What makes a strong camp leader?

While looking for resource regarding camp staff training, we stumbled across this resource from the YMCA about building strong camp leaders. It was a photo copied sheet on a camp blog, but here is what it said:

What do great camp leaders do?

Connects with each camper quickly. A good camp leader will give personal attention to each child in their care, within a few hours of camp starting. They will ask lots of questions and listen well to the answers. The result is that each camper feels a connection to the counselor.

Is right IN THERE with the kids. Kids want their camp leaders to be in the mix WITH them, like they are one of the camper group too. That means no standing on the sidelines during song time, helping with clean up, joining in games and acting like a big kid.

Plans and organizes great activities. A good camp leader will plan ahead, gather materials they need before activities and is always prepared for the next block. Kids love it when their day is filled with fun!

Is a good team player with the other staff. Strong camp leaders are good team players. They talk with fellow staff members, coordinators and directors. They ask for help, they offer help, share ideas and use the good ideas shared by others too.

Recognizes and responds quickly to danger signals. Staff leaders should be aware of what is happening with their campers at all times. Looking for crying, not eating, sunburn, bullying, fever and signs of dehydration. Once detected, they will know how to resolve the problem immediately.

Models the values of camp. Good camp leaders will model the values and philosophy of the camp they work at. They will become a part of that camp culture, take teachings to heart and take personal responsibility to share those values with campers and other staff.

Creates a safe and fun environment for campers. They will find a good balance between standards and spontaneity, to make camp safe and secure and fun too! This protects campers from harm: spiritually, mentally and physically.

Manages personal stress and camper stress too. They will be quickly aware that they’re too fatigued and take care of themselves. By maintaining composure in times of stress or crisis, they will help campers feel safe.


Categories: Camp Resources, Human Resources, Staff Training