Summer Fun Kids Camp
HOW TO MAKE CAMP FUN
- You must be overly prepared.
- Have a plan for every part of a campers day before they take one step in the front door.
- You must have a schedule written out for you and your counselors.
- Your counselors should study your plan and activities. They need a copy of everything, so they can refer to it at any given moment.
- If a counselor doesn’t have all of the game rules memorized, they will be required to come back the next day more prepared.
TIP: A counselor that doesn’t know game rules for one of your activities can affect the enjoyment of your campers. This must be corrected quickly.
- My counselors carry a clipboard with them the entire day.
What does the clip board contain?
- Daily plan.
- Name of all of the campers in their group.
- Rules for the games/activities that the campers will play for that day.
TIP: NO DOWN TIME!!! 10 minute welcomed water breaks in between activities is the only down time, but it’s necessary and part of the schedule.
- Even your lunch time should be organized.
- My counselors know that one of them has to pick up the pizza. Another to set up plates, napkins and drinks. TV on, Dodge ball tournament stats updated etc…
- My campers know the tv is coming on, so they have something to watch while eating.
- Campers know the table order for the day and when their table will be called up to get their drink and pizza.
- They’re aware of the clean table competition for the following day which is a huge motivator to clean up after themselves. Cleanest tables get called up first for the lunch the following day.
- If some of the counselors are getting antsy while others are finishing their lunch you can have a trivia session.
- Ask questions about sports. For example: How players are on the field in a soccer game? What do you aim for when shooting a foul shot? How many points for a safety? etc,,,,
- You can make a copy of the trivia questions/answers and send them home at the end of the day. It’s always good to send them home with something tangible for the parents.
USE YOUR TIME WISELY
- Two of my counselors will stay in the classrooms while the kids are taking their break.
- Other counselors will clean up the equipment from games were no longer playing that day. While this is happening my runner and other counselors are setting up for the next activity.
- You Don’t want campers sitting around while your setting up. The game should be ready to go when they walk in the gym, field or room.
- A silly VIDEO with some good ideas for the first day of camp! I’d also like to mention that this is type of personality you want working at your camp.
- RUNNER: Counselor not assigned to a group of children. The job is to everything and anything, for example; band aid on a scraped knee, parent on the phone with a question, lunch pick up, ball needed from equipment room, etc….
TIP: Purchase a walkie-talkie for every counselor. Trust me!
TIP: Set up the most time consuming activities before the campers arrive or during lunch. Save the easier set up games, during the 10 minute breaks. For example: I have a dodge ball game called AMERICAN GLADIATOR that requires a lot of set up time, so this is done before the campers arrive. Volleyball is another long set up, so we take care of that during lunch.
ONCE WE GET INTO THE DAY, THE KIDS DON’T HAVE ANY DOWN TIME. THE KIDS ARE NEVER SITTING AROUND WAITING FOR THE COUNSELORS TO GRAB EQUIPMENT FIND THE BALL OR READ THE RULES. THIS IS ALL DONE AHEAD OF TIME OR ON NECESSARY BREAKS OF THE CAMPERS. OF COURSE THERE’S ALWAYS TIME NEEDED FOR RULE REVIEW ONCE YOU GET IN THE GYM.
- Choose them wisely.
- People you know is the best route to take.
- Interview potential counselor’s even if you know them.
- Look for happy, kid friendly personalities. Counselor’s can make or break your camp.
- My campers love my counselor’s! I only pick hard working, happy young adults to work for me!
- If you make a mistake and hire someone that wasn’t what you expected, to be afraid to dismiss them ASAP.
- Back ground checks are crucial when dealing with children.
CAMP NEEDS TO BE FUN, BUT ARE THEY LEARNING?
- Even if your camp is expected to increase the skill level of your campers you still need to make their day FUN.
- If everything is serious the entire day, it doesn’t matter how knowledgeable your counselor’s are. The kids won’t come back next week or Summer.
- Always start out the day with more serious activities and increase the fun more and more as the day moves on. For example: skills, modified games, lunch, games, tournament. By the time they get to lunch, they’ll be having so much fun. The skill session that was less fun earlier in the day will be a distant memory to the tournament.
- Who do you think wants to know how the day went for your campers? Of course the parents.
Parent: Hey Johnny, how was camp today?
Child: It was ok.
Parent: Just ok? (Thinking about the money they’re paying for the camp)
Child: Yeah, we did passing drills, but it was ok.
Parent: Did you learn anything?
Child: No… not really.
They probably learned a lot, but if the camp wasn’t FUN, they’re not going to care what they learned. When I get a first time camper, parents will ask me if they can try a day or a week before they sign up for more days. I always say yes, because I know their child will have a good time and want to come back.
- Be prepared
- No down time.
- Choose your counselor’s wisely.
- Start out your day with the skills/drill sessions.
- Save your best/favorite activities of the campers for the end of the day. (My day usually ends with a dodge ball tournament or scrimmage) Depending on the camp or sport.
- Make sure they’re having FUN!
Hope you enjoyed these tips. Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.