Developing Excellence in Camp Leadership: Four Requirements

A 2004 American Camp Association poll of its members found that the one area camp administrators wanted more information on was personal leadership development. It is evident that there is a quest in the camp field for enhancement of leadership. As camp directors plan for the new season, your experiences from the previous summer should help you recognize and acknowledge some of your leadership strengths and weaknesses. Yes, we all do indeed have positive and negative leadership qualities.

Staff Sexual Assault: Prevention and Intervention

It's 10:30 at night, and you're tired. The campers have been in their bunks for a little less than an hour. The staff is thankfully quiet. All in all, it has been a good day. Just before you leave the camp office, two figures approach. One is your girls' program director; she has her arm wrapped over the shoulder of a female counselor. You can tell that the counselor has been crying.

Evaluating a Good Season

Several months after the ending of the 2002 camp season, a concerned camp director contacted me. As the director of a small nonprofit camp, he had received a bit of critical feedback from the board of directors on his general performance. The director was angry and thought that this was more of a personal attack rather than having anything to do with his actual performance. Through questioning, it became apparent that this man was intelligent and quite knowledgeable about the camp industry.

Understanding Anger: Managing this constant risk

Camp administration can influence the behavior of its staff, but it cannot control it. One of the most problematic emotions to occur in the camp setting is anger — an emotion that affects people in a multitude of ways. An impulsive action by a staff member can result in an injury to another person and even possibly damage the reputation of your camp.

Problem Solving at Camp: Creating win-win solutions

Camp can offer a child more than mere fun. Camp is also the ideal environment to help campers develop their problem-solving skills.

Children learn problem solving through trial-and-error and modeling (watching how adults solve problems). Camp, with its community living focus, presents a constant source of potential conflicts and, thus, incidents in which to practice problem-solving skills. Camp also offers endless observation of how others (especially counselors) solve daily problems.

Successful Problem Solving