Inter-Camp Activities

3. Practice foresight, patience and flexibility. Use the following procedure to avoid problems arising from campers’ commitments: Coaches provide their department head supervisor with a list of all players as well as alternates by 1:30 p.m. the day before all inter-camp games, matches, meets, etc. Similarly, when the performing arts department plans to hold a rehearsal at any time other than elective hour or the program period scheduled for rehearsal, inform the group leaders by 1:30 p.m. the day before, providing a list of all campers who will participate. The group leader will return a list of eligible campers to the staff by camp evening meal (6:00 p.m.).

Keep in mind, campers cannot participate in inter-camp athletics if it conflicts with a rehearsal, or go out on camping trips when they have a role in a production that will be performed within 48 hours of the potential inter-camp event or camping trip, but are otherwise allowed to miss rehearsal. Lead characters sometimes are required to participate in rehearsals for longer than 48 hours before shows.

Sports Competition And Children

Children have been running, throwing, climbing and swimming throughout time, and there are many benefits to physical activity. Children learn new skills and how to control them. Aside from developing physical skills and getting exercise, sports help children make friends, have fun, learn to play as a member of a team, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem. American sports culture has increasingly become a money-making business. The highly stressful, competitive, “win-at-all-costs” attitude prevalent at colleges and in professional athletics affects the world of children’s sports, creating an unhealthy environment. It is important to remember that the attitudes and behaviors taught to children in sports carry over to adult life. Staff must take an active role in helping campers develop good sportsmanship. To help a camper get the most out of sports, you need to be actively involved. This includes:

·Providing emotional support and positive feedback

·Attending games and talking about them afterward

·Having realistic expectations for campers

·Helping campers handle disappointments and losing

·Modeling respectful spectator behavior.

Campers’ behaviors and attitudes reflect a combination of coaching and discussions about good sportsmanship and fair play. It is also important to talk about what campers observe in sports events. When bad sportsmanship occurs, discuss other ways the situation could be handled. While you might acknowledge that in the heat of competition it may be difficult to maintain control and respect for others, it is important to stress that disrespectful behavior is not acceptable. Remember, success is not the same thing as winning, and failure is not the same thing as losing.

Ephram A. Caflun is the owner and director of Camp Wekeela in Hartford, Maine. Caflun, his wife, Lori, and their children have been at Wekeela since 1997. He has been working professionally with children since 1992. During the camp “off-season,” he is a coach for each of his boy’s sports teams. He can be reached via e-mail at

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