Summer Update – June 6, 2011

One of the most fatiguing weeks of the year is staff training.  From the moment the first cooks arrived on Sunday afternoon until the campers did the same a week later, camp is a constant buzz of training, cleaning, setting up and setting out.  We’ve got horseback riders at the stables getting the steeds and tack ready, ropes folks tying knots and rigging high elements.  We’ve got dishwashers learning the equipment and early counselors laying our lane ropes and hauling boats.

The last four days of staff training is set aside for the social dynamic of camp.  The staff learn to live and work together.  We talk about specifics from bedwetting to homesickness, discipline to patience, professionalism to mastering new games.  There are sessions on policies, state paperwork, abuse awareness training, CPR, waterfront testing, first aide and much, much more.  From Wednesday afternoon, until the kids arrived on Sunday, we took a two hour break on Saturday and an evening break on Friday.  Our staff is shining.  They were attentive, intuitive, energetic and of course ready for kids on Sunday!

This year, we’ve brought back a tradition of specific leadership training for them every Monday Morning.  Yes, Monday Morning Leadership.  Today was the first go ’round.  (even though we had just completed training the day before).  Today’s lesson for the staff (and maybe a little will even rub off on the older kids) was drivers and passengers. Below is an expert from the handout they received this morning.

“As a leader, you are now a driver and not a passenger in the journey of life and drivers have new responsibilities and less freedoms”.   Bob was late to his 8:30 meeting.  It was pouring down rain outside.  When he arrived he explained all of this to his mentor.  “Yes, it was raining, but the rain didn’t make you late”, his mentor said.  “When it’s raining, you leave earlier, take a different route or call and change the meeting time.  When you accept responsibility for whatever happens, you make adjustments.  The opposite of accepting responsibility is to find someone or something else to blame for the issues facing you.  Placing blame forces you to live in the past.  A good leader focuses his time forward.”

“You have control, so take control”.

We’re looking forward to a great summer and first term session.  I can’t wait to see the product of this summer’s staff.  They’re drivers, and they’re driving well.

Life is Good.  Camp is Better.  Even on the fifth day of staff training.

Written by Blake Smith

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