Caught Between Two Staff Seasons: Looking Back Before Moving Forward with Veteran Staff

Now is a great time to develop a plan for inviting staff back and securing their commitment, offering leadership roles and opportunities to advance, and keeping staff engaged in the time between now and next summer. 

Biting My Nails: Revisiting Staff Anxiety

It was three years ago when I first wrote about the increasing levels of anxiety that camp directors were seeing in their staff (Ditter, 2016). At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta had been reporting that anxiety in children ages 13–18 was at a 40-year high (CDC, 2011). In a survey conducted by the American Camp Association’s Healthy Camps Committee after the summer of 2015, camp directors indicated that anxiety was their number one concern when it came to staff (Gaston, 2015).

Three Different Roads That Led to Working at Camp

Working at summer camp helps young adults learn skills that will be valuable in their future careers, including leadership, communication, and more.

Outside Camp Customers and Inside Camp Customers

Camp owners always remember their outside customers (camp parents and campers), but inside customers (camp staff) are just as important.

Overcome Common Barriers to Making Your Camp Staff Feel Valued

Ah, the annual review at work. Or, in our camp settings, the end-of-session/summer evaluation. What a wonderful time for me, as a supervisor, to finally tell a staff member how I think they generally did for the entire time period prior to the evaluation (at least based on the few times I saw them in action and what I heard from others). Finally, a chance to tell this staff member that even though they were never Counselor of the Week or an All-Camp Event Team Captain, they did some things well.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition: One Reason Camp Is a Unique Professional Experience

Summer camp jobs can teach camp staff important lessons, such as how to fail and bounce back — an important professional development skill.

Camp Staffing: We Can Avoid a Crisis!

Over the past few years, directors all over the country have reported struggling with the fact that good staff are harder to find. They also indicate that it is much more difficult to convince quality applicants to accept summer camp jobs and stay for the entire summer. In the late spring of 2018, with minimum wage issues, the shortage of male candidates, low unemployment rates, and the increased number of internships, we heard more urgency. In some circles, the staffing situation was being labeled as a “threat to our industry.”

Staff Workforce Development: What Helps and What Hinders It

Camp is a fantastic place for growth and development, not only of campers but young staff too. The skills they learn while working in this context prepare them for college, career, and life! 

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.

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:

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