If you are a camp director, you’ve probable heard the term; “mid-summer-blues”.
Mid-summer-blues is that funk that your staff get’s in part way into summer camp.
Mid-summer-blues can cause staff to get complacent. And complacent staff can lead to more:
- homesick campers,
- preventable injuries,
- bored campers,
- a decrease in meeting the camp’s mission and
- other negative consequences.
Not to mention, staff who want to quit.
In the last several summers, we’ve kicked mid-summer-blues out the gate. Here are some keys to keeping mid-summer-blues out of your camp’s culture.
TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:
- Talk about it during staff orientation. Put your staff on the lookout for it. Empower them to prevent it.
- Talk about the vision, a lot. Keep your team inspired by talking about the “win” every day. Overreact to victories and under-react to setbacks. (I’m blushing, but yes you can click here to tweet that)
- Keep crazy out of camp. Be ridiculously cautious hiring staff. Hire character over anything else.
- Drama as a camp activity is great. Drama as a staff pastime is not great. Kill drama by making gossip a fireable offense.
- Have staff small groups. Everyday for 30 minutes our staff have a small group Bible study with 3 or 4 other staff. These times of day give staff time to step away, work on themselves, recenter, reconnect and be reenergized. Half of our staff small groups meet during morning watch and the other half meet during vespers.
- Require everyone to have a one-on-one with their supervisor every week.
- A few weeks into camp, introduce a staff only competition. We call it, Battle Staff Galactica. It’s a series of games including a rock-paper-scissors bracket playoff, sing-offs, costume contest, etc. Some games happen before campers arrive on Sunday…basketball, volleyball, gaga ball, etc. Others happen with campers as the cheering squad. For example, staff have to dress up like someone else on staff…the campers vote on the best during a meal. Just caution the staff to keep camp focused on the camper. Have a primary supervisor who can keep a “campers-first” mindset run the games. Only play one a day or every other day. Don’t keep a running score, the idea isn’t to win a big prize, the idea is to keep fun and the excitement of camp alive in your staff.
- Change things up. Have a random ice-cream party that nobody knows about except the director. Just spring it on all of camp one evening.
- Use the Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. Showing appreciation to each person in a way unique to them is huge. In fact, this is the single greatest contributor to our success at kicking mid-summer-blues out of the gate.
- ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have?
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:
- Read The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.
- Choose one of your returning summer staff, contact them and ask them if they want to start planning Battle Staff Galactica for your team.
- Please comment your thoughts and ideas below. What’s worked for you to increase staff moral?
- If you found this helpful, please share it, I’d be very grateful.