Fitting In

One summer, we had local police (who were also hunters) stop by for an afternoon and instruct the counselors on archery and riflery. This helped them gain some experience from someone experienced in the area. It also took the emphasis of training being passed down from one counselor to another (which is not always negative).

Give the counselors time to clean up their activity area to allow them to figure out what equipment or materials they have. Also, time for updating those activity manuals or to read various related books is also a good thing to plan for.

It may also be beneficial to instruct counselors to plan for rainy-day activities. This helps so that not every activity is playing “spoons” when it rains.

One last suggestion for placing counselors in activity areas… Stress creativity throughout staff training and the entire summer.

One counselor at my camp started an activity area that the campers loved called FUNK, which was an abbreviation for a nature class.

Also, another counselor wanted to add a twist to the canoeing area and created a class called Gladiator Canoeing, which was for experienced canoers/campers. This gives the counselors freedom to mold the activity areas around their interests, which will only increase their interest and performance in that area.

Activity areas are an essential part of a camper’s day but are often overlooked. It is important to have a staff trained in these areas.

It is also necessary to identify a counselor’s talents and skills so that the campers (and the counselors) are having a good time! Activity areas are a fun way to spend the day. That’s why they occupy so much time!


Christie Enders just spent her second summer at Camp Al-Gon-Quian on Burt Lake, Mich. In the summer of 2000, she worked at Camp Pendalouan. Currently, she is a senior at Michigan State studying community relations and will be graduating in May.

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Related posts:

  1. The Spirit of Camp
  2. The Right Foot
  3. Brainstorming
  4. Counselor Query
  5. Me a Mentor?

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