Staff News & Updates
Welcome to the Staff Resources page! Here you will find Upcoming Dates and Important Staff Resources for quick links to clearances, certifications and standards. We wish to keep you up to date with current news and research in our Training Tip of the Month section. We hope you find this page helpful, and as always, please call, e-mail, or stop by the office if you have any questions or news to share! Please remember to check back often for helpful links, training, and information.
Although the weather is just starting to turn cold, we are already thinking about next summer. We will be attending camp conferences and training sessions, and will post the latest and greatest research, tips, and tricks right on this page. We will also start Day Camp returning staff interviews in January; we look forward to speaking with each of you, as well as interviewing a host of new applicants. Until then, Happy Winter!
Thursday, May 17: Lead Instructor Meeting- 6PM-9PM (Lead Instructors ONLY)
Thursday, May 24: New Staff Meeting – 5PM-9PM (First-year staff ONLY)
Thursday, May 31: All Staff Meeting – 5PM-8PM
Saturday, June 2: CPR/First Aid Training (8AM-12PM) & Day Camp Open House (12PM-3PM)
June 4-8: Lifeguard Training (Dates subject to change)
Monday, June 4: Archery Skills Night
Friday, June 8: Rock Climbing Skills Night
June 11-15: Staff Training
June 18: Campers Arrive!
Important Staff Resources
Training Tip of the Month
3 Psychological Needs & Camp.
Adapted from Bob Ditter’s “Autonomy, Mastery, and Connection” read the full article here.
Bob Ditter defines a basic psychological need as anything that is required for a person’s emotional health and well being. He then goes on to say: “All human beings have these same three psychological needs. The need for autonomy, mastery, and connection is natural and universal rather than ethnically, racially, or culturally specific.”
Dr. Richard Ryan of the University of Rochester has spent his career studying the importance and impact of theses fundamental psychological needs on people. His research has shown that “when children are supported in their quest for autonomy, encouraged in their desire for competence or mastery, and have strong, positive relationships, they not only thrive, they are more likely to be motivated from within.
The research begs the question: “What do Autonomy, Mastery, and Connection look like at Camp?” and “How do we intentionally foster these qualities?” To answer these questions lets look at how things are done “at home” and how things are different at camp.
How often do parents, in the interest of time and frustration, just do for their children what we know the child is perfectly capable of doing at camp? At camp we have the opportunity to slow down and allow the camper to tie their own shoe or pack their own bag. This may seem small, but a camper who continually struggles with packing their wet swim stuff into a small backpack can learn a real lesson in mastery and autonomy when a caring, supporting counselor gets on their level and calmly gives words of advice and encouragement instead of quickly stuffing the bag and running to catch up with the rest of the group.
How often do we hear of parents giving gold stars, candy, or ‘allowance” for doing jobs around the house that their child should be doing instead. At home this creates an expectation of extrinsic rewards and negates the role of intrinsic motivation. Research shows that extrinsic rewards lead to feelings of coercion and manipulation while intrinsic motivation leads to enhanced feelings of autonomy. At camp how often do we look towards rewards like candy, beads or Choco-tacos to get expected results from campers. Now these rewards are not inherently bad, in fact they are a nice treat occasionally. However, at camp we have the opportunity to make real connections with our campers, to be role models, and to set expectations for the members of our camp community. When these expectations are shared by the whole group, campers are more likely to live up to them without being rewarded externally.
Camp can be one of the most unique experiences in a young persons life. It is a place where children can make connections with adults that are not their parents, a place where children can master skills that are outside of their comfort zone, and a safe place where young children can first stretch the wings of independence and autonomy. The best camps, and the best counselors, are always mindful of how each moment can intentionally foster those three basic psychological needs.
Please read the full article by Dr. Ditter for more tips in how you can intentionally help each camper meet these needs.