Avoid "The Way We've Always Done It"

"Hints" from Joanna Warren Smith

This past summer, colleagues and I surveyed 200 camp directors throughout the country to determine if there is an issue with staffing.  The findings will be presented at the American Camp Association and Tri-State Conferences along with the 'outcomes of working at camp' submitted by 734 staff.

In the meantime, I wanted to give you a 'Heads Up' about NEW timing of an OLD business practice.  The January to June staffing model is being replaced by an on-going, year-round effort.


  • Identify 2018 counselors and staff that you want back.  You already know who these folks are and may have had conversations with them about returning, but that's not enough to keep them poised to return.
  • Be clear about your intention.  By text, email or phone call, invite them back.  Indicate how vital they are to your community and reference their strengths.
  • Send contracts. As soon as possible, get contracts into their hands and even offer a 'signing bonus' to be paid at the end of summer 2019 if the contract is returned by December 21, 2018.
  • Court them to their decision.  Give them solid reasons for returning and the ammunition with which to deal with  parents who want them to get 'a real job'.
  • Get them working as Ambassadors for you!  Give every returning staff member the opportunity to recruit for you in their college or university.  Give them the tools, the methods, incentivize them financially and mentor their performance.

Find more tips like these at www.camp-consulting.com

Categories: Camp Resources, Human Resources