I've noticed some interesting, subtle things about the way Camp Greenwood is run:
1 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX never seems to yell at or have a talk with the counselors. Only the kids. He's, in fact, quite chill with the counselors. This is quite clever, IMO. See, I'm responsible for the kids, so when he yells at them for running, I feel bad for letting them run. He gets to speak to them directly, which is probably more effective with kids, and at the same time speak to us counselors indirectly, which is probably (at least some of the time) more effective than a direct talk, since it circumvents rebellious or defiant nature. And he saves energy by not having two conversations, and gets to keep good and friendly relationships with the counselors. Also, I think I felt worse from the indirect message rather than the direct one since I didn't get a sense of closure from it that I would have from a direct conversation (so I went and said sorry and he was super chill so I got my closure and he got to be chill & stuff)
2 Every night we fill out a bunk evaluation, which sonsists of asking each kid:
- To rate the day on a scale from 1 to 5 stars
- How their health is
- How their emotions are
- If they have any complaints about the accomidations
- One good thing about the day (Rose)
- One bad thing about the day (Thorn)
- One thing they're hoping for tomorrow (Bud)
And we also note on the kids behaviour; we also have a space for extra notes.
It's a simple procedure, but I've realized that it does a lot of work. Of course, it
1. Checks in with the campers so that the directors know if their sic are any problems
but it also
2. Gives counselors a chance to self-evaluate
3. Contributes towards a bedtime routine
4. Lets the campers express issues
5. Lets the counselors express issues
6. Enforces interaction between the counselors and all the campers in a bunk, even the quiet ones.
I think this last one is the most clever. Actually interacting with your kids is super important (or so it seems; I've only been a counselor for like two weeks, one of which had no kids) and it's so easy to leave the quiet ones be and never really interact with them.
3 Before meals we always have 30 seconds of silence, partially led by some campers who volunteer; new campers at each meal. This serves not only as a fun thing for campers, and not only as a way to quiet the kids down before a meal, but it also acts as an interesting gauge: when the 30 seconds start, the amount of time it takes for kids to get quiet is an interesting measure of how much control the counselors have over the kids, how much control the staff have over the counselors, and how naturally quiet or obedient the kids are. All 3 factors get mixed together, of course, but if it takes too long then you have reason to be concerned.
Also, it's good positive practice handling the kids and contributes to a managed environment, also since it gives the kids practice being handled and existing under supervision.
Again with the control and order business. Kind of suspicious for someone like me who has authority issues...