Dutch Ambassador Welcome kit

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Inspired by the Belgian new ambs kit

Warm welcome

You reading this is good news! Everytime someone reads this Dutch Ambassador Welcome kit it means our active cs family is growing! From now on you’re an official cs Ambassador. In order to help you with your new tasks as an Ambassador this document contains heaps of helpful information. Here you’ll read what it entails to be an efficient cs Ambassador, how the Netherlands CS organisation works, and some tips on how to stay in the right shape! We advise to read it carefully and thoroughly.

What it entails be a CouchSurfing ambassador

Being an ambassador in the Netherlands should be a fun and interesting experience to be enjoyed. This document contains a the guidelines, but as most things in life it’s what you make of it yourself.

Description

First and foremost Ambassadors promote the values that embody the Couchsurfing Spirit. City Ambassadors are also the voice and ear to their local community, and source of information for all the members of their local community.

Responsibilities

Most City Ambassadors contribute at least 10 hours per month but this varies greatly from person to person. We want to make sure all Ambassadors love what they do. Please always feel free to ask for help, ask your other city ambassadors in the group or send a private mail to your country ambassador.

The role of the City Ambassadors is to be of service to CouchSurfing members and to be of service to the local community. Ambassadors are volunteers committed to helping others.

As travellers, hosts, surfers, and volunteers, Ambassadors strive to

  • Promote respect and tolerance for individuals and cultures
  • Promote cultural diversity and awareness
  • Promote equality, inclusiveness, and friendship
  • Promote honesty and fairness

In addition, in our role as volunteers Ambassadors strive to:

  • Promote personal and professional integrity
  • Promote the pursuit of excellence
  • Promote teamwork

Ambassadors Code of Conduct Our behaviour as travellers, guests, hosts, and volunteers is a direct reflection on CouchSurfing. Therefore Ambassadors will be held to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. Ambassadors must agree to the code of conduct

Duties City ambassador

There are four levels of ambassadorship: City, Country, Global and Nomadic. The duties of city ambassadorship is defined below. The explanations of the other levels of ambassadorship can be found on the couch surfing website. If you have any questions feel free to contact another ambassador (country or other).

It could be that your community is already active and has ambassador(s), in that case we recommend you to contact your fellow city Ambassadors and see where you can help out. There’s a possibility that you might be the first ambassador of a city (check the Dutch Ambassadors wiki). In that case we recommend you to contact a nearby fellow ambassador or an ambassador mentor and ask them any questions you have. They are more then willing to help you out.

Organise local events

Most active communities are organising meetings. This could be a set weekly meeting (Amsterdam Friday), (Rotterdam Tuesday and Saturday) or a monthly meeting (Utrecht, Enschede, Maastricht, Amersfoort or Groningen) or just random meetings as in The Hague.

There are many ways to set up a meeting. For tips and tricks check how to make a good meeting page.

Moderator of your City group

A new CS city amb should become moderator of his/her city group. This does not happen automatically. You kindly need to ask the moderators of your city group to make you co-moderator. Moderators can be your fellow city Ambassadors or it can be a normal moderator who once started the group. If they don´t add you to the group or you get a negative response send a message to Contact Us and explain the situation.

Your role as a moderator is firstly to provide visitors of the group a quick access to the ambassadors in your City. Secondly, City Ambassadors are responsible in keeping their local community alive, providing info and more. This includes defining group guidelines, managing/raising polls and establishing Google events calendars if required.

Communication

There are many ways to communicate with your fellow active members. The idea is to build up or keep continuing a strong local community. It might therefore be essential to keep your fellow active members involved and informed about new events, meetings and other initiatives.

New member welcome

A good way for an ambassador to welcome new members in your community is by joining the new member welcome group. Through the new member welcome groupyou’re able to find out which new members have joined your community. To warmly welcome new members and show them what is happening in your community with a welcome message can be appropriate.

Once you join the new member welcome group you will receive extra tools on your profile to send out welcome messages.

Visit other local meetings

You’re always welcome to visit any of the local meetings. May you be looking for some new ideas, want to get to know your fellow active members, please do not hesitate to visit one of the local meetings.

Participate in the Netherlands CS organisation

Together with all the ambassadors we work on building this sustainable network, the Netherlands CS organisation. All ambassadors and active CS members who are interested are welcome to join. For more info on the Netherlands CS organisation check below.

Ambassador groups

As an ambassador you automatically become member of:

Feel free to explore the topics that are discussed in these groups. A good start are the flagged posts of the Ambassador’s Public and of Ambassador’s Private groups.

Extra Features on CS website

Ambassadors get acces to some extra features on the CS website.

