This week was our first week of summer. Our staff wasn’t really sure how camp was going to run with campers during COVID-19, but it actually turned out to be a really great week. This week our campers came from Indian River, which is actually a really good group of kids. This group was a great group to have for our first week of COVID-19 summer camp. Everyone wore a mask when they were inside a building and took them off outside, only if they were social distancing from everyone. This is my third summer here and we have a really great team this year. The mask and COVID-19 is the only thing that made this first week a little different/tough.
In the beginning of the week my staff and I finished up the last little bit of work we needed to do, in order to get ready for staff training. On Wednesday June 17th we started our training. Throughout the first 3 days we, as a staff, learned a lot of different group building games, team sports activities, and brain teasers to get the kids to come together as a team/cabin. Not only were we able to have fun, but we were also able to learn a lot about our staff through these activities. Of course, we had other serious trainings too. As this year’s senior program leader, I have made it my duty to go around and truly meet my staff. Getting to know all their likes and dislikes. We have a really strong team this year and I am truly excited to have the privilege to work alongside them. We still have another five days of training, but it has been going so smooth that I can’t wait to be able to bond more with my staff.
We finished up training this week! Finally, all of our trainings are done, and we are getting kids Monday, June 29. I am excited to see what our staff/team can do this summer. This week I had to talk to my other senior staff members to talk to some of their staff, but it was a small stuff. Stuff that their counselors can learn and become better counselors and people. Something that I have learned over the last two summers is to talk to staff when you are noticing small things that could hinder their success. So, that being said I want to make sure myself and my other senior staff leaders talk to our counselors when are noticing small problems.
This week was all about cleaning up camp and finishing up big projects, in order to get ready for general staff training. With the help of my coworkers we were able to redo both the male and female's activity leaders' cabin. These cabins are were staff can take breaks during the week and relax during the weekend. After working at this camp for three years now, I wanted to change it up because I want the incoming staff to know that their leadership team cares about their wellbeing and wants them to have a nice area to relax after a long week at work. Not only does changing up and cleaning up camp make it look nice, but it brings a staff together because now we are able to bond with each other while making the camp look beautiful.
I have been working at the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches for three years now and this is my second year being in a leadership position. This year I am the Senior Group Leader, which means I am in charge of making the weekly schedule and communicating to the staff how the week is going to go. This summer is going to be a little different because of COVID-19. Meaning there are going to be less kids coming to camp and instead of 8 weeks of camp we have 6 weeks of camp. So, Monday and Tuesday at camp I was doing maintenance and helping camp get ready for the summer. Wednesday through Friday I was in training with all the other Senior Staff, from our other three camps. During the rest of the week we learn how to be a good leader and what can we do to help grow our other staff for the future. It was a great week because we got to learn many different leadership styles from many different leaders. Even though I attend this training last year, I learned even more this year because most of the Senior Staff team was new. I am excited to see how the rest of the summer goes.