Gaining Cooperation from Your Campers

1. Mention positive rather than negative points. Explain to your campers what he/she is allowed to do, rather than focusing on what he/she is not allowed to do. Role model position behavior.

2. Participate in all activities with your campers. This will show them that it is fun to try all activities. They are less likely to sit on the sidelines if they see their counselor participating.

3. In supervising campers it is important to be able to see what is happening with the entire group. Choose a position at each activity that will allow you to see everyone.

4. The best way to handle a problem with a camper is to prevent it. Be aware of tension and safety all of the time, and usually you will be able to prevent trouble before it gets out of proportion.

5. Every camper is a person. Show that you respect your campers as you respect adults you will encourage the campers to respect you. Blaming, criticizing and labeling are not respectful.

6. One of the goals of camp is cooperation. Comparing one child with another encourages the campers to compete rather than cooperate.

7. Originality and creativity are prized in the camp environment. Asking a child to copy what you have done, or encouraging him/her to duplicate a model inhibits natural creativity.

8. Independence is a goal of the camp experience. Each child should be encouraged to do whatever he/she can with the minimum amount of assistance from adults. Often, however, the child needs help, particularly if a skill or activity is new to him/her.

9. Let your camper make as many choices as possible, but only give them a choice when you intend to let them make the decision.

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