Getting ready to open your summer camp in 2021 can be overwhelming. With ever-growing checklists and numerous safety guidelines to consider, it can be difficult to manage alone. Thankfully, you have the support of your wonderful camp staff, who stand by your side and will soon be on the front lines, creating lifelong memories with young campers. You know your staff needs to be prepared to deal with new realities that may unfold this summer — but what training will you give them so they know how to keep themselves and the campers safe?
To help you prepare for the upcoming camp season, here are four questions to ask when structuring training for your staff:
1.How should you train them?
Unless you can bring in staff early to quarantine everyone for two weeks before beginning in-person training, you should consider switching to virtual training methods. By using virtual meetings and online training options, you will limit the risk of COVID-19 exposure amongst your staff.
Give your staff extra time to master safety protocols by providing online training in advance of in-person training, and make these training modules available throughout the season. By providing staff the option to revisit the modules, you will create a supportive environment for them and maximize knowledge absorption.
2.What do they need to know to keep campers safe?
Staff will be responsible for their young campers and will need to be more diligent about nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), such as masking, physical distancing, the use of cohorts/small groups, and proper hygiene practices, such as handwashing. It is crucial for staff to know and enforce the use of NPIs to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
3.How can you equip camp staff to be safe and become health ambassadors?
As health ambassadors, your staff is responsible to ensure that campers and peers keep themselves and each other safe. Therefore, staff should be familiar with all the NPIs your camp uses. They should know how to properly wear masks, know your camp’s policies on cohorting, encourage physical distancing measures are followed, and be well-versed in handwashing techniques, among others. They should feel confident in your camp’s safety protocols.
4.How should they manage anxiety at camp?
A recent study of children in the US suggests roughly 14 percent of children are experiencing worsening mental health problems during the pandemic. Emergency rooms have seen a 24 percent increase in mental health-related visits from children ages 5 to 11 compared to stats from 2019.
Your staff may feel anxious for a variety of reasons, such as keeping campers safe, managing expectations, or even related to returning to in-person gatherings. You can help them by offering your support in equipping them and making training information continually available to them, so that staff can revisit modules as needed.
While preparing for the upcoming camp season is an important task, it can be made easier by ensuring staff are adequately trained. After all, camp promises adventure, stories, and memories for young children — and with the right preparation, you can still successfully create the experience of a lifetime while doing their best to promote a safe and healthy environment.
This blog post is provided by Nevvon Camps. Give your campers’ families the peace of mind that your staff is trained by the same people who train over 100,000 health care workers on safety protocols, including COVID.
- Basu, A. (2020) Kids may face mental health issues as school begins amid pandemic. Retrieved from hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/kids-may-face-mental-health-issues-as-school-begins-amid-pandemic/
- Cushman, C. (2020) Covid is having a devastating impact on children — and the vaccine won't fix everything. Retrieved from nbcnews.com/news/education/covid-having-devastating-impact-children-vaccine-won-t-fix-everything-n1251172
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