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.
The CCA Awards Program recognizes individuals, camps, agencies or corporations. Written online nominations, from any member of the CCA (including individuals) must be submitted by October 31, 2017 for consideration. Once approved by the Board, the awards will be presented by a member of the CCA Board at a Provincial Camