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SUMMER CAMP RULES FOR KIDS

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The first day of camp needs to be treated like the first day of school in many ways.  It sounds boring and maybe a little mean, but necessary if you want your camp to run smoother.  If you start out tough and strict, you can always ease up as the camp progresses.  If you start out soft, it’s much harder to reign in your campers/students.

EVERYONE IS AN ANGEL ON THE FIRST DAY.

 

 

 

CAMP RULES-TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER

 

SHOULDER RULE

Shoulder Rule

 

  • Any time a camper/student is playing a game that involves covering another person, the shoulder rule is a fantastic rule to apply.

 

  • Of course this rule can’t be used in a real recreation or travel game, but it’s great for camp and physical education class.

 

  • The player without the ball may block and keep their hands up when on defense, but if they’re too close they must back up.

 

  • The player with the ball is allowed to take a moment and tap the shoulder of the defender.  This alerts the defender that they’re too close and must back up.

 

Why is this a good rule?

 

  • Young children have a tendency to hang over the top of the player with the ball.  This prevents that.

 

  • This rule helps to avoid injuries such as jammed fingers and bruised arms.

 

  • Allows players more space which in turn give the campers more enjoyment and opportunity to pass the ball and get their teammates involved.

 

No stripping or grabbing the ball out of anyone’s hand.

 

 

  • As high as 5th grade, I don’t allow stealing the ball out of anyone’s hand in basketball, football, team hand ball and so on….

 

  • You’ll have less fouls, injuries and complaints.

 

  • The game will more enjoyable and easier to play.

 

  • Kids of this age and below have a difficult time stealing without fouling.  Remember this is an multi sports camp.  Not a clinic camp for future division 1 athletes.

 

Option: If campers are playing well with the rules you applied, you can always offer the stealing rule for a few minutes.  Judge for yourself if they can handle it.

 

 

GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP

 

My campers are not allowed to say “WE WON” at the end of the game.

 

 

 

Comments I expect to hear during & after a game.

 

  • Good try.

 

  • Nice shot.

 

  • Good save.

 

  • Better luck next time.

 

  • Awesome.

 

  • You rock.

 

  • Good game.

 

 

MOAN & GROAN ZONE

 

If you’re a teacher, coach and someone with camp experience you’ve quite a bit of moaning and groaning over the years.

 

I will put kids in a time out every now and than, but the moan and groan zone is another option and the same form of punishment.

 

Why do I use this?

 

  • To point out the obvious, it’s for campers that moan and groan to the point of distracting the others.

 

  • This zone takes the attention away from the complainer and keeps it focused on the players having fun and enjoying the game.

 

  • There’s no discussion when a child is sent to the moan and groan zone.  They’re allowed to complain to the wall for as long as the wish 🙂  When they stop complaining they me rejoin the game.

 

  • I will speak with the briefly before re-entering the game, to explain what they and how to avoid it from happening again.  For the most part, children know what they did.

 

 

 

RULES FOR THE PARENTS

 

  • Must sign your child in when entering the camp and sign them out when leaving.  The last thing you need is a missing camper.  It may be a little aggravating for parents to come inside and sign out a camper, but it’s a serious safety issue if kids are allowed to leave on their own.

 

  • As campers become comfortable, they should be allowed to sign in on their own, but not out unless you have a written agreement from a parent.  I do have a few some campers that live close and walk home.

 

  • Parents should be made aware that their child can be dismissed from camp for behavior without reimbursement.  This isn’t something you’ll want to do often, but it should be included in a WAIVER that you have in your registration form.

 

  • Allow parent to watch the kids play during the end of the day.  Set a day once a week for parents to come earlier in the day and watch the kids play.  Have parents attend one of your activities such as a Dodge Ball Tournament.  The kids will love it!

 

MAKE KIDS AWARE OF THE RULES & CONSEQUENCES.  I READ A LIST OF RULES TO MY CAMPERS EVERY MONDAY MORNING.

 

 

EXAMPLES OF SOME DAILY CAMP RULES

 

  • Must ask to use the bathroom.

 

  • Don’t touch anything in the gym or classroom that doesn’t belong to you.

 

Note: If you’re using a school or a facility that doesn’t belong to you, I recommend covering up anything that is valuable.  In the classroom where we have lunch and water break, there are computers, white boards and cabinets that I keep covered unless I’m using them.

 

  • Throw out your garbage.   At the end of lunch we have “The clean table competition”  We number the tables from best to worst on cleanliness.  The cleaner tables get called up for pizza first the following day.

 

  • All campers should be made aware that they will be corrected and critiqued  in a helpful manner to make them better at the activity or sport they’re playing.

 

  • TIP SHEETS: It’s always good to send the campers home with something tangible.  It’s a reinforcement for parent to see what they’re paying for and what their child learning.  For example:  If we were working on shooting in soccer the tip sheet may look like this.  Use laces, shooting knee over the ball, don’t lean back, non-shooting foot pointing at target etc….

 

  • Cleats off in the building.

 

  • Must have sneakers for indoor play.

 

  • No peanut products at camp.

 

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

 

 

 

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