Category Archives: Staff Training

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

For Juniors’ Sake

First, the good news: Your youngest staff members possess a brand of exuberance, creativity, and playfulness that older employees do not. That positive energy is a tremendous asset to the camp. When properly fed and watered, some of the junior staffers will eventually grow into unit leaders and administrative staff. That, too, is an asset. Second, the fact you employ junior staff members creates an incentive for the oldest campers to return. The prospect of being chosen to join these … Continue reading

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

Leave The Baggage At Home

When you are planning your training for this summer’s camp staff, keep in mind the baggage they bring with them. No, we’re not talking about the sleeping bag and duffle bag. We mean the emotional baggage and experiences they carry inside their heads. Here is a great hands-on training session on the subject from the good folks at camphacker.org: http://bit.ly/KmjTWS

Posted in Camp Business, Columns & Features, Special Website Content, Staff Training | Leave a comment