On September 30, 2017 the town of Sundridge, Ontario celebrated the opening of the Near North Enviro-Education Centre. The geothermal heated, solar powered, environmentally designed building is the vision of Jocelyn Palm, Director of Glen Bernard Camp where for years the campers have learned to “live lightly.”
The Near North Enviro-Education Centre, which took years to complete, is a testimony to Jocelyn’s vision, financial support and “persistence, perseverance and sheer determination.”
The participants at the ribbon-cutting event demonstrated Joc’s ability to build partnerships to get the job done. Lyle Hall, Mayor of Sundrige, Chris Ellis, Mayor of the Township of Strong, Norman Miller, MPP Muskoka Parry Sound, and Dr. Carolyn Bennett, MP Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs spoke about the three pillars for the project essential to the viability of our rural communities: environmental sustainability, rural economic sustainability and social diversity. Doug Dokis, representing the local indigenous peoples opened with a prayer of thanks in Ojibway and a song in Blackfoot to bless the building.
The mission of the NNEEC is “to help empower rural communities to become models for sustainable living by providing access to education, information and hands on learning opportunities focused on these pillars.”
To learn more, visit the Centre’s website at nneec.ca.
Sterling Talent Solutions has posted a blog article that may be of interest to Canadian camps.
Over the course of last summer, I visited several camps. At one as I walked down the camp road on arrival day, every staff person I passed smiled and greeted me with, “Good afternoon. Can I help?” I felt welcomed. On the contrary, at another, the first person who met me tersely asked in a confrontational tone, “What do you want?” No smile was evident. Granted my visit was unexpected and possibly the camp was concerned about strangers on their property, but I’m a grey-haired grandmother who doesn’t look that threatening! – Catherine Ross
Joanna Warren Smith offers some sound advice about training staff to communicate appropriately with clients:
Stop, Look and Listen! Please!
You’ve probably noticed that these days, people are generally not nice to each other. They are rude, curt and abrupt. Anger, sarcasm and caustic remarks have become the new normal.
In fact, just last week, two parents independently shared that they had been ‘turned off’ to highly recommended camps because they were treated in a perfunctory way. When I heard them complain that ‘She didn’t even ask for my child’s name!’ and ‘It felt like I was imposing and interrupting something more important that she was doing’, I got permission from a couple of clients to call their shops at various times. Sure enough, I encountered rushed dismissals and much encouragement to check out the websites.
Really? Would you prefer a potential client visit your website or start to develop a relationship with your camp?
Please don’t assume that your team is ‘doing it right’. Be intentional about your customer service to counter today’s personal interaction style. If you need to create scripts, teach and mentor folks to increase relationship building skills plus freshen up your communications, I guarantee the positive effects will be worth the effort.
Joanna invites CCA members to go to her website and register for free monthly HINTS newsletter at camp-consulting.com.
View the inspiring result of the contributions from camps, counsellors and campers across the country telling their amazing stories of the power of camp.