It's all about Community at CAMP

Community is INTENTIONAL.

We should think about it in every aspect of every program that we offer during the summer and in all contact we have with our staff outside of camp.

This week, we'd like to share an acronym we developed to help and we all know camp is a great place for acronyms!.  And what better acronym for camp than C.A.M.P.? We've shared one activity under each heading.  We'd love to get your feedback to add more to each category.  This outline is to get you started thinking about training.  We encourage you to take time in the next few months to put all your leadership training activities into one of these 4 categories.  This exercise will help you to ensure you have all your bases covered.  In coming weeks, we'll add more to each category too.

C          COMMUNITY - laying the foundation

Board Buddies:  if your camp works with a board or committee, divide your staff list into the number of board members you have.  Ask each board member to write a letter at some point in the summer to each of the staff members on their list.  At our camp, it worked out to be 9 letters each.  The board members wrote letters of encouragement and affirmation.  Each staff member was asked to write a letter to a board member (so each board member got 9 letters) telling them of their dreams for the summer, their reasons for being at camp and how much camp meant to them.  It was incredibly effective.

A          ATTENTION – supporting staff

“Do Not Open Until You Get to…”:  At the end of Staff Orientation, when your staff are heading home in May, give each one a letter in a sealed envelope that says “do not open until you get to insert name of a city about 1 hour from camp”.  If you have staff that come from 2 distinctly different directions, have 2 city options ready. Again, this can be a ‘form letter’ that goes to all staff but you should hand write their name at the top and sign it at the bottom.  Make sure to include how excited you are that they are a part of staff this year and what amazing gifts and talents you know they have to offer to your community.

M          MAGIC – the special little touches

Stones: gift shops sell polished river rocks.  Give one to each staff member.  This can be part of a closing ceremony in training or a spring orientation. Talk about the fact that stones are changed constantly by outside forces, all are different, yet all are beautiful.  This can be compared to the influence they will have in the lives of children this summer.  Many of them will say and do things that will change and shape these campers forever.  There are many Scriptural references to stones that religious camps may wish to use in this ceremony.

P          PLAY – spend time with them

Dabbling Hour: set aside time during training to allow staff to try something at which they do not excel.  Encourage them to step outside their comfort zone.  For example, have those who are extremely athletic try a session in music or art. Ahead of time, ask members of staff to run these sessions for you.  It also allows them the opportunity to share their gifts and talents.