“What do you do all year?”
“So, you only work in the summer?”
“Isn’t it boring in the winter?”
These are typical questions that full-time camp professionals hear throughout the year, especially in the dead of winter. What could there possibly be to do for the other ten months of the year?
The truth is that our work here at camp never ends. As soon as the buses roll out of camp (actually even before that) we are looking ahead to the next summer. When camp ends, we set into motion repairs, upgrades and new projects that we have been working behind the scenes to plan, sometimes for months or years. The facility team has already done so much and will continue to work throughout the winter & spring. More information about the facility work being completed this off-season will be coming soon from Billy & Danny.
Another big part of the first month after camp is reading surveys and evaluations from parents and staff to see where we hit a home run and what we can improve on next summer. Of course, the range of items we read about in these surveys is large as everyone has their own ideas about how to improve camp and what is important for the campers. We take it all in and put plans together to improve those items deemed most important, based on YOUR feedback.
We meet often to learn from and share our experiences with camp professionals around the tri-state area. We are members of the Long Island Camps and Private School Association (LICAPS), the New York State Camp Directors Association (NYSCDA), the American Camp Association (ACA) and other relevant organizations. These collaborations among industry professionals allow us all to provide safer and higher quality programming.
The two biggest things we do in the off-season are to recruit new campers and hire new & returning staff. We are so lucky that so many of our staff return from year to year, but even those returners need new contracts, forms and additional employment paperwork. We reach out and tour new families all throughout the year in addition to running our off-season festivals, fun days, holiday camps and more for current and prospective families. And we Blog!
So….that’s what we do all year long, in addition to all of the activity programming, special event planning, ordering of equipment and supplies, training, acquiring permits, working on accreditation and a whole lot more that I can’t think of at the moment. Camp may be 39 days, but we work 12 months a year to make those the greatest 39 days ever!