Day In The Life Of A Lead Counselor
- If a counselor is repeatedly having trouble waking up in the morning find a fun, encouraging way to get them going.
- If that still doesn’t work, pull them aside and talk to them directly about it.
- If that doesn’t work, please tell Pam or Elizabeth.
7:00 Wake up campers
7:00 – 8:00 Getting campers ready for the day
- Help to get your assigned camper ready while maintaining awareness to see that all counselors are helping campers.
- If you see that someone is finished, then you can assign them to help out with campers who are not ready. Don’t be afraid to delegate.
- Help out where necessary.
- If everyone is ready, then you can sit outside with campers or organize something fun like morning stretching exercises.
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
- Set an example at table. See table expectations.
- When it’s time to leave, gather campers, count, and move out. Have at least one counselor help you to count.
9:00 – 9:15 Flag-raising
- If you are leading flag raising, take a little time to plan something fun for everyone to do. This helps to keep everyone interested and can be a great team-builder for the dorm.
9:15 – 10:00 Cleaning/Getting ready for program
- Cleaning time is often utilized for several activities other than cleaning. First see if campers need to use the bathroom. During physically challenged weeks, campers can use this time for cathing.
- This is where you use your coordinating/organizing skills. Assign counselors to assist campers where needed and also proceed with cleaning.
- If a group is leaving early for go carts, make sure they are prepared to leave at the designated time.
- Make sure that campers have sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, bath-suits, extra clothes for after the pool, pool shoes, and anything else that they might need.
10:00 – 12:00 Program Time
- Use the five minute warning to get campers lined up and ready at the door so that you can leave right at 10:00 am.
- If a camper is running late then leave two counselors with that camper. Make sure to try and leave at least one experienced staff behind. Most often the lead should go to program because you need to count to make sure that everyone is there and be with the larger group.
- When you arrive to program, count and make sure that you have all campers and counselors.
- Ask the program counselor if she/he needs any assistance.
- Have fun in program! It’s important to keep the energy up and encourage everyone to get involved and have a good time. As a lead, people look to you always and in program part of your job is to set the tone and have a good time with campers. Also, if you see counselors being aloof , distracted, or distracting, then give them a slight redirection to get them back involved. While you are helping, just stay aware about how things are going. You don’t have to micromanage or stand over a person’s shoulder, you just need to keep a broader view of the room so that you know if everyone is getting what they need.
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
- Help at table. Line up and head back to the dorm.
1:00 – 2:00 Rest Hour
- It is important that both counselors and campers get rest time. If your staff is still building rapport and building teamwork, then you may want to adopt the “the everyone stays until finished” philosophy. If your staff is running like a well oiled machine then you may want to adopt the “check-in and leave when your camper is ready” philosophy. Feel free to be creative also, find what works for you and the counselors in your dorm, as long as you stay proactive everything will run smoothly.
- Realize that as a lead you help control the timing of activities in the dorm. If you lead properly then most of the time campers will be on time for programs and counselors will get enough time to rest when available. Even just a few minutes can make a difference so try to keep things moving and try to give people what they need.
2:00 – 4:00 Program Time
4:00 – 5:30 Shower Time
- As a Lead you can figure out what procedures work best for your staff. One approach is to assign two people to stay in the campers’ quarters and the rest of the group stays in the bathroom helping where needed. You can assign at least one person to each shower and ask them to keep time for campers in the shower. Five minutes is usually a sufficient amount of time. In the beginning you may want to make a schedule of shower time assignments. Keep in mind that safety and compassion are the two most important concepts to remember during this time.
5:30 – 6:30 Dinner
- Help at table, line up, and head back to dorm.
7:00 – 9:00 Program
- Night program is a special time of day at camp because campers and counselors in the same dorm go out together to have fun. This is a great time to get to know campers. Also campers have fun together and build relationships.
- Again, as a Lead, you are counting, helping program counselors if needed, and just making sure everyone is having a good time.
9:00 – 10:00 Bedtime
- After night program, everyone returns to dorms and prepares for bed. Counselors should help assigned campers and then help out wherever needed.
- Remind counselors that they should check –in with the Night Dorm Counselor before leaving for the night.
- Counselors on night dorm should have a walkie with them at all times. Night dorm counselors should make sure that they are listening for campers.
- As a Lead, make sure that all counselors know any special night-time procedures for campers. Communicating these important details is very important. You may want to hold a brief meeting with counselors in Sunday night to relay information that you learned during check-in.
Lead/Counselor Supportive Relationship
- This works two ways. You are continually supporting the counselors in your dorm and they in turn are expected to support you. You are their leader and they should feel comfortable to come to you with any issue. We want to make sure that campers are safe and counselors are content in their living/work environment. You will be answering questions, listening, observing, redirecting, and holding meaningful dorm meetings. Make sure everyone feels like they are being heard.
- Counselors also need to support you. What does this support look like? Counselors need to create healthy boundaries with campers and redirect campers appropriately when needed. It should not always be your job to direct and redirect campers in the dorm. When a counselor is diligent about helping campers, assists when needed in other areas, wakes up on time, has a positive attitude and cleans well then they are supporting you because they are helping camp to run smoothly so that campers can have the best time possible.