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  • Nick M. Teich, PhD, LCSW

ACA Crisis Hotline information, part 2:

Included in the Crisis Hotline calls were "staff feelings of being overworked and underappreciated," which so many directors and leadership staff are hearing about at their camps. Gone are the days when a simple note of thanks, a piece of candy in a staff mailbox, or a short check-in are enough for staff to feel appreciated. Their jobs have gotten more difficult with the plethora of issues that campers bring to camp, and their own reserve has been tested and depleted with everything the world is throwing at them. So, what are ways that staff can feel heard and appreciated? How can camps strive to strike a balance between paying attention to this important point while also having time to devote to campers, program, and parents?

What can camps do to help?

  • Provide more breaks and off time than in the past

  • Create intentional time for individual staff to be heard by a leadership team member

  • Make sure to have transparency and frequent communication about "what is going on" at camp

  • Leadership staff should sometimes work alongside counselors and occasionally "tap them out" when they need it

  • Leadership staff should get to know frontline camp staff on a more personal basis, creating trust

Easy to say, right? Implementation of these is not easy, but can be key in making your camp's workplace more positive and increase staff retention.

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