An unexpected thunderstorm yesterday reminded me of our summer rest hour showers. It’s unusual to have a “frog strangler” in February. Only now, the rain keeps us inside in the office huddled around our space heaters, instead of outside splashing through the puddles with the campers.
Earlier this month Gretchen, Dave, and Lindsey loaded up the Illahee Suburban travelling down the mountain to Atlanta to attend the national conference of the ACA. The nationally based American Camping Association promotes professional development and Illahee is an ACA accredited camp. National speakers covered a range of workshops about parenting, counselling and implementing great programs for the summer.
Our crew decided to “divide and conquer” covering sessions such as Your Best Leadership Team Ever: Powerful ways to Make Staff Supervision Truly Superb; Avoiding the Over Parenting Trap; Brain Based Strategies to Ease Anxiety and Homesickness; Becoming a Transformational Leader; Training Staff to make Mistakes; Special Diets in Camp; Excellence by Example, Positive Behavior by Precision; Fast Ways to Develop Great Behavior in Campers…. You get the idea! Their willingness to learn and grow helps to make Illahee great.
They also connected with last year’s staff orientation speaker, Susan Fee , whose session “Promoting Resiliency and Strengths in Adolescent Girls” was terrific. She shares that in a “girl world” we need to embrace being different. Her message is perfect for Illahee where on the Final Night of each session, a recurring theme of camper leaders is “camp lets me be my true self.” Fee also talked about the importance of resiliency, the ability to recover from setbacks. Camp is a time to practice resiliency as campers may face challenges with the opportunity to get back up and try again. Fee’s “7 C’s” – competence, confidence, connection, character, coping, control and contribution – all components of resiliency are practiced through camp activities and cabin life. Many of these same traits were described in the recent Youth Outcome Study that Illahee parents participated in.
Attending a week of sessions with camp friends and colleagues generated lots of excitement for the coming summer. Fresh ideas combined with camp’s best traditions will help us to impact our campers and families in the most positive way. Are you ready for the next Best Summer EVER?