Always means always. We're one-to-one, all the time, always. That doesn't mean including maintenance staff and directors, either. We have one counselor for every camper, plus a team of 12+ leadership and supervisory staff, plus our directors, plus our nurse and support staff. Why?
It's not because every single one of our campers needs that amount of supervision or support minute-to-minute. But many of them do need the flexibility it provides - such as the ability to have a counselor and a member of our camper services team be able to stay back with a camper having a hard time making the transition to the next activity...while allowing the rest of the group to move on. Why not just ask everyone to wait? Well, perhaps that camper might need a few minutes to talk things through. Maybe another member of the group gets anxious waiting around when he's been assured that the group is leaving to get to swimming and worries about being late or missing out. Most importantly, for the safety of campers and staff, we're never alone with kids. There's always a second set of eyes and ears around to offer a helping hand.
And, while not every camper needs one-to-one, they all benefit from it in many ways. We believe that being able to give each camper positive attention and engagement at all times eliminates the need for behaviors based on negative attention-seeking, and allows us to quickly and effectively get to work on other behavior and goals. We also realize and capitalize on the fact that campers make solid, fast bonds with staff (and vice versa!) which opens their minds to hearing feedback and making changes - because the suggestions and assistance comes from someone they're working hard to impress! We're not one-on-one, so campers aren't assigned one staff member that's "theirs" for the session. In fact, they have a different staff member as their free-play buddy every day, staff they eat with, bunk staff, activity staff, etc. But they know no matter what, there's an ear to listen to them, and a hand to hold. That's why we're 1:1.