Summer is in full swing and so are summer camps and summer care throughout the region! I remember from my time as a camp director how difficult it can be to keep staff motivated. It always seemed that during the first month everyone was full of energy, but sometime in July the heat really started taking a toll and everyone’s motivation took a nose dive. The midsummer blues had hit! The same old songs just weren’t doing the trick anymore, teachers were uninspired and the kids were begging for something different. What’s a director to do? How can we keep everyone motivated with a limited budget?
I found that the simplest ideas were the ones that made the most impact.
- Celebrate! When you have staff meetings, celebrate what your staff is doing right. A little encouragement goes a long way on a hot summer day.
- Select a counselor or teacher of the week using peer nomination and recognize them in front of the whole program. Kids will love it!
- Have a prize drawing that includes summer fun items like water balloons or frisbees for everyone who shows up on time.
- Plan simple get-togethers. Play softball, see a movie or have an ice cream social.
- During the day, make a guest appearance and take over some of the responsibilities so your staff can take a break.
Remember that you are the role model that your staff look up to, which helps them be better role models themselves for the children in your program! Lead by example.