Drawing from what we are learning through the ACA Research Initiative, we've gathered some tools that could help you and your staff.
With so little time in precamp orientation to do everything you want to do, you may find it helpful to step back and set priorities for your training time with counselors. Take the time to sort out what needs to be said and understood versus read and understood. Make the most of both, and you’ll have more time for group interaction using methods that build skills and capitalize on the talents your staff bring to the job.
Facilitation can be challenging to teach, but when your counselors "get it," the results are phenomenal. Facilitation, sometimes called processing, helps create an atmosphere where campers are encouraged to process feelings and behavior; resolve conflict; and gain both confidence and skill in decision making. Additionally, facilitation exercises help campers develop a sense of belonging. Camp provides the ideal setting for the kind of active learning researchers and educators find as the most effective way for people of all ages to learn. Recent brain research points to active learning as one of the keys to prepare campers to meet the challenges of our changing society.
Check out these tools, with exercises and examples, and consider if they have a place in your staff training. Feel free to print off and copy as needed.