  • First, you get an extra Amb tab in your navigation. This amb page gives all the information about ambassadorship and other ambassadors in the world and includes the groups of your community.
  • Second, you can check where recent sign ups heard about CS in the where did recent sign ups hear about CS? page. You also see this feature on CS profiles in the personal info.
  • Third, as an ambassador you now have extra possibilities with the statistics. As an amb you can check more specific regional statistics, per country. There is a selection box on the top of the page where you can select your country of choice (for instance, the Netherlands).
  • Fourth, you can mark CS profiles as having an exotic couch. When a CS member lives in a places which brings a special element to a CS experience you can mark his/her couch as exotic. For instance when somebody lives in a boat or in a remote area in the nature this could be an exotic couch. People who look for special CS experiences can look up these members.

Explore the features and use them for you community.

The Netherlands CS organisation

The Netherlands CS organisation team meets approximately once every three months. All the minutes of the Netherlands CS organisation you can find in the in the Dutch ambassadors wiki and in the Netherlands CS organisation wiki. Please read all the meeting minutes, they contain valuable information!!

You’re automatically enrolled in this group after you have obtained your Ambassadors status. You’re more than welcome to participate in any of the upcoming meetings.

In order to collaborate efficiently and effectively, the Netherlands CS organisation uses various communication tools:

Other Netherlands Ambassadors

There are Ambassadors in all regions of the Netherlands. The Dutch Ambassadors and information about the CS NL organisation meetings (minutes) can both be found in the Dutch Ambassadors wiki. Once again, please read all the meeting minutes, they contain valuable information!!

Everyone is encouraged to be on the lookout for people that would make a great ambassador or be valuable on a working group, and encourage them to apply or join!

Ambassador mentor

As a new ambassador we understand that you might still have questions after reading the Dutch ambassador welcome kit. To help you with any questions you might still have, there are 3 ambassador mentors. We divided the country up in North, Middle and South. Each ambassador mentor is a mentor to new ambassadors in his or her region.

The regions are divided accordingly:

Feel free to contact them if you have any questions

Tips for meet ups & activities

I am sure you already have a great deal of experience in organising meetings and events. The possible fellow Ambs in your city will probably have a way of organising things. It would be good to contact them about their plans.

In the how to make a good meeting page you can find extra tips and tricks on organising meetings and events.

CS has business cards you can customize and have printed or print yourself. This is a great help while promoting CouchSurfing. Simply download a file from here and print out on your own.

Dealing with security issues and problem resolution procedures, etc.

VERY IMPORTANT before posting ANYTHING linking to a member read this one: Reminder about user privacy

Basically the approach to any problems you might have would be to either directly contact your Country Ambassador or send a message to a member of the Leadership Team using the standard Contact Us form.

DO NOT USE THE GROUPS!!!

Most often a member of the Contact Team will then advise you of the next steps to take or of the answer you need. Familiarise yourself with the contents of the Contact Us form including familiarity with the range of items in the pull down menu labled Communication Type.


For problems (you have) with another member of CouchSurfing you can directly contact he Member Dispute Safety Team (MDST) by selecting "Problem with another member" in the Contact Us form.

Dealing with crimes such as: theft, abuse, and/or any forms of harassment.

What are the official procedures, whom do we contact, and in what order? Be prepared! Read the Tips for Surfers and Hosts.

  • If necessary contact the local police / ambulance USE YOUR COMMON SENSE!!
  • If other couchsurfers are involved, contact the Safety Administrator through the Contact Us form. Tell them as many details as possible about your experience. CouchSurfing will investigate and determine the best course of action. If necessary leave a negative reference.
  • Dealing with Dating requests: see Handling Dating Requests

Useful Links

Dutch Ambassador Welcome kit (this Document)
Dutch Ambassadors wiki
Netherlands wiki
The Netherlands CS organisation group
The Levels of ambassadorship
New member welcome group
Contact Us form
Frequently Asked Questions
CS NL google group
CS NL google calendar

Don’t worry be happy

Being an Ambassador can be a bit overwhelming. It’s really important that you have as much fun as possible. Hereby some small remarks on how to avoid stress as an ambassador:

  • Do what you love. Volunteering is meant to be fun. If greeting turns you on, greet. If you love to host, host. If you enjoy taking people out and about, do that! Whatever floats your boat: every contribution counts!
  • Recharge your batteries. If you start feeling drained, take a break.
  • Network. Share ideas, thoughts and frustrations with other CSers you get along with.
  • Portion Control. Basically, don't bite of more than you can chew. You might get a nasty case of indigestion!
  • Participate. Join the discussions and make your voice heard.

Good luck!

We wish you all the best. We’re a team all together so if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact one of us. We hope to see you around! The Netherlands is smaller then you think!