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July 11, 2012
How do we cover it all? Staff Training
We are getting ready for camp. We have done some of the training during our meetings before school got out, but how should we prepare for the camp training that will happen the day before the campers arrive?
This is a question that every camp director out there struggles with. How do we cover it all? In my opinion, the pretty complicated answer really is about the pretty simple idea that training is the only time you have to make sure that the staff know how to deliver camp. Armed with that idea, breakdown everything on your list first by priority (what is mandatory like safety training). Once you have a prioritized list take each topic and figure out what you want the staff to know about it or do about it at the end of the training session. For example, after talking about homesickness for an hour you want to have staff recognize the not-so-obvious signs of homesickness and have a few ideas about how to help a camper that is struggling. Then work backwards from there.
Remember, when it comes to training less is more. I would rather the counselors feel really confident about a few things then for them to know just a little bit about a lot of stuff.
Finally, talk to the staff about when training ends. Staff training ends when the last camper gets picked up from the bus or leaves camp. The best camp staff members never stop learning.
Scott “Funsize” Arizala
Camp Director for Camp Kesem, Vice President of Summer Programming for Dragonfly Forest, Summer Camp Consultant & Trainer, and award-winning author of S’more Than Camp. For more information please visit www.TheCampCounselor.com
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