Terrance wants to be independent. He’s a Jack Russell Terrier who demands to be outside bringing the world under his monolithic authority, but as soon as I close the door he deflates and wants back in. No one wants to be micromanaged and no one wants to be abandoned. The question is, how do we strike the right balance of structure and independence for ourselves and year-round teams. I think the answer comes in two sets of two.
1) Two Meetings
First, we have a weekly all-staff meeting which is similar to what most camps are doing. Our second meeting is a bi-weekly one on one. This is about coaching with only the slightest whiff of accountability. Here we ask questions like “Where are you succeeding?” “What’s weighing on you?” “Do you need help with any decisions?” Between these two meetings I have a reasonable idea of how everyone is doing and enough connection that no one feels abandoned – at least that’s the plan.
Pro Tip: limit meetings to the smallest group reasonable and let people get back to their lives.
2) Two Connections
First, pick up the phone. If anyone, from the Intern to the Executive Director, isn’t connecting with one person from another camp at least every other week then they are missing an opportunity. The current group of NC camping professionals is distinct from other states and other generations in the cooperation, even close friendships, between camping professionals. There is a free exchange of the best ideas in American camping 18” from where you are sitting right now – the phone.
Second, go to a conference. You may learn nothing from the conference, but you will learn a lot from other camp people.
Terrance needs a doggie door. I need two meetings and two connections.