Summer camps are exciting opportunities for children of all ages to grow and develop important social skills, learn about themselves and others, and make lifelong memories. Counselors help give campers the best experience possible. However, because a summer camp brings children together for prolonged periods of time in often new or different environments, counselors must be prepared for any situation that may arise. A well-rounded and comprehensive counselor training program will guarantee that all campers feel safe and at ease.
Whether their children are attending a day or sleepaway camp, parents are trusting counselors with their children’s well-being. Therefore, counselors must be prepared for anything, especially in an active environment, where anything from minor cuts to significant injuries could happen.
First Aid and CPR training and certification are key so staff members are prepared and know how to respond. While always from home, campers may overlook certain health concerns, such as food allergies, so it is the counselor’s duty to know what to do if an emergency of such magnitude arises.
Everyone associates campfires with summer camp, which brings up the important need for fire safety training and awareness. Even if a camp does not feature this iconic staple, there are still common everyday fire hazards in a mass congregation site. Just as in any other location where people regularly gather in groups, summer camps must have safety plans and conduct regular drills so campers and staff know what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency. Staff should know where firefighting equipment is, as well as how to contact the local fire department if needed and how to evacuate everyone safely.
Aside from potential medical and health issues, counselors need to know how to handle situations where behavioral or emotional concerns pose a threat for a camper’s well-being. Sleepaway camp may be the first time a child is away from home without his or her family, which could be distressing. And an unfortunate reality, especially in certain age groups, is harassment and sexual harassment. These events must be immediately and tactfully handled to stop the harassment, provide the victim with support and resources he or she may need, and maintain a safe environment for other campers.
Summer camp is meant to be a positive and memorable experience, one where campers and staff learn about themselves and others. These camps will draw children from all races, religions, beliefs, and backgrounds, and it is important for everyone to use this opportunity to learn about people and cultures. These interactions and experiences will help teach campers important social skills and deepen their understanding of other cultures, giving them a well-rounded understanding of the world around them.
Courses are available to help camp staff be prepared for any situation. These customizable training programs are built to meet each team/programs needs so campers and their parents have the peace of mind that their children are in the most capable hands.