Tips for Calming Down Overwhelmed Camp Counselors

“It’s hot.” “I’m tired.” “My campers are crazy.” “My co-counselor is not pulling his/her own weight.” “I am just not sure I have enough left in my tank to finish the summer.”

All of these are excuses or complaints that I and many other directors have heard over the summers from camp staff. And truth be told, many of them are very legitimate complaints. We hired what we thought was the best staff ever. We trained them, guided them, and watched them impact the lives of campers all summer long.

Gan Israel - Head Counselor Training

Head Counselor Training (1.5 hours) 

Your job is unique. You have to lead, yet be part of the group. Learn what to do and what to say to display the 4 essential HC leadership skills: Accessible, Approachable, Teamwork, and Clear Communication.  Participants will be able to:

Top Training Techniques: Fast & Effective Ways to Increase Staff Learning & Performance

Michael Brandwein imageThe number one best-selling author in camp training has packed this session with terrific activities and training methods that are easy to use and can be plugged into your existing training right away. Save many hours of time by using these highly acclaimed, practical techniques. Increase staff attention, participation, and retention.

Webinar participants will learn how to:

Camp — The Best Job You'll Ever Have

"Being a camp counselor prepared me for life after college both personally and professionally."

In this video blog, former ACA CEO Tom Holland reflects on his personal experience as a camp counselor, and explains the benefits of the job. Camp counselors learn resiliency, teamwork, motivation, and how to have fun on the job! The skills the camp counselors learn not only look great on a resume, they’ll stay with them for life.

Martin and His Friends: Counseling Skills that Effect Change at Camp

Martin was sitting in the office of the boys' head counselor again. He'd been playing "Ga Ga" when another camper got him out. In what had quickly become an all-tootypical response for nine-year-old Martin, he lashed out at the camper, charged him with cheating, and then got angry and swore at the counselor who had been trying to intervene. He accused the counselor of "always picking on" him and favoring the other camper. Eventually, Martin stormed off with the counselor in hot pursuit.

The Development of Leadership Among Counselors-in-Training

Our society is in need of leaders for the future. The demands we have yet to face will require leaders who are flexible problemsolvers and have the ability to communicate with diverse people. Camps can assist in the development of leaders because of what is learned in camp —responsibility, independence, getting along with others, cooperation and teamwork, the willingness to try new things, awareness of the environment, and positive values — all attributes future leaders will need.

Camp Staff

No other job can as easily combine the satisfactions of working with people in an outdoor setting as the camp staff person. The impact of working as a member of a summer camp staff is seldom recognized for the valuable contributions that often arise from the experience working at camp gives you the opportunity "to enrich lives and change the world.

Heightened Awareness Camp Counseling: Going Beyond Great

Tell your campers stories. Give them the rich gift they are missing when they stare at a screen. The stories do not need to be great — just tell them.

By the time your campers arrive, you will be oriented to how camp works, what is expected of you, and how to manage some of the camper challenges that you will inevitably face — like homesickness and bullying. If you want to be a really good counselor, listen carefully to what they tell you, really learn what they teach, and put all of it into practice.

Everybody’s In, Nobody’s Out!

As a camp counselor this summer, you are about to meet campers from all walks of life. Just a casual look at the changing demographics in the United States suggests that your chances of having an ethnically or racially diverse group of campers is, and will continue to be, greater than ever before. For example, the United States Census Bureau predicts that the number of Hispanics in the United States will almost double in the next twenty years, while Blacks will remain about the same.

Do It Your Way: How Understanding Your Personality Will Make You a Better Counselor

So you have decided to spend your summer working with children, and living with them, too. While presenting more challenges than your typical summer job, you can have a powerful impact on the lives of your campers. Before the campers arrive, you are bombarded with information, ranging from your staff employee handbook to research on child development. Between the excitement of the summer and the potential information overload of staff training, it is easy to overlook a critical element of your training: you.

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