Category Archives: Staff Training

Bridging The Gap

Working with Generation Y staff can be challenging -- but also rewarding and fun! © Can Stock Photo Inc. / iodrakon / summoners

Generation Y has come to be known by several different titles: The Internet Generation, Echo-Boomers, The Boomlet, Nexters, and most commonly, Millennials. The different classifications suggest the generation is open to many interpretations. As a result, many older camp directors have been left wondering how they can understand the working behaviors of their younger adult staff. As an extension to a recent conference workshop discussing staff entitlement, camp directors acknowledged similar difficulties in how they might “deal” with the enigmatic … Continue reading

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

Universal Vulnerabilities

All of us can be tempted to cross intimacy boundaries when working with children. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / photography33

In Part I of this series on maintaining professional boundaries with young people, I introduced the concept of a fiduciary, suggested the guideline of “Doubt = Don’t,” and outlined practical and effective ways in which directors could train staff to act responsibly. These fundamental ideas and practices serve as the basis for decent behavior. In Part II, I’ll expose the vulnerabilities that tempt adults to cross boundaries in the first place. The allure of becoming more popular in youngsters’ eyes … Continue reading

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

Am I Oversharing?

Your young staff needs some coaching in what is appropriate to say, do and share with campers. © Can Stock Photo Inc./Goodluz

Part I: Questions To Ask Before Show and Tell Hey, kids, gather ‘round. Let me tell you what I did on my night off, how far my romance has gone, and what I really think about the camp director. I can also explain those marks on my wrists from that time I was really depressed, and can advise you on which perfumes and colognes turn on the opposite sex. Or not. Preserving professional boundaries can be difficult for camp staff … Continue reading

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

Homesickness And Acculturation Stress

It isn't always easy for international campers and staff to adjust to life at camp. © Can Stock Photo Inc./igordutina

Research has shown that upwards of 95 percent of young people report at least some homesickness during a multi-week stay away from home. Even for persons with more experience in being away from home—typically those chronologically older, such as staff—the prevalence rate of homesickness is only somewhat lower. The point is that homesickness is normal. That’s a relief to any camper or counselor who feels uneasy with these feelings.   The linear distance from home has little to do with … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Dr. Chris Thurber, Issues, Nov/Dec 2012, Staff Training, Writers | Leave a comment

Manners Matter

Yes, table manners DO matter! Photo courtesy of Christopher Thurber

Early in the history of organized summer camps, cooks sparked a debate. Directors on one side of the debate argued that camps should be egalitarian utopias that teach self-reliance. Therefore, children should cook for themselves. No servants. Stoke the campfire and bust out the mess kits, they argued. The more children did for themselves at camp, the better. Hired help–cooks, custodians, or groundskeepers–created a class society. Quite the opposite of camps’ stated mission. Directors on the other side of the debate … Continue reading

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Dr. Chris Thurber, Issues, Sept/Oct 2012, Staff Training, Writers | Leave a comment