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Copy of Summer Camp Counselor Training Manual
Transcript of Copy of Summer Camp Counselor Training Manual
You must be:
An authority figure
Make yourself available to the campers
Guide and encourage them
Help them to engage fully in the activities we offer and the environment as a whole.
Supervise campers and keep them safe from harm
Remember, as a camp counselor you are not stepping in as a parent
Everyone needs to be on the same page and work as one unit
At any given time, a counselor may need to create, implement, and facilitate camp activities. Job Description
• Enjoy kids
• Tons of energy
• Demonstrated experience working with children
• Ability to teach and lead various recreational activities
• Excellent character, integrity and flexibility
• Ability to communicate and work with a variety of age and skill levels
• The desire and ability to work in a team work atmosphere
• Enthusiasm, sense of humor, patience and self-control
• Available 9am-4:00pm, Monday – Friday
• You may be required to stay later or come early if extended care is needed
• Read and sign the Counselor Behavior Agreement Counselor Responsibilities
• Take primary responsibility for the health, well-being and happiness of campers
• Encourage respect for personal property, camp equipment and facilities
• Set a good example for campers in all areas
• Guide campers in participating successfully in all aspects of camp activities
• Supervise and assist other counselors and actively participate in all aspects of the day
• Observe camper behavior, evaluate its appropriateness, enforce safety and emergency procedures and apply appropriate discipline techniques
• Communicate with any questions or concerns Reporting to Work
Must come in thirty minutes prior to the start of camp
Allows enough time to get the tables, equipment, and check in information before the campers arrive
Always show up ON TIME
If you will be late for work, immediately call the appropriate personnel to let him or her know you may be running late. Professional Image
Professional Image is about physical presence, interpersonal skills, attitude, attire and approach. Physical presence is making your presence known in a positive way. Interpersonal skills involve the ability to positively communicate in a variety of situations.
Attitude is what you come to work with, positive, energetic, and willing to do your job.
Attire is about how you look and present yourself. It is about wearing a department issued camp T-shirt, an appropriate pair of brown khaki shorts, and your name tag and closed toe athletic shoes. *We encourage creativity during theme days. Schedules
All camps run for one week.
It is the camp staff’s RESPONSIBILITY to know before working the camp that he or she is available for the whole week.
If an emergency comes up immediately call the appropriate personnel.
All camps run from 9am to 4pm with extended care from 8am to 5pm. Customer Service and Dealing with Parents
When dealing with parents counselors are expected to give quality customer service.
This includes greeting parents, handling parent questions and concerns and staying informed of all camp activities
maintain a non-judgmental attitude in working with all parents.
By having good customer service we can promote a trustworthy, professional image that makes are camps look good.
Parents and campers will form positive or negative impressions of a camp by how the staff interacts with them. Getting to know your campers
Ages 6 to 8
What are they like?
•Strong attachment to home and family environment.
•Very dependent upon adults for meeting physical and emotional needs.
•Need patient understanding and close supervision.
•Have short interest span.
•Aware mainly of self and own desires.
•Prefer highly imaginative make-believe play.
•Like to explore their expanding world.
•Desire repetition of enjoyable experiences.
•Easily upset by change in routines or environment.
•Need and seek the approval of adults because they are not yet confident enough to set their own standards.
•Boys and girls readily play together.
•Peer opinion becomes very important.
•Small motor skills are not developed.
•Do not always recognize right and wrong. Ages 9 to 12
What are they like?
•They are anything but still and quiet. They have no fear.
•They do not like to stay confined and do one thing for a long period of time.
•Some are still concrete thinkers; others are beginning to think logically and symbolically, beginning to understand abstract ideas.
•They have a desire for acceptance from their own age group. Have a need for close friendships with their playmates.
•They have strong identification with their own sex and age group.
•Growing desire for better performance in skills. They look to counselors for approval and follow rules primarily out of respect for the counselor.
•Have a strong need to feel accepted and worthwhile
• Enjoy being mischievous and daring. Meaning to Counselor
•Beginning to move away from dependence on parents and the counselor may become someone very important in their eyes.
•They respond affectionately to counselors who look after their needs, who show an interest in them, and who are fair and capable of humor and imagination.
•Activities need to be ACTIVE!
•They think in concrete terms. SHOW and TELL rather than giving verbal instructions.
•Play or make believe is one way they increase their ability to imagine what other people think and feel.
•Rules and rituals are important, but it is very hard for children this age to lose.
•Cooperative games and activities are especially enjoyable. Minimize or avoid awarding competitive ribbons at this age. Meaning to Counselor
•Activities should encourage physical involvement.
•Hands-on involvement with objects is very helpful.
•As they consider an idea, they think it is right or wrong, great or disgusting, fun or boring. There is very little middle ground.
•This is the age of the “joiners.” They like to be in organized groups of others similar to themselves.
•Small group work is best done in same-sex groups.
•Encouragement from the counselor can have remarkable results.
•Comparison with the success of others is difficult for them—it erodes their self-confidence.
•They respond enthusiastically to counselors who can understand and guide their tremendous energy and mischievousness Campers Safety
The health and safety is our primary concern
Be consciously and continuously aware of camper safety.
Use common sense in knowing when to stop even mild horseplay which might lead to an injury.
Get to know the campers and monitor any signs of health problems.
During sports and activities camps the campers will have time each day in the pool.
Lifeguards will be on duty in the pool, but to ensure camper safety counselors are expected to get in the water with the campers.
