spirit, mind and body is nourished, leading to spiritual growth and closer relationships with God and one another.

We fulfill the mission of the Ranch by providing hospitality for retreats, conferences and other gatherings to groups and individuals from the Diocese of California, other churches, and non-profit groups.  Our goal is to provide these services in a personal and relaxed but efficient way that enables guests to reach their goals for spiritual, personal, and organizational growth.      

Working at The Bishop’s Ranch is service oriented, and doing our jobs successfully is based on teamwork.  Because of the wide-ranging nature of the tasks involved in caring for our guests and facilities, it may be necessary to perform tasks outside our usual line of work.  For example: when on duty in the kitchen a guest may come in and ask where sports equipment is found; an office worker may be called to help when a guest finds a broken water valve; a maintenance worker may need to help in the kitchen when a group suddenly has increased in numbers, or a cook must leave due to illness.  The flexibility to help in such a situation in order to support our guests and the overall goals of the Ranch is a requirement of working at The Bishop’s Ranch.