Pre-Summer Camp Staff Engagement

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Ready or not, the kids are coming. At this point you probably need a few more staff, still have to work on the schedules and are wondering what did you do when you had some free time in February?

Well, you’re not alone.

Good news is you have an incredible team who are already on board and will save the day like they always do. But how can you get them even more excited about this summer before it actually begins.

Here are a few proven ways for you to get your staff engaged prior to the first day.

1. Staff Instagram - Fact. Your staff live on social media. According to a new study from the family technology education non-profit group, Common Sense Media, teens are spending more than one-third of their days using media such as online video or music — nearly nine hours on
average. That is a lot of time. They are your captive audience. Start posting camp
updates on your Instagram page. Be sure to announce new activities, staff and always
ask for their comments. You can ask questions like “what are you looking most forward
to? What is your favourite place to chill at camp? Where are your travelling from? What’s
your favourite meal?” The more interaction, the better. I always send an email to a few
staff prior to posting and ask them to comment.

2. Buddy System – Most staff at camp will have a person that they have to report to but do
they have a buddy? I’m talking about someone else who has been to camp before who
can show them the ropes. Create a buddy system and pair a new staff with a returning
staff. Once you’ve matched the new staff with a veteran, send an email identifying the
role of the “Big Buddy.” Be sure to explain that this person is here to act as a mentor
and was new once too. The Buddy System is also valuable during training where you
can have all buddies sitting together at meals, working together on programs etc.

3. Advice – Send an email and ask your staff to share some advice to fellow staff. Advice
can range from items to bring to camp that someone new might not know (ie. shower
bucket to carry all of your supplies to the shower) to a bug jacket for the black flies.

4. Letter Writing – Remember how good it felt to get a letter in the mail. Now the only thing
you get in the mail is junk mail and bills. Take a few minutes a day and send your staff a
letter in the mail thanking them for being part of the summer. The feeling they’ll get
when the letter in the mail (not email) is incredible.

5. Staff BBQ – There’s still time to put together a quick BBQ or pizza party. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Invite all the staff to the office, house, park, wherever and host an event where they can all connect. Be sure to bring name tags and make sure everyone is
wearing them. This is an amazing opportunity for the staff to meet some of the new faces and
reconnect with their old friends. Be sure to have some of your ambassadors make introductions.

Remember, your staff are essential to the success of the summer. Getting them even more
excited for the Summer 2018 should be part of your training.

[Travis' Note: We offer our big THANKS to contributor Marc Cooper for sharing his wisdom with us today.  You can check out his other work at Wowmentum.]