10 Rules for Approving Camp Names at Your Camp

Camp Names are serious business


When your summer camp decides to use nick names for your staff it is important to be mindful of what names are chosen.  It is crucial as a director that you put some thought into your process of approving camp names so that you eliminate potential problems in the future.   It's a long camp life!

At our camp, you could earn your camp name only when you became an LIT or were on staff.   We always felt that a camp name was a privilege that you had to earn.

10 Rules for Approving Camp Names:

  1. The namee must like their name (believe me, sometimes that's a hard first step!).
  2. The Camp Director gets final say.
  3. Potential camp names should be tested with a few staff members just to make sure they sound appropriate to everyone. I once had an LIT who wanted to be called Philly, which seemed fine to me, but another staff member nixed the name because she found out it was a reference to smoking weed.   (BTW, that LIT never got hired).
  4. The camp name mustn't be a proper name (Bill or Jennie).
  5. The name must be original to the camp - no repeats (this means that you have a list of staff members and their camp names as far back as you can remember).  Sometimes you need to call old camp directors to check out new names.
  6. The name must pass the Peche Test.  Brad "Peche" Cross was a great staff member of ours who had a brilliant ability to try out any camp name and see if there was a way that kids could make it dirty.
  7. The name could make reference to your skills but not your physical appearance.
  8. Camp names should bolster people's self esteem and make them feel part of the community.
  9. The name must not scare parents away - no Killer, no Psycho, no LovesToHug.
  10. Camp names are an honour and are earned by your commitment to the community.

What is your camp name?   How did you get it?