Posts Tagged With: Priorities

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!

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

Priorities – Part 2

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about priorities at camp and in life (you can see that here) and I thought that I would expand on that a little bit.

I’ve noticed over the years that the staff don’t always know what the Camp Director’s daily priorities are (I mean, beyond the obvious health, safety, and well being of the campers and staff) or how their their leaders prioritize things.

I know that when I was a first year counsellor I had no sweet clue what my director’s priorities were… or even what they really did all day…

And I’ve had that question asked to me by staff over the years “so… like… what do you DO all day?” – if I’m asked that question it is definitely a wake up call that I am not communicating effectively.
(ALTHOUGH I wrote the draft of this post before I listened to the Camp Code Podcast # 15 – Building Your Summer Camp Leadership Team, and Ruby Compton said something that really struck me. She said that the job of a camp director is to run things so smoothly that people DO ask, “what do you do all day?”, and compared it to her former role as a sound tech for live theatre … listen to the podcast, she explains it so much better than me. BUT it really got me thinking and has definitely changed my perspective on that question! I’m going to have to spend some time with it and let it swirl around in my head a little bit, but I’m very intrigued by this new perspective. )

So my ACD and I sat down and came up with a short exercise to do with our head counsellors (who make up our leadership team, they would be considered “mid- level managers” in a typical organization structure) to help them understand how we prioritize, and then move the conversation into delegating and why it’s important.

It’s just a brief 20 minute exercise, we give them a typical ‘to-do’ list from a day at camp and get them to prioritize it, when they’re just about done and have their wonderful organized list, we throw them a curveball. They then have to re- prioritize and delegate some of the work.

To Do List Activity

This is a copy of one of the faux to-do lists that someone already started prioritizing.

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Categories: Administration | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Priorities – At Camp and in Life

Oh, hello camp friends!

It’s now 2016, and you know what that means – we’re THISMUCH closer to camp 2016! Woot!

So I’ve been away for a few weeks, and by away I mean both literally and figuratively. I had a mini family emergency (which we originally thought was a major family emergency but got dialled down to a code yellow – yay for small victories, which are actually pretty major victories in the scheme of things) and headed “home” (where I grew up- about 5 hours away) for a short period of time.

After that I had about a week to play catch up on a lot of things before the holidays, and then I decided to just spend as much time as possible unplugged and with my family over the holidays. It was nice.

So this whole ordeal got me thinking about priorities.

Setting Priorities and Communicating Them

I am so fortunate to work with some really amazing humans who are supportive and understanding; when I told my bosses that I felt like I needed to go home for an unspecified amount of time but would work remotely when I was able to and would take vacation days if I found I wasn’t able to work much, they were like “Okay cool, we trust you. Check in when you get a chance and let us know how everything is going and what your timeline is shaping up to be.”

Awesome. Right?

I’m also really fortunate that I was at a point in the season when I could pick up and take off and it didn’t disrupt my work very much (although it wreaked havoc on all of my other commitments, hence the catching up). It would have been a whole lot harder to take so much time if camp was in session.

But I would have done the exact same thing, because family takes priority.

Balancing “Real Life” and Camp Priorities

I’ve always tried to do the same for my staff – I ask them up front if they have any commitments during the summer that will conflict with the camp schedule, then we try to work around it.

Obviously the more notice I have, the better – but there are some things that just sort of crop up and I try really hard to accommodate …well… life, when I can.

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Categories: Administration | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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