Yes, it’s just barely Spring, but around here that means the start of the Summer Camp prep season. In my pre-KIT life, I worked at a theater with a large summer camp program. A couple of thousand kids taught by 100 or so teachers and aides. This meant that March-June was filled with a lot of hiring, scheduling, registration and enrollment, and staff training. It was all challenging, although in particular, I recall how hard it was to get 100 people on-boarded and trained up for the start of camp. There was so much information to convey and limited time in our one staff training day. Then, there would be people who would inevitably miss the session, or get hired after it happened, or midway through the summer we’d forget how to handle a situation we covered at the training in May but didn’t need until the end of July. This is a challenge our KIT partners and clients face every summer. How do you thoroughly prepare your staff for the summer and overcome all the logistical hurdles to doing it?
This year our KIT team has created a wonderful solution that I am very excited to share with the field. It’s an on-demand webinar series called Ready, Set, Summer!
Now camps can deliver our best-in-class inclusion training themselves with our webinar series and handy facilitator guide. This method allows them to break-up the training any way they want to, repeat it as many times as necessary, and offer it in any format that works for them. Camps hire a lot of people, and often being a camp counselor is someone’s first job. They need a lot of training and support on how to support children’s positive behavior in camp, and how to serve kids of all abilities. This new webinar series is designed to help camp leaders get everyone ready for a great, inclusive summer! Please share the link www.kit.org/inclusivesummercamp with any camps you know that might be interested!
Of course, we still also provide our traditional in-person camp training sessions. This week Kat was in Kansas City, Missouri, working with the Parks & Recreation team. Their goal was to get their staff more comfortable with inclusion as they head into their busy season of camps.
Camp is a very important part of the KIT year. All kids should have the opportunity to go to summer camp- to explore their interests, to make new friends, to enjoy the outdoors, and just to be a kid. Camps are also vital to parents who need a safe, fun place for kids to be during the summer. Beyond the practical aspects, camps provide memories that last a lifetime! We have many former camp directors, leaders and counselors on our KIT team and we feel very passionately that CAMP IS FOR EVERYONE!
If you know a camp that could use our help, please tell them about KIT!