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Summer Camp For Kids-Behavioral Issues



What do you do with the camper that is behaving?  Their parents paid for your services to take care of and entertain their child.  They’re slowing up and interrupting your camp.  You’re stressed out and didn’t expect this road block.  I’m going to give you a few different examples of behavioral issues and strategies to handle them.


The Complainer


  • This camper but not be the worst one in the bunch, but their negative attitude is affecting the moral of the other campers and causing a disruption on a daily basis.


  • Create a moan and groan zone: You can make a poster and hang it on the wall in a corner or where ever you see fit.  When a camper begins to whine and complain, send them to the moan and groan zone.  Tell them, you may complain to the corner for as long as you would like, but the rest of us would like to have fun.  When you’re done complaining please re-join the game.


  • Ask them what they would like to do to solve the problem.  This usually stumps them and shows them that their complaining is not going to solve anything.


  • Ask them what they would like you to do to solve the problem.


  • I personally like the first choice of the moan and groan zone, but if you feel like attempting the first two choices before you go to the moan and groan, it can’t hurt to try.


The Cheater




  • Most kids cheat every once in awhile, because they simply don’t want to get out or lose the game.  I wouldn’t be too harsh on a camper that cheats every now and again.  It’s the habitual cheaters that must be dealt with.  The kids that cheat all the time are easy to catch after awhile, because you’ll quickly which kids are honest and which you have to look out for.


  • First time you catch a camper cheating, you can pull them aside and explain how they really didn’t win if they cheated.  The score board might say they won, but in their heart they know they didn’t. Lay the guilt trip on them.


  • Penalize the team a point or take out a player (Power play).  This will discourage them from cheating.  It doesn’t have to be for a long time.


  • Give them a simple timeout.  No power play, no penalty point.  As a teacher, I never had a problem giving a student a “Time Out”, but as a camp owner I thought it shouldn’t done, since they’re a paying customer.  I soon realized there’s nothing wrong with a 2-5 minute time out.  They’re still getting playing of activity time and part of my job is to teach them how to behave and lose with grace.



Violence/Foul Language




  • There may be times that a camper uses a bad word or gets physical with another camper.  There must be repercussions for such an act.  It’s more detrimental to your camp to take no action than it is to punish, especially violence or foul language.


  • If it’s just a push/shove or a first time offender with a bad word, I would suggest a warning.  Make them aware that their parents will be notified if it happens again.


  • A 2nd offense for a bad word, especially if it’s directed at another camper would result in a call home.  I usually make the camper call home and tell their parent what they did while I stand next to them.  This is very effective and it’s not something kids want to do.  I would than get on the phone with the parents and tell them that this is the last warning.


  • If a camper has a 2nd violent offense, they will be sent home for the day and possibly the week or remainder of the camp without reimbursement.  Make sure you include this in your waiver.  You can’t be afraid to dismiss someone from camp.  There will be more back lash from other parents if put up with such nonsense at your camp.




  • CAMP WAIVER: I understand that any camper who does not follow the rules of the
    camp is subject to dismissal without reimbursement. This action can only be applied
    by the Camp Director. No camper will be allowed to leave (Name of  School) grounds without parental
    consent for any reason other than a medical emergency until the completion of a camp session. Peanut
    products are NOT permitted at the camp. (The name of your camp) is fully insured,
    however every camper is required to provide proof of insurance and understands that their insurance is
    primary. If you choose to add weeks we do not make up the difference. Please understand that we are
    unable to give refunds. Campers must be checked out by a parent/guardian.



  • TIP: Most kids will listen to a warning, especially if you threaten to call home or have them call home.  When their behavior doesn’t change you must take action.


I hope you found this information helpful.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question.


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