I was talking to some other camp professionals yesterday and we had a discussion about how do you prepare you campers and staff to go back into the life outside of camp. It was an interesting question. I talked mainly about what we do with staff since most have been at camp for at least 9 weeks.
What we do is we have personal conversations with all of them about how their summer went and if there is anything they need help with outside of camp once camp is over. Most tell me no that they don't need any help after camp but some do and we try to be as helpful and supportive as possible. Whether it be rides to the airport or just advice on what is happening in their life. We want them to know that they are part of family that will be there for them as long as they keep making the right choices.
We also throw a staff party where we take them all out to dinner and we watch the staff video. They also get a staff picture, a staff gift (a picture frame this year) and a summer staff blue bead. We hope that this gives them closure to what they have experienced and accomplished.
What we hope to prepare our staff and campers for whenever they leave is how to fill the emotional cup or bucket or whatever else you want to fill. We emphasize the core values at CFA and we hope both staff and campers learn those and realize how good it makes you feel in Spirit, Mind and Body when you follow those core values.
A lot of campers and staff go home and lose that camp fire of just feeling good inside. They lose that sense of community and real friendship. I know I did whenever I was a camper and staff member. I finally figured out what to do about it. I went out and searched for my own community to make a difference in. In high school I joined a youth group and in college I started writing for my college newspaper. So go out and find a community where you can use the skills and values you learned at camp in. It will help you keep your cup full and a smile on your face.
Here are some other things that might interest you in keeping that cup full:
Join Habitat for Humanity
Serve food at a homeless shelter
Volunteer in a organization that you are passionate about
Do more chores than you are required to around your house
Talk to people that you don't normally do at school
Start a new hobby
Do you have any ideas for how to keep your cup full?
Remember to live, laugh, Love and look up