staff training

Staff Training: How We Prepare our Excellent Counselors for Camp


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Ok, so you all know that The Heart seeks nurturing and fun staff members for our kiddos. But how do we get them up to speed on our expectations and the way we run things? Well two weeks of staff training gets them right into the swing of things!

Summer Staff Training 

The first week of staff training, most counselors undergo skill training clinics and certifications. During this week, all of our lifeguards become American Redcross lifeguard certified. Some counselors become NRA Certified Instructors. Others attend archery, horseback, or climbing clinics. During staff training week, every single staff member participates in an abuse and awareness course. Every staff member is CPR-First Aid certified. 

During our last training week, we train our counselors on the soft skill side of being a counselor. Including best practices for handling emotions, how to establish a strong cabin dynamic, and being alert to the different ways individuals express their needs. Counselors can have a tremendous impact on a child’s development. Though some may balk at the sentiment, our counselors embrace the idea. During staff training, we seek to build up our counselors so that they can fulfill their potential. 

Our staff training is designed to operate on a typical camp schedule so that our counselors will be best prepared to lead campers through the day. This replication of camp is an opportunity for counselors to bond with each other before the show begins! One of our favorite parts of orientation is building up our counselor’s excitement for when the campers arrive! The air is electric the night before camp. 

Leadership Team Training

Heart O’ the Hills is a member of multiple camping associations, where professionals share their best practices. Our training resources are inspired by other camping professionals. We constantly check the American Camping Association’s electronic resources, and we subscribe to their Camping Magazine. Michael Brandwein, celebrated author and camping authority, has a dedicated bookshelf in our office. Because our year-round staff are keeping up-to-date with the camping profession, we can provide an informative training for our staff.

About the Author

Kimber M

Texas born and raised, I love the outdoors, animals, and time with my family.

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