What was your primary goal this past summer? At TAW, we decided to get back to our roots and more intentionally promote one of our core values-community. As most of our campers have spent a significant time in some form of isolation, we knew that instilling a strong cabin community would be essential for a successful summer.
During our staff training, we practiced several ways to establish a cohesive community. For our team, we emphasized three tools to set them for success. (1) A universal agreement for open communication between campers and staff members. This promotes a foundation of trust in the cabin. (2) An ability to take perspective. Having our staff and campers practice this skill increased opportunities to develop empathy and a recognition that everyone is different. (3) A present and engaged staff. As most campers are reacquainting themselves and practicing basic social skills, they will naturally make mistakes and need guidance and instruction on how to correct actions. This is how staff can assist!
While this is not a comprehensive list of tools need, it set the foundation for our staff to build an inclusive and accepting community that was needed for our campers this past summer.