Category Archives: Writers

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

Lead Me Not Into Temptation

Parenting: It's a jungle out there!

I offered to watch my 8-year-old’s belongings tonight at Gate B8. From across the hall, he had seen the Chicago Museum of Natural History store in O’Hare. We could both see the realistic looking stuffed animals, including arctic foxes, ring-tailed lemurs, and three-toed sloths. (Beanie Babies are so ‘90’s and Webkins are so 2010, don’t you know?) In fact, the shelves were full of cool toys, from quartz crystals to books on Egyptology. “You can go over there while I … Continue reading

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Giving The Gift Of Trust

There's something to be said for NOT sharing confidences.

During this season of sharing, let us be mindful of one affair we shouldn’t share: confidences. Our friends and family who confide in us deserve our discretion. Indeed, the very definition of integrity is to be true to your word. And if you’ve given someone your word that you’ll keep personal information to yourself, that should be ironclad. Too often in the two workplaces where I spend the most time—camps and independent schools—I hear “in this place, there are no … Continue reading

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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

Who’s Your Oboe?

Which staffer sets the tone for your summer camp?

My wife and I were at the symphony last weekend. As is customary, the concertmaster (the violinist who sits closest to the conductor) stood up and pointed to the oboist. The oboist then played an A note at 440 hertz, the worldwide tuning standard. The woodwinds matched the note, then the brass. Then the oboist cranked out another A and the strings tuned up. You’ve probably all heard an orchestra settle in just before the conductor walks out. Last weekend … Continue reading

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