Ep. 76: Partnering with Your Child’s Camp Director

One of the things that parents need to recognize is, just like with their school, it needs to be a partnership,
and not every day is going to be great.
– Audrey

Today’s podcast, Episode 76, was recorded live at the American Camp Association National Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee on February 18, 2019.

The panel participants included:
Maggie Brown, Director of WeHaKee Camp for Girls (Northern Wisconsin)
Sari Hirsch, Associate Director of Chippewa Ranch Camp for girls (Eagle River, Wisconsin)
Mike Endres, Director of Camp Chippewa for Boys (Cass Lake, Minnesota)
Cole Kelly, Director of Camp Weequahic – for boys and girls – (Northern Eastern Pennsylvania)
Jason Feldgreber, Director of Camp Menominee for Boys (Northern Wisconsin)

If you want to hear from more camp directors about their programs, check out my Happy Campers Interview Series!#happycampersbook #happycampers

Big Ideas

  • Awesome parents trust and support the camp directors in doing their jobs.
  • Great parents call to talk about their kids.
  • Parents are encouraged to give as much information about their kids as possible.
  • It’s a good idea for parents to spend about half an hour on the phone with the camp director, to discuss any concerns they may have, before sending their child away to camp for the first time.
  • Some of the best parents call and ask all their questions and then they let the kid know what to expect and how they can be successful at camp.
  • Great parents fill out the evaluation at the end of camp and explain the things that went well, and also the things that didn’t go well.

Quotes

Audrey: “Today we’re going to talk about those awesome parents who make it so pleasant to work with their children, and who help us do a great job partnering with them to create these great summer camp experiences.”

Camp Director: “It’s when they let us do our jobs, or support us in doing our jobs.”

Camp Director: “My favorite parents are the ones that answer all of the camp forms and write too much, and send us up with the full behavioral plans and stuff that’s working at home. And when we call them, they follow our lead on their letters to the kids. They’ll support us on the phone and they will also support us in what they’re saying to their kids, which is a big deal because we’ve had the opposite happen a number of times.”

Camp Director: “If you can have twenty, thirty minutes on the phone with some parent sending their child away for the first time, and they ask all these great questions about safety, about supervision, about games and activities, if they ask all of those it’s just a great start.”

Audrey: “I think all of us camp people like working with people, and kids, and parents, so I think most of us would rather have a conversation on the phone with a parent than to do some big, long email exchange.”

Camp Director: “Sometimes staff parents can be the most difficult ones to deal with.”

Camp Director: “Some of our best parents are those who prepare their kid. They call and ask us all the questions and then they let the kid know what to expect and how they can be successful at camp.”

Audrey: “I think we would all agree- we want them to call if they get a letter that’s sad, or not getting along with someone. We want to hear so we know that we resolved it, or so we can work with them to make sure we resolve it.”

Audrey: “Sometimes parents don’t realize that being a great parent often means calling us.”

Camp Director: “A great parent is one that fills out the evaluation at the end of the season and tells us specific things that they think went well or things that didn’t go well.”

Camp Director: “To take a step back, I think is a great thing for a parent to do.”

Audrey: “I think that one of the things that parents need to recognize is, just like with their school, it needs to be a partnership, and not every day is going to be great.”

“Alone we go fast, together we go far.”

Related Posts/Podcasts

Ep. 15: Traits of Parents Who are Great to Work With

100 Questions about Summer Camp

10 Reasons Great Parents Choose Summer Camp

Photos from podcast recording

 

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