Archive for October 2013

What Campers Want and Need


This comes both from the group and from the leader.  It is achieved through little things: friendliness, praise, and a moment alone.


Campers miss their familiar routines.  Establishing structure will help campers feel secure (familiarity with campgrounds and procedures.)  Consistency in leading will also contribute to a sense of security, as will the establishment of trust.  Fear of being ridiculed or hurt interferes with a camper’s physical coordination.  Reactions may include: stuttering, retreating into a shell, fighting back, criticizing others, or gossiping.

New Experiences

New and different things are exciting for campers. It is important to remember that campers should be able to understand why something is different.


Campers want to stand out from the crowd.  When a camper is reluctant to participate in an activity, it may mean that they are afraid they “can’t” or “won’t” do well.

The desire for recognition may cause a camper to misbehave, especially if they are not receiving attention any other way.

Twelve Commandments of Discipline

Thou Shalt:

  1. Foresee problem areas and seek to deal with them before conflict develops.
  2. Understand that a positive action elicits desirable behavior sooner than a negative reaction.
  3. Use praise more then blame; encouragement rather than nagging.
  4. Avoid arbitrary rules.
  5. Strive for fairness.
  6. Be consistent but not inflexible.
  7. Avoid ridicule and sarcasm.
  8. Never threaten a child.
  9. Not humiliate a child in front of other peers.
  10. Delay severe punishment until you are calm and controlled.
  11. Listen to explanations before making final conclusions.
  12. Explain your decisions.


The word discipline comes from the Latin word disciple – a pupil, to instruct, educate, train.

True discipline includes nurturance and restriction – two necessary elements of growth.

The child that does not know boundaries for behavior feels insecure.

Punishment is only a temporary deterrent not a permanent solution.