12 Tips to Improve Your Staff Training Now

Camp Training Can Be Better

A couple of weeks ago Gab and I recorded our staff training duet - a quick back and forth with some of our best training ideas.    

Check out our best tips from our combined 30+ years of training. 

You can also listen to the show on our Podcast page.  If you are having trouble seeing the video you can watch it directly at http://youtu.be/k_ZqNvbQrus.

A number of people have been asking, on the CampHacker YouTube Channel and on the Summer Camp Professionals group on Facebook, if we could share some of the resources we mentioned. 

Our 10 Camp Staff Training Tips

  1. Expectations about Time: "We are working by _____" instead of "We are starting at ______".   Set unusual starting times - nothing on the hour or half hour. Everyone has to wear at watch. 
  2. Expectations about their Every Day Carry: First Aid Kit, aka FAK; pen and notebook at all times; whistle.
  3. Make a Pocket Counsellor (Monitrice de Poche) for your staff (download the guide to make your own at that link.).
  4. BURP'ing Night - Blurbs for Understanding your Responsibilities Perfectly or the New IGNITE format where people have 5 minutes, 20 slides set to advance every 20 seconds. 
  5. Review Crew. Michael Brandwein's idea to have a group of people review the topics from the day... in costume (How is this going to help you in your job? What is most important in this topic? Plus your conclusion) .
  6. SQRT (Super Quiet Reading Time): 15 minutes a day for staff to sit quietly and read through their staff manual. New staff must write down 1 question that comes up for them.  Partner with a senior staff person to find the answers
  7. 100 Challenges to do at camp (see the photos below for Cairn's 2012 list)
  8. Record sessions visually.
  9. Manage people's attention: make standing desks available for those that need to change position; allow people to duck out and come back 
  10. Clumping vs Cliques
  11. Secret friends for new staff members
  12. GoPro Challenge. Shoot a part of camp.