Posts Tagged With: camp director

Update – Starting a New Camp

I. Am. So. Freaking. Excited!!!

So remember back in this blog post I mentioned the proposal I was submitting to start managing rentals for the camp I was partnering with.

Well I met with the camp committee last week (after weeks of terrible, stressful, waiting) and went through both the end of season report and the proposal, they all seemed on board then said ‘ok great, we like it, now if you could just turn both of these documents into power point presentations and present to the board of directors that would be great.’

So earlier this week I presented my end of season report as both a high level power point report, and a more detailed hard copy.

And the board members were adorable!!

One of the board members said, “Patti…. this is… you put a lot of work into this!!” Then he looked around the room and said, “We’ve never had anything like this before!” and the board member next to him said “yeah, it’s really … professional.. isn’t it?!” and they all agreed that it was indeed professional and a good report. LOL

I adore these senior board members – they make me feel like a rock star for submitting a pretty standard, yet comprehensive end of season report.

Anyway, once I had buttered them up with my excellent report writing skills (lol) I moved on to the proposal – and I was SO NERVOUS!!!

But I powered through, I explained how I envisioned the partnership moving forward, how the rental costs would be distributed (I’ve asked for a percentage of rentals, the amount will vary depending on whether the rental group was recruited by me or by a board member and depending on the type of rental, if they’re looking for a facilitator, etc. and sometimes I’ll technically be the renter, because I’ll be running my own programs – there’s a whole matrix).

Anyway, it went great!

They voted to approve, and now I’m the shiny new… ok, I don’t know what I am… there’s no title for this… contracted rental manager?… Sort of volunteer but not really rental manager? Sometimes renter, sometimes rental coordinator? Rental partner? ……. leave it with me.
Or make a suggestion, I clearly need guidance.

Anyway, after that, stuff has started moving fast, I’ve applied to register my name, which is the first step toward incorporation and I’ve started working on some promo stuff.

THIS. IS. SO. EXCITING!

Guys, I’m telling you, doing the things that scare you is totally worth it!!

So what this all means for my little camp program is that I’ll start making a little money way sooner than I thought (which is really nice) AND creating a robust rental program will help raise awareness of both camp programs so hopefully they’ll both start to grow.

Exciting times, guys.

But enough about me, where are you guys focusing your time and energy right now? Any topics that you’re interested in talking about?

I have a few ideas for upcoming blog posts, but I’d love some suggestions.

Until next time. xo

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Categories: Opening My Own Camp | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being Sick at Camp

SICK AT CAMP

There’s nothing worse than being sick at camp, right?
Ok, there are probably worse things in the scheme of things but being sick when you’re away from home and have a lot of responsibility is high up there on the list of things that suck.

 

As a director or leadership staff member, how do you manage staff who are sick, and what do you do when YOU get sick??

I remember the first time I got sick at camp, it was my first summer as a counsellor and in those days we used to have each cabin counsellor sleep in their cabin on a rotating schedule. It was my night, so I was in the cabin with about 10 campers, when I woke up just after dawn and felt SO SICK. I tried not to move, because I was afraid of what would happen, but it was no use… we didn’t have bathrooms in our cabins so I ran for the deck where I found an empty plastic shopping bag and, well, you know.

I made my way back to the bed and hoped for the best, no such luck. Within minutes I was running for the deck again.
I realized this couldn’t go on, so after I woke up the counsellor in the cabin next door, Continue reading

Categories: Self Care at Camp, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

August Update

What an exciting couple of months it’s been!!!

Here’s a little update about what’s been going on:

Patchwork Marketplace

Curt and I are so excited that people have continued to use Patchwork during the summer months. We expected tumbleweeds to be blowing through but it seems that people are always looking for high quality, low-cost resources even at the last minute which is just fine with us! We’re starting to shift gears now and focus on the community rec folks, cause we know after school programs will be starting up soon and people will be looking for resources for those programs too.

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Categories: Opening My Own Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Camp Sick

camp sick

Ok, I’ve totally been feeling camp sick.

As you may or may not know, I resigned from my full time camp job in February (actually I resigned in Nov or Dec, but I finished working in February) and while I’m happy with my decision and SO excited about the new adventures I’m embarking on, I can’t help but miss camp at this time of year.

 

I was fine, I was looking forward, excited, not thinking about my former camp a whole lot… then they posted a photo during staff training.

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Categories: Self Care at Camp, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

International Camp Directors Course 2017

 

group-shot

 

Hey camp friends,

Remember when I shared this post  back in in December?

Well in case you didn’t read it, the Reader’s Digest Version ( for those of you who don’t get the reference, that means the abridged version. Am I dating myself? Do people still read Reader’s Digest? My friends used to tease me mercilessly when I was a teenager because I LOVED that little magazine.) is that I was a huge fan and I think everyone should take the course.

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Categories: New Camp Director Pro Tip | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Women in Camping

WOMEN IN CAMPING

When I first started as a counsellor I knew right away this was something I wanted to do forever. I couldn’t imagine a better gig and I was determined to figure out how to keep working in camping as a real life, grown up job.

Ashley and me

This was my first summer at camp. This my friend Ashley and I dressed up in “fancy clothes” drinking Mocktails that we made with our adult campers for a patio party.

