The American Camp Association Tri-State Camp Conference is the point in the year when it really feels like Camp is around the corner. I was, once again, fortunate to attend the conference and not only network with my “camp” friends…I had the opportunity to LEARN. I learned about how to honor relationships – the concept of putting technology away for the summer and having a face-to-face conversation. I learned why free play at camp is important and possible – thank you Andy Pritikin from Liberty Lake Day Camp.
I also learned how to be a better manager, how to give helpful and positive feedback, how to build a winning camp leadership team AND how to focus on the positive and nix the negative. Lastly, we heard Billie Jean King, the tennis legend and champion for social justice and equality, speak about her experiences and motivate us to be the best we can be! Bring on Summer 2018…I’m excited to teach and more importantly LEARN.
As Rachel said, this is always the week that really starts to feel like camp. Wait, weren’t we wearing winter hats? Anyway…The session that really felt important to me this year was called Stand Up, Don’t Just Stand By and was presented by Corrie Sirrota, M.S.W., P.S.W. She explained that children who are bullies and are not confronted are likely to engage in the “adult” forms of bullying we hear too much about these days.
During our orientation I will share my personal experiences with bullying in addition to excellent talking points and media shared by Ms. Sirrota. We will do an activity with our staff and campers that shows how a person who has been bullied is never exactly the same as they were before the incident occurred. Bullying takes place when there is an imbalance of power, anyone can be a target and only an UPSTANDER can save the day. It is a priority of ours at Shibley, not only to be a Bully Free zone, but to inspire young leaders that will stand up FOR others!
This past week, I had the privilege and pleasure to attend professional development seminars with leaders in the camping industry at the Tri-State Camp Conference. Thousands of camping professionals gathered for 4 days to learn, share, and inspire each other as the official camping season approaches.
The highlight of my week was listening to one of my childhood heroes, and one of the most influential sports figures of our generation – Billie Jean King. As the key-note speaker, she shared her inspirational story of how she used tennis as her platform to champion social justice and equality. Her message was all about inclusion, a topic that is as important today as it ever has been.
This summer, similar to the past, the Shibley team will be focused on a big responsibility – creating a community and environment that allows our campers and staff to feel comfortable being their authentic selves each and every day.
I also enjoyed my 2018 Tri-State experience! My favorite topic is and has always been customer service and two presenters that I enjoyed were Roz and Jed Buck. Shibley has always been known for excellent customer service. We will do whatever it takes to accommodate our camper families if it is at all possible.
When I am out in the world at restaurants and stores I too often see a lack of customer service. Employees don’t come over quickly to greet you and see if they can help you. Many cashiers don’t say thank you for coming or even look at you when they take your money. They make you feel like you are there for them, not that they are there for you. We at Shibley welcome the challenge to solve any issue that that is causing a family to not be satisfied with their camp experience.
We are always willing to go above and beyond for our camper families and we are glad to have the opportunity to do it. If I can come up with a creative solution that solves something for a family, I go home feeling extra good. Camp is only 39 days long so time is of the essence when a camper family needs something to be attended to. We at Shibley feel that if we do whatever we can to make you happy, then you should no longer feel like a customer but instead like a part of our Shibley Family.