Swim tests are done
Signed in and out by the parent/guardian
Without written notice, a child will not be released to another adult. Risk Management Strategies:
1.Avoid putting yourself in a one-on-one situation with a camper, out of sight of others.
2.Control the “horseplay” that takes place in free time. This is when accidents are more likely to happen. If you do not control, limit, or stop the horseplay and a child is harmed, you can be found to be negligent in performing your duties.
3.Do not give medical care beyond your training and expertise.
4.Never leave campers unattended.
Go with campers during bathroom breaks
There should always be a counselor in the locker rooms with campers when preparing for the pool.
Make sure all campers are accounted for when leaving an area. Bullying
Key Factors That Camps Need to Address
1. Bullying hurts. It has devastating short- and long-term effects on children physically and emotionally.
2. Bullying escalates quickly, unless camp staff and campers step in to stop it.
3. Take bullying seriously. If adults don't, neither will children.
4. Don't assume campers will work things out for themselves.
5. Campers who witness bullying and do nothing can contribute to the problem, or they can make it worse by joining in; campers can prevent or stop the bullying by intervening or getting help.
6. Camp staff needs to be prepared to recognize bullying, intervene to stop it, or seek help when they can't.
7. It's critical that camps set clear expectations, rules, and policies about respectful behavior and bullying. Child Abuse
Abuse: Abuse represents an action against a child. It is generally characterized in the three categories:
Physical Abuse: injury of a child
Sexual Abuse: any sexual activity upon or with a child. The act may be for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator or third person
Emotional Abuse: chronic acts which interfere with the psychological and/or social development of a child If an abused child approaches you
1.Don’t make promises you can’t keep
3.Listen (don’t interrupt)
4.Don’t probe- let them tell you what they want to tell you
5.Make a one-on-one conversation
6.Don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable situation
Some points to remember
1.Each case of child abuse and neglect is individual
2.The child is always the victim
3.Although the Ohio law permits corporal punishment in the home, school, and institution, excessive physical discipline is abuse. It is difficult to define “excessive”, but there are guidelines
4.A perpetrator of child abuse or neglect can be any person who has care, custody or control of the child at the relevant time.
5.There are no simple answer
6.Counselors who suspect a child is a victim of child abuse/neglect are required to report the matter to the director. By the state of Ohio this shall be documented and reported. Discipline Policy
GUIDELINES FOR THE DISCIPLINE OF CAMPERS
1. Counselors may never, under any circumstances, hit or injure a camper
2. Counselors may not use abusive or derogatory language with campers
3. Counselors may never threaten a child
Step1: Verbal Warning - the camper will be cued to inappropriate behavior, given methods to correct the behavior, and given a clear consequence (step 2) should he/she choose not to modify the behavior.
Step 2: Time Out - the camper will be removed from the activity and be given a time out based on age. If the camper’s age is seven, he or she will be in time out for seven minutes. At the end of the time out, the child will again be cued to the inappropriate behavior, given methods to correct the behavior, and given a clear consequence (step 3).
Step 3: Parent Involvement - if the camper has difficulty controlling his or herself, the parents will be contacted about the situation during the day or during pick-up time. The parents will be warned about (step 4) if the camper does not change his or her behavior.
Step 4: Removal from Camp - if problems persist or the behavior is severe such as causing intentional harm to others or consistent disruptions of camp activities, the child will be removed from the program for the day or the rest of the week. GUIDELINES FOR CONTACT WITH CAMPERS
1.Touching campers on the hand, or shoulder is appropriate and only a tap, nothing more
2.Never touch against a child’s will
3.Never touch against a child’s verbally or non-verbally expressed discomfort
4.Never touch in a place on a child’s body that is normally covered by a bathing suit, unless for a clear medical necessity
5.Never tickle, wrestle or give back rubs with or otherwise touch a camper in a way that is over stimulating or invasive to his/her privacy
6.Gently set limits with children who cling or hang on you
7.Piggyback rides are off limits Medical
Only medications prescribed by a physician, life-saving medication or over the counter medication will be administered to campers.
The medication permission form must also be completed and signed by a parent
All Medications will be dropped off and labeled in a baggy by the campers first and last name.
All medications will be in a box and located in our home room.
There will be already a pre-made medical log for each week of camp with the appropriate information needed for each medication for that camper.
If a camper has a severe case (peanuts) the product will be banned for the week.
All allergies will be recorded in the medical log for the week.
Signs and symptoms can be different in each child. Increased shortness of breath is the most common.
If a camper uses an inhaler it may be brought to camp with them.
Never allow a camper to use an inhaler that does not belong to that camper
If a camper becomes seriously ill during the day the staff will contact the camper’s parents/guardians.
If they cannot be contacted the person(s) listed on the campers Emergency Form will be contacted.
In the event of a serious illness or accident EMS will be called.
In the event of a medical emergency, code blue or code silver procedures will take in action.
A counselor will contact the emergency number located in the daily camp binder to give a detailed report about the camper’s condition.
DO NOT move an injured person if they are not able to move on their own. All medical emergencies will be documented.
Intrusive or invasive behaviors:
1.Embarrassing a child about his/her body
2.Drawing attention to a child while he/she is changing or showering
3.There is no hazing of campers by campers or counselors
4.Teasing a camper to the point where that camper is out of control is unacceptable
Guidelines for supervision
1.Campers will not be left unsupervised
2.Do not ever meet individually with a camper (for any purpose; discipline, discussion or otherwise) in a completely private place
3.Never be on a one on one situation with a camper