Training for Camp Staff About Bodily Function Regularity and Clean Up a.k.a. The Poop Episode
It's the topic nobody really wants to talk about but at camp it always comes up. Going to the bathroom can make or break a child's day at camp, especially if they have any anxiety about using new and different bathrooms, being heard while they are going, or missing out on cool activities because their bowels are rumbling. Camp staff have to quickly establish a level of comfort with children to address their ins and outs without being crude while maintaining the health and safety of the child. This episode addresses some of the best ways to train your staff on creating an environment of openness, comfort, and regularity.
Best Practice for Leadership Training
Teach staff that all children and staff are coming with different levels of comfort for talking about bodily functions. Some may be very comfortable sharing every detail while others are mortified at the thought of others knowing that they used the restroom. To put everybody on the same playing field, create your own poop vocabulary. Saying, "I have to go to the bathroom" may be embarrassing for some children so if you give them language for how you talk about pee and poo at camp, it suddenly becomes a little less scary and a little more ordinary to talk about. At Ruby's camp, campers are told that going to the bathroom in the woods is called "taking a seefar" because you want to go as far away as you can see before doing your business. It's amazing how a little bit of language leads to a lot of empowerment for children and many more successful seefars in the woods!