Even if the program suggestion is not feasible at the current time, write it down for later use. The counselor will feel valued because his or her idea was heard. Also, it could be useful down the road when the camp director is looking for some new programming ideas.

Without offending any camp directors out there, counselors do provide “fresh” knowledge in the programming field. A counselor may have done a game at a church youth group that would be great to run at a camp.

Or, a counselor could have learned an activity in a teacher’s education class that would be useful to implement. Fresh ideas, with the direction of a camp administrator, are extremely successful and valuable.

One other piece of advice: possibly ask counselors about their experience as campers. What did they like about camp? What could have used some improvement?

Even though it may have been 10 years since that counselor filled the shoes of a camper, he or she can still provide a different perspective. Plus, the joys of being a kid seem pretty solid and concrete even as years pass.

Remember what it was like to be a child. Think in that mind set. In the end, that is what variety and creativity in programming comes down to… taking a different perspective. It is imperative for the success of the camp. Listen, learn and (most important to me) laugh and the success will follow.

Christie Enders worked at Camp Al-Gon-Quian in Indian River, Mich., this past summer and at Camp Pendalouan in the summer of 2000. She is a junior at Michigan State University and studies community relations.

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Related posts:

  1. The Spirit of Camp
  2. Reaching Out
  3. Fitting In
  4. From the Counselor
  5. Staff Continuum

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