One of the first things I did was to begin actively paying attention to the people around me and the structure that was holding us all together. Continue reading

Categories: Picture This... | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Path We Take … Curt’s Story

I’m really excited to share today’s post with you all. In my third installment in The Path We Take series we focus on Curt “Moose” Jackson, the creative and dynamic force behind the Summer Camp Programming website among other projects.

While I’ve yet to meet Curt in person, I’ve long admired his brilliant and creative programming ideas – and the fact that he has been able to bring camping professionals from around the world together to share ideas in his roundtable compilations.

(click here for information on how to participate in future email roundtables)

Now that I’ve had a chance to learn a little bit more about Curt through this process, I can also say that I admire his candor (he got real folks – and it was awesome!) and his drive to continue to explore, learn, create, and improve the level of programming we offer in the camping industry. 

I hope you enjoy learning about Curt’s journey as much as I did, and if you have any questions, comments, or just want to tell Curt how awesome he is, tell us about it in the comment section below. 

 

curts-story


Tell us about yourself.

 

Yikes, this is a broad question. It all started when I was a twinkle in my mother’s eye.

Just kidding.

I grew up an only child to a loving single parent in Southern California. My mom was a nurse who worked long hours and I was a latch-key kid. She passed away from cancer when I was 15. Unfortunately, nobody in my family wanted to take on the burden of raising a teenager. So after getting tossed around a bit between aunts and uncles my grandparents took me in. Six months later my grandfather passed away. Those two years were rough and had a big impact on my life, positive and negative.

I’ve always wanted to be an actor or a rock star, but I know that if I really did either of those careers I wouldn’t enjoy them. Besides, camp gives me the chance to do both with camp skits and camp songs. As a young kid I wanted to be a professional baseball player or a magician. Come to find out, I wasn’t very good at either of them, but I still like to pull out some magic tricks when campers are around.

I like road trips, the ocean, Moose Tracks ice cream, campfires and the smell of freshly cut grass.

I don’t like inconsiderate people, Brussel sprouts, humidity, and movie theaters that don’t have stadium seating.

TradingCards-template-SURVIVOR 2.psd

This is one of Curt’s super cool trading cards he offers on his site. You can order them here.

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Categories: The Path We Take... | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sending out an S.O.S

So here’s a (well-known?) fact about me.

I hate asking for help.

I hate it. Seriously.

Especially in my career. I don’t think it makes me look weak or anything like that, I know it doesn’t. I’m just stubborn I guess.

I was “brought up” in a camp culture where we powered through things, and made due, and solved problems with creative solutions… and laughed the whole time at the ridiculousness of the situation.

I still do all of those things, in fact, I pride myself on being able to do all of those things. I consider myself one heck of a creative problem solver, and it typically takes A LOT to really freak me out, and I spend most of my days laughing at the utterly ridiculous things that happen at camp.

But…

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Categories: New Camp Director Pro Tip | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work/ Work balance

Everyone has heard of work/ life balance… it can be challenging to achieve at times and most people struggle with it. But camp directors have an additional struggle… and that’s work/ work balance. A camp director WANTS to be out with the campers, it’s good for the staff to learn by their example, it’s good for the campers to see them around and get to interact with them, it’s good for the camp because they have their eye on things, and most importantly, it’s fun!!
But, there’s also office work to be done. Phone calls to return, emails to send, reports to write, meetings to be had. All of the things that go into running a business.

One of the things I wish I had done differently over the years is to create a better work/ work balance. It’s something I continue to struggle with today and if I’m being honest, the last few summers the scales have definitely been tipping toward the office work side of things… which is such a bummer.

work: work balance

Based on this photo, I’m not sure why I’m so eager to show up to programs!

Continue reading

Categories: If I Could Do It Over..., Self Care at Camp | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s the most stressful time of the year

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This is how I feel at the moment.

To be honest, this is how I feel every year at this time. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I try to do in advance, it never fails that April and May are just… bonkers!

It feels like I have hundreds of things on my To Do list, and dozens of them are super, ultra, major, high importance. And time just keeps on moving forward – camp is sort of like the theatre, regardless of whether you’re ready or not, the show must go on. The campers are going to show up with their suitcases and high expectations and we have to be able to deliver. 

And life keeps happening (so to speak… ) sometimes things happen where I have to take a step back and make time for family and loved ones, but the work stuff doesn’t go away. It just sits, and waits, and grows. 

Even though some of my favourite things take place during this time of year like getting to know new staff hires, getting ready for staff development week, hyping up camp for campers and returning staff – it’s also by far the most stressful time of year too.

And unfortunately this little blog, that I really enjoy writing, always ends up taking a back seat to the super, ultra, major, high importance things on my list, and to my family obligations. So I’m sorry for that, I have about 5 or 6 posts that just aren’t quite ready to share yet, but are in the works (and have been for a while… hahaha… sorry)

 

Unfortunately this is not one of those times where I might have a bit of advice about something I’ve learned from these situations in the past. This is just me… venting? complaining? making excuses? stating facts? All of the above, I guess.

All I know is that this is my hardest time of year every year, and if you’re feeling it too – I sympathize. 

And if you have any tips or suggestions, feel free to share them in the comment section below, or just vent, that works too.

 

 

Categories: Administration, Self Care at Camp | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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