Ease into it!
Our staff start practicing behavior management and other interactions on day one of training with small-group role-plays. Our staff go through about 140+ hours of training, ranging from behavior management to how to uphold the typical structure in a camp day. In addition, we play many teambuilding and getting-to-know-you activities to break up the information about camp policies and procedures, child abuse awareness/training, basic safety, and so much more! We work extensively with the Starfish Tools, Keys and Strategies, how to effectively lead a group and activities, diversity, conflict resolution, practicing how to structure any camp activities and learning all the daily routines and camp traditions.
Some other training we do, depends on the position. We train our Lifeguards inhouse, with first aid, CPR and AED training.
Before the arrival of campers, our staff will have completed enough profession-focused learning to become certified as a Level I Care Specialist. Following additional hands-on work with children over the summer, you may also receive your Level II certification, which includes a salary boost and opens up opportunities for leadership positions at camp!
When our first session starts, we call Session one, staff training part two; this is where our staff take what they learned over the last two weeks and put it all into practice. Of course, there is only so much you can roleplay! And as behavior happens for real during the summer, debriefing and follow-up helps you identify best practices..
Another tradition that we do at Starfish and is a huge piece of staff training is Torchgroups!
The tradition of staff Torchgroups began at Starfish in 2006 and has quickly become one of the most eagerly anticipated parts of our annual staff training for those who return! Torchgroups offer an opportunity for every staff member to participate in a small mentoring group during their introduction to Starfish. The names of the torch groups were chosen to represent attributes that we, as a camp, value in our staff team and camp community.The Torchgroups include: Leadership, Enthusiasm, Honor and Integrity, Belief and Empowerment, Respect, Community, Patience, Compassion, Fun and Safety, Dedication, Friendship, and Acceptance.
Every staff member is randomly placed into one of the Torchgroups at the beginning of staff training. Between team builders and occasional debriefs, your torchgroup will be a familiar place for support and comfort! We include a torchgroup competition as well into training, where we play games we use over the summer with campers, and hold game nights as a way to relax and unwind after a long day of training!
While training is long, it is very beneficial to being a successful specialist as Camp Starfish. We hope that after reading this you are a little more prepared about what to expect this summer!
If you ever have any staffing questions, you can reach out to Rachel, our Director of Staff Experience at [email protected]