While I'm working on my Bachelor's Degree, I have the pleasure to work part-time for CARE of Southeastern Michigan as a Community Group Leader. One of the biggest projects of our summer season are 3 Leadership Academy summer camps and Camp CARE, which is a specialized 2 week day camp for anyone impacted by a loved one's addiction. Our staff truly puts hours of hard work, planning and dedication into not only teaching life skills such as team-building, communication and leadership but providing youth with a chance to make lasting friendships and enjoy an experience that keeps them away from drugs and alcohol.
What I wish was different
Funding always plays a part in our camps. While we have a generous budgets, our staff wants to provide our youth with every opportunity for the best experience possible. We had to plan carefully to ensure we would have materials and food for every camper and facilitator for every day, and found creative ways to make games and activities in office or at our homes to stay within budget. It turns out that some of those homemade classroom decorations and activities turned out to be the hits of camp!
The best piece of advice I could give for facilitating a day camp is to be able to adapt to changes quickly. Weather, location issues, attendance or even just the moods of the campers can all play a factor in the day to day routines. One class may need extra gym time to burn off excess energy. Another class may be feeling creative and want to do an art activity versus a physical one. You have to adjust your day based on the needs of your campers.