Summer camp jobs - a place to grow!

Welcome everyone to my blog. Running a residential camp (Maine Arts Camp), as well as MySummers (a staffing site) and Camp Finders (a summer camp referral service), I have gained a unique perspective about sleepaway camps. I first attended camp in 1970 in Maine; I'm still at camp and love it!

Rick Mades

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Best staff ever!

We have just finished 4 weeks of camp, with most of the staff leaving tomorrow. This has been the strongest staff we have ever had and the smoothest summer of all! As I try to evaluate what worked so well, the first thought that comes to mind is the lack of ego. There were no high maintenance staff this summer, who felt they were privileged or more important than others. What we had was the whole staff (many current or future teachers) working as a team, helping each other out, enjoying their time with each other and the campers. Our hope is that the bulk of them are able to return, along with the same energy, but more experience for summer 2o12. It could change our whole staff training if most of the staff returned. We could focus more on activity prep, while still making sure that everyone, including any new counselors, were in the right mindset for the summer and their work as camp counselors. How did things change so much over the course of one summer? I think part of it was deciding to let some staff who had been at camp too long to move on with their lives. This left us with returning staff who always think about being "ready, willing and able" and camp counselors who enjoyed being part of a team.

Another change was staff training. We didn't have any guest speakers in, just working with returning staff and our wonderful assistant director, Candy Cohn. She organized the best training we have ever had, with a balance of fun activities to help the the staff get to know each other. Candy set the whole summer in action with her thoughtful and thorough planning of staff training. Thanks Candy!

Also thanks to our dedicated dorm heads, program heads, and other returning staff who lead by example and words. We expect the same as this summer's first year staff step it for summer 2012.

One thing I would recommend to anyone. Read the book "Whale Done". It has helped me to be a better camp director and a better person. Also thanks to all the great presenters at ACA New England. We always learn a lot about how to be better professionals in the camping industry by sitting in on the educational sessions.

Have a great rest of the summer!

Rick Mades
Camp Director, Maine Arts Camp
Owner, Mysummers (summer camp jobs) and Camp Finders.


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