Posts Tagged With: summer camp

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: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top 5 Most Popular Posts

I was reviewing my blog/ Pinterest data, and these five posts are my most popular – and I threw in a bonus post too because it was a close tie for fifth place AND I believe in over delivering. 😉

Check em out in case you missed em.

Rounding up the

 

Supporting your staff – Part 3 – Shout Out Wall

A quick, easy, and fun way to show your staff you’re seeing their awesomeness and creating a culture of praise at your camp.

The Campers Come First Philosophy

We all say it, our counsellors all say it, but do they REALLY know how to put others first without hurting themselves in the long run?

WOW Book!

Another fun and easy way to engage your staff  and to spread kindness and encouragement.

If I could do it over… self care at camp

After years of ‘pushing through’ and ‘sucking it up’ I finally had an epiphany – that in order to care for others, you had to care for yourself first. This is how I shared that concept with my staff.

Self Care at Camp

I actually followed my own advice about self-care at camp! Imagine that!
I took five simple steps towards self-care and had some really cool results.

BONUS

What is a… Campmance?

I think this is one of MY favourite posts. Mostly because there are some awesome pictures of my cats, for illustration purposes.
I talk about camp romances, my take on them, and how I prevent drama caused by campmances.

5

Looking at my most popular posts has shown me that camp directors are really concerned with making sure their staff and campers are happy & healthy – and that’s why you guys are so awesome.

What’s your favourite blog post? And what would you like to see more of (or any of, for that matter)?
Tell me about it in the comment section below.

Categories: Listables | 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

Do Things that Scare You

Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to require the most from you. Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful

Hey guys,

Happy September!!

I hope you’re all maxin’ and relaxin’ and starting to wind down from your busy summer season.

And if you’re still going strong with rentals, or outdoor-ed – YOU CAN DO IT! YOU’VE GOT THIS! YOU’RE ALMOST THERE! *CLAP, CLAP, CLAP*

(I just did a race… that sort of motivation helped me… lol)

Annnnnyway…

Speaking of my race. Let’s talk about things that scare us, and why we should do them. Continue reading

Categories: Quotable Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Zones of Regulation at Camp

As you may or may not know, I helped out at a day camp for three weeks this summer.

It was awesome!

I was so impressed with their programming. The camp director, Megan, did an exceptional job of putting together the workshops, creating a sensible flow for the day, and being flexible with camper needs & interests.

One of the coolest things I saw was a “Zones of Regulation” area for campers and staff.

Continue reading

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

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Rules for Behaviour Modification

You guys, I know you know this, but it’s worth saying again… there are some seriously wonderful, brilliant, and generous camp folks out there.

One of them happens to be my “internet friend” Dave Hennessy.
Dave and I were chatting the other day, checking in with each other on how our goals and future plans are going and he mentioned one of his “DaveRules” during that conversation. I, of course, asked for more information and when he shared his set of rules with me I LOVED the concept and asked him to write something that I could share with you good folks in my little corner of the internet.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Dave, and offer him a huge thank you for sharing his rules for behaviour modification with us.

 

daverules

Continue reading

Categories: Listables | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Camp Counsellor Hiring Season

Woah, what a whirlwind couple of weeks. I finished up my full-time camp director job, officially got started working with the faith-based camp I mentioned in this post and launched Patchwork Marketplace. It’s been chaotic and SO MUCH FUN!!

But once again, my little blog took a hit when it came to managing my time, so I apologize for that – especially to Dan who asked a pretty great question about staff hiring and balancing that with camp prep and the million other things you need to do this time of year.

So, even though it’s later than I had planned… here’s some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, although I’m so far from an expert in any of this, I hope my experiences will help at least a little.

hiring-staff

Fitting it all in

Ok, so I realize this is probably not very helpful at this time of year but it’s worth saying anyway, usually in September or early October I create my work plan and map out when and how I’m going to accomplish all of my big tasks throughout the year.
I try to get the bulk of my program planning, pre summer prep completed in the fall because I know from January to May is going to be straight out madness. (That made sense for my schedule, each camp program is so unique that you will likely need to adapt that to your specific schedule.)

I was the only person solely dedicated to camp in my organization, so that meant I did everything from staff recruiting & hiring, to program development, and even camper registration – we had a development team so I got a small reprieve from grant writing and marketing, but worked quite a bit with the team to help in those areas too… so I totally get that overwhelming feeling of needing to do everything and never having enough time. I feel your pain!

What I started doing the last few years was carving out certain parts of my day for specific tasks – for instance I had a little checklist of things I needed to do for registration and I would go through that first thing in the morning and right after lunch (simply because the mail arrived after lunch and since it was a pretty recent transition to an online registration system we still had quite a few mail applications, and I always worked on it first thing in the morning so I would have answers if someone asked me how registration was going later in the day). Continue reading

Categories: New Camp Director Pro Tip | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Patchwork Marketplace

Patchwork pattern of rainbow colors.

Hi camp friends,

If you follow me on social media you would have seen me post about this already, but I thought I’d share a little more info about it here. I am just so proud and excited about this project. And if you don’t follow me on social media, this will be brand new information! Exciting! Also, let’s be friends, all of my social media links are on the sidebar. –>

How Patchwork Marketplace Came To Be

Ok, so if you’ve been around these parts before you may have seen this post by Curt Jackson in my “Path” series. And also this post about how exciting it is to work with new people in blog land and in camping. Well, once Curt and I chatted a bit, wrote for each other’s blogs we decided that we wanted to work on another project together. We brainstormed a little bit, designed some (awesome) t-shirts, wrote a few fun quizzes and other posts but we were still looking for a bigger project to work on.

Then he mentioned that he always thought it would be neat to have a site similar to the ones available for teachers but for camp and recreation professionals.

Cue record scratch.

turntable-1328823_1920

Hold the presses.

old-time-950445_1920

That’s freakin’ brilliant!

I said, “umm, YEAH!” so we put all of our resources into creating Patchwork Marketplace.

And I’m super excited about it.

Then we came up with the name Patchwork because it sort of encompassed all of the things we were trying to accomplish with the marketplace. There’s an explanation on the site, click here to read it.
(If you join our beta test, you can have access now. More about that at the bottom)

Collaboration friends, it’s where it’s at!

Sooo… What Is It We’re Doing?

Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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