Take Time to "Hug" Your Staff This Summer

As the summer of 2018 is getting underway, it is evident that this has been another challenging hiring season for many of you. It is likely there are camps out there still looking to hire for a few key positions or who may even have to continue the employment process once camp has begun to keep minimum ratios in check or to fill in where holes are left due to last-minute cancellations or no-shows. Regardless of your staffing situation, you have worked hard to get to this point.

CampWire Episode #10 - Staff Training with Michael Brandwein

The ACA professional development team interviews Michael Brandwein for the 10th episode of CampWire. Get some great staff training tips as the summer season begins.

Camp Staff Safety in the Age of #MeToo

It is a story that has been unfolding for over a year: the exposure of often long-standing sexual abuse and harassment of both male and female victims by mostly men in various positions of power. Camps have done a terrific job of creating a safe environment for campers. What is needed now is a clear, nuanced approach with staff that distinguishes between healthy interest and unwanted advances, overtures or worse.

Signing on the Dotted Line: Commitment Is a Two-Way Street

Congratulations! You committed to working at camp this summer, and the director and/or team who hired you have been anticipating your arrival since you signed on the dotted line! It is completely normal to have cold feet and wonder if you made the right decision to spend your summer at camp, similar to the feelings of the campers you will soon meet who will be embarking on this adventure as well. Before the butterflies in your stomach get the best of you, know that commitment is a two-way street.

CampWire Episode #8 - The Importance of Working at Camp

In the eighth episode of ACA's podcast, CampWire, Deb Jordan and Kim Aycock discuss why it is important to work at a camp, and some of the things camps are doing successfully to recruit and keep staff.

Power to the People: Making Staff Training Work for Your Staff

It's time to start re-thinking the traditional ways in which we view staff training. This session will be full of new and innovative ideas to change the dynamic (and timing) of your staff training. The ultimate goal of this exciting, high energy workshop is to meet the shifting needs of a new generation that is your workforce. Through this webinar, participants will learn:

Project Real Job — Moving Forward Together

In the early ’80s, I graduated from high school and made a simple but life-changing decision. It was May and I hadn’t yet made plans for the summer. My mom encouraged me to call my former camp directors, Herman and Rodger, and inquire about a summer working at camp. I so enjoyed camp as a kid but had missed out on being a counselor-trainee because of other commitments. A summer working outside with kids as a junior counselor sounded great.

Play Ball: An Innovative Staff Training Helps Campers Acclimate

“They threw you a curveball,” suggests a brave staff member, after thinking it over for a moment.

“Be sure you cover all your bases,” offers another.

Thanking them for getting the ball rolling, I record their responses on poster board. They have just replied to my initial question asking the group to come up with commonly used phrases that are derived from baseball.

“What else?” I ask, prompting the group to continue brainstorming.

Soon the conversation really starts to flow, with contributions from other participants now coming more quickly:

Yes Only Means Yes Until Something Better Comes Along: Making Camp the Best Offer for Gen Z Staff

Staff sign a contract, then inform you the week before camp begins that they won’t be coming after all. Or staff commit to working the entire season only to tell (not ask!) you they are leaving for six days to attend a family reunion. Does this sound painfully familiar? Unfortunately, in today’s world, signing on the dotted line for this generation of camp staff often means only a temporary commitment until something better comes along.

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