Today on the podcast, Makenna discusses four lessons she learned as Camp Director for Elevates day camps this summer.
Lesson #1: People Over Program. When camp is really about the campers you will do just about anything to serve the campers. Maybe that is rescheduling the day because it is too hot out or offering a camper an extra snack because they are so hungry. Remembering that program and schedule is great, but the most important element of camp is the campers.
Lesson #2: Swimming vs. Lifeguarding. Being “in the water” with the campers is a great way to build relationships but being at that level all the time causes you to miss issues that are out of sight. Although “sitting on the lifeguard tower” may feel like you are distancing yourself from them in reality it is putting you in a better position to see what is going on. It gives you a different perspective of the situation.
Lesson #3: Power of Debrief: Sitting down after camp and debriefing with your team is great to learn new ideas for things the following year. It has a tendency to help promote a smoother program for future events. Although some things that might come up might be hard to discuss, in the long run your system will be impacted positively because of it.
Lesson #4: You Need Boundaries: Flexibility is great, and you might be prone to push yourself to be everywhere at once. But then you find out in reality that is absolutely impossible. Setting boundaries and relying on your team will help you to not burn yourself out half way through camp. Build a team, use them and allow yourself some time set aside to relax.
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