Learning Never Exhausts the Mind: Tips for Effective Staff Training

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”

– Henry Ford

Just because it is orientation and training time with your staff does not mean training must be hours long, covering organization rules, standards and camp bureaucracy in a classroom setting. At some point in our camping careers, many of us have experienced how unpleasant it was sitting in a closed room listening to the director regurgitate verbatim ‘all things camp’ from a planner or manual. This does not have to be the case when hosting your training. I want to offer advice and tips you can use for different methods and techniques in teaching your staff to learn about their responsibilities and the intricacies of your camp. Staff training is the most significant period before the arrival of campers, parents and families, and it can also serve as an opportunity to find the best solutions for teaching most staff about the most rewarding job they will ever experience in their lives. Here are tips for getting the most out of your staff during training.

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Rules vs. Standards: Camp Director Success Story

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

– Stephen R. Covey

Whether you have new or returning staff working with your camp there are always challenges in getting the best out of your personnel.  As a former director leading staff and those of you who are or have served in the position can attest that no two seasons of camp are ever the same. I have found that sometimes empowering staff to make decisions on their own, while adhering to the camp’s rules, can often make it difficult to grow and cultivate your staff.  Therefore, I felt it necessary to always set standards for myself and those under my leadership.

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Qualities of a Leader: What Makes an Effective Camp Director?

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

– Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

As camp leaders we work in a unique industry where we have the responsibilities of managing staff, facilitating programs, activities and even making executive level financial and operational decisions that benefit the organization and further the mission.

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