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

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I think it’s one of my favorite parts of my job, getting to form these really
positive, effective, and fun partnerships with parents.
-Sara Kuljis

Last week during a trip to Southern California, I had the pleasure of an impromptu visit and Facebook Live session with Sara Kuljis, my dear friend who happens to also be a camp director like me. Sara and her husband Steve own and direct Yosemite Sierra Summer Camp and Emerald Cove Day Camp.

The Kuljis Family

Sara and I both have decades of experience working at camp. We both love working directly with our campers and training our counselors, but a big part of our job as camp directors involves working with our campers’ parents. And, like all people (teachers, coaches, etc.) who work with other people’s children, we have strong opinions about what makes a parent great to work with.

Following our conversation, I thought I’d sum up the traits we discussed, because it’s always in the best interests of kids for parents to partner with teachers, school administrators, coaches and camp directors! So, even if you don’t have time to listen to the podcast or watch the video, following are the six traits we discussed.

TRAITS OF PARENTS WHO ARE GREAT TO WORK WITH

#1 Parents who understand children grow through challenge

#2 Parents who are willing to help prepare their child for new experiences

#3 Parents who are willing to share insights about their child, without getting defensive

#4 Parents who admit to their own fears about “letting go”

#5 Parents who understand that in order to gain some independence, kids need – at some point – to try new things away from parents

#6 Parents who don’t “label” their kids

Note: We side-tracked into an interesting conversation about our thoughts about whether or not parents need to find a buddy to go to camp with their child the first time. This insightful comment came through on Facebook from a parent who listened to our interview (thank you, Christine!):

My daughter was nervous to go to camp without a friend, but when she got home she commented that it would have changed the experience to have a friend with her. She feels she was really able to be herself and do things she may not have done if she went with a pal from home.

-Christine, Camp Parent

Watch the 17-minute video of our talk on Facebook or listen to the podcast by clicking the play button on the link at the top of this post.

Want to hear more from Sara and Audrey? We’re available (together or individually) to come talk to your parent group!

Send Audrey an email or visit her speaking page to inquire, or email Sara directly.

Audrey and Sara with both of their Steves in Glacier National Park (Montana)


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