Universally Direct

As mentioned earlier, the two areas of exception for the universal approach are waterfront and ranch. All camps should have specific people hired to run their water front activities, like swimming lessons, water skiing and sailing. The state and the ACA have strict regulations that should be followed at all times for water activities.

Horseback riding is an inherently dangerous activity. To increase the danger of the sport by placing under-qualified personnel with the animals and children is irresponsible and dangerous.

Only certified, clinic-trained instructors should be allowed to teach children how to work around and ride horses.

Camps operate on budgets. Plan for extra training for your waterfront and ranch staff. Send them to be trained or train one staff member to be a clinical instructor so they can train everyone else at your facility.

The extra cost for training people in these two areas will protect your entire summer operation.

No matter what placement strategy you follow try and mix the two up. All hiring season we camp directors scurry high and low for the best people, best personalities, and best chances for the our campers to have an incredible summer.

Plan for Murphy’s Law and don’t take the approach that it will never happen. That’s when we add to the surprises, unnecessarily, that summer camp already has in store for us! Good luck.

Jeff Merhige is Executive Director of YMCA Camp Kern, Dayton YMCA, in Dayton, Ohio. He can be reached via e-mail at jmerhige@daytonymca.org.

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