Category Archives: Staff Training

Dazzling Surprises

In the world of quantum physics, there is a good chance that if I throw a pebble at a brick wall, the pebble will teleport through to the other side, leaving the wall intact. Many scientists have done this exercise with atomic nuclei and force fields. In fact, if you started throwing pebbles now from a camp sports field at a stone wall near the parking lot and stuck around for a trillion trillion trillion times the age of the … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Issues, Nov/Dec 2013, Staff Training | Leave a comment

A Healthy Lead

Photo courtesy © Can Stock Photo Inc. / photography33

Staff members are usually on top of their game until they start treating their job like one. Once young people lose sight of the importance of caring for other people’s children, taking unhealthy risks increases. By contrast, if they rest playful leadership on the three-legged stool of sleep, exercise, and nutritional food, their resilience and stamina also increase. Ask Not What Your Camp Can Do for You Does this sound idealistic? Do you wonder where on earth you might find … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Dr. Chris Thurber, Insider Access, Issues, Sept/Oct 2013, Staff Training | Leave a comment

Courageous Ignorance

Asking about another person’s experiences is the first essential step toward preventing prejudice and racism.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / monkeybusiness

If you’ve seen my photo or met me at a conference, you might wonder what gives me—a white male—the qualifications or street cred to write about prejudice and diversity. And some would consider that racism. That’s the rub, isn’t it? My provenance isn’t clear from my skin color. Neither is anyone else’s. So why pre-judge my talents based on my skin color? Sure, I could tell you that I’m a quarter-Swedish, a quarter-German and half-English. That might explain my light … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Insider Access, Jul/Aug 2013, Staff Training | Leave a comment

Watch Out For One Another

When you see something, say something -- in a kind and professional way. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / diego_cervo

Part III: How staff members can help each other observe professional boundaries In Parts I and II of this article series on maintaining professional boundaries with youth, I introduced the concept of a fiduciary, and revealed the vulnerabilities that tempt adults to cross boundaries. When you are comfortable with the concept of a fiduciary and fluent in the vulnerabilities that make us human (and therefore sometimes dangerous), you are ready to stabilize your proficiency with peer support. In Part III, … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Dr. Chris Thurber, Issues, May/June 2013, Staff Training, Writers | Leave a comment

The Importance Of Candid Feedback

Be honest with parents when discussing a child's challenging behavior at camp. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / goldenKB

While the biggest worry for a camp counselor may be coping with a particularly difficult camper, the second-biggest worry is how to tell that camper’s parents—either at the child’s pick-up time after an especially trying day or at the end of a resident session. Certainly a camp staff’s responsibility includes not only caring for campers, but also providing opportunities for growth. This is best accomplished when parents are drawn into a partnership with a key staff member, which occurs only … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Issues, May/June 2013, Staff Training | Leave a comment