Inter-Camp Activities

Inter-camp activities involve merging children from two separate camps, and having them compete in sports and other recreational activities. Inter-camps typically include team sports, such as soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, street hockey, gymnastics, volleyball, swimming and climbing wall, and individual sports, such as tennis.

Although participants play competitively and certainly like to win, emphasis is placed on participation and sportsmanship. Every child has an opportunity to participate, regardless of ability in a particular area. Inter-camps cut across the daily schedule. Coordination of multiple camp schedules, transportation and coaching often forces campers to make choices. In some cases these are a source of stress, for even the well-adjusted camper. It is important be sensitive to these potentially competing commitments, and attempt to address them before they arise.

General Rules And Tips For Coaches

As camp directors, we want guests to feel welcome and to treat our neighbors with warmth and respect. The following is a list of rules that must be followed, both for home and away activities:

Teams must be in uniform and maintain a high level of sportsmanship.

· Plan for events in advance to allow for adequate practice and preparation.

· Prepare a team roster two days in advance, and turn it into the office for distribution.

· Recognize and plan for the many variables involved before, during and after every inter-camp. For example, departure times, meal provisions, travel directions, early/late meals, etc.

· For home inter-camps, be ready early–in uniform–and greet the opposing camp as soon as the campers arrive.

· For away inter-camps, leave early! If you are running behind schedule and expect to return late, stop and call! Remember to load lunches.

· If you ever encounter a negative experience at another camp, report it to the directors immediately upon returning to camp.

· Most importantly, always represent your camp in a professional manner. In doing so, never tolerate bad sportsmanship by a camper (or counselor).

Like other camps you may be competing against, it’s important to remember these are not strictly sports camps, so be realistic in your expectations. Always strive for victory, but ask only that campers make the most of their abilities, and make sure each child is happy.

Coping With Competing Commitments: Resolving Scheduling Conflicts

Since camps sometimes run several vigorous programs that expand beyond regular program periods, directors and coaches may have conflicting schedules from time to time. For instance, campers who participate in inter-camp competitions may also opt to be a part of theatre rehearsals, which take place during the elective hour as well. Here is how to cope with such conflicts:

1. Keep a sense of proportion. Remember that the ultimate goal is neither the game nor the show, but the campers’ development and well-being. Although you never intend to put a team on the field that you know is not competitive, or hold a rehearsal that is unproductive, recognize that inter-camp sports are not on a professional level, and camp productions are not professional theatre. Compromise is necessary, and not every game or rehearsal will have the optimal combination of participants.

2. Do not make problems your campers’ problems. Keep campers out of discussions about any difficulties. Under no circumstances should any staff member ask campers to decide which activity is more important; ideally, campers should not know a potential conflict exists. For example, when staff members seek sign-ups for events, they simply ask for those who want to participate, not those who are not in the play who want to participate.

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