Category Archives: Staff Training

Healthy Competition Is Not An Oxymoron

As a psychologist who works with schools and camps around the world, I am often asked whether competition is good or bad. Proponents of competition speak fondly of their athletic victories and about wanting the same experiences for the young people they serve. Competition, they say, builds character. It’s a competitive world out there, so we had better prepare our children.  Some critics of competition want every child to feel like a winner—always. Or, they want no child to feel … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, CB Top Stories, Columns & Features, Issues, Nov/Dec 2014, Staff Training | Leave a comment

Teachable Moments

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Feverpitched

Children can sometimes be annoying. With that bold truism on the table, here is a logical question for Camp Business readers: What can be done about that? To punish or reprimand comes rather too naturally, as was evident during my recent trip to an amusement park. To teach is better—indeed to teach is the true meaning of disciplining. And although it’s not always easy, both the parent and the annoying child in question will feel better in the end.  While … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, CB Top Stories, Columns & Features, Issues, Sept/Oct 2014, Staff Training | Leave a comment

Novelty: Naughty or Nice?

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / diego_cervo

It’s fun to ponder our love/hate relationship with newness. We wrap presents for birthdays, Chanukah, Christmas, and other special occasions, in part, because it’s pleasant to be surprised. Not only do the event of receiving something and the object itself bring us joy, but we also enjoy the feverish unwrapping of an unknown article. Call it the “Ta-Da!” factor. The sudden reveal amplifies our happiness—usually.  Some surprises, however, are unpleasant. I’m not talking about sudden bad news, where the unexpected … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Issues, Jul/Aug 2014, Staff Training | Leave a comment

Mindful Practice

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / cannjbdmp88

“Practice makes progress” has replaced the phrase “practice makes perfect” in the lexicon of most teachers, coaches, and camp staff members. Maybe this is a reflection of the 21st-century emphasis on authoritative parenting. Or perhaps youth leaders have become neurotic about not making youngsters themselves neurotic. It’s also possible that we are more informed than ever about what contributes to success. Rather than attaining perfection, we now understand that striving for perfection is the key to meaningful achievement in life. … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, May/June 2014, Staff Training | Leave a comment

A Place For Grace

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / halfpoint

After learning how to hold their miniature violins, the next thing 3-year old Suzuki students learn is how to perform a deep, gracious bow. Although the first notes they play will sound like a choking cat, they end their performance with dignity. Bending slowly at the waist, they intone: “One, two, three … hello, toes!” and “One, two, three … up!” Many parents new to the Suzuki method dismiss this exercise as either premature or quaint. (Shouldn’t my child actually … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Issues, Mar/Apr 2014, Staff Training | Leave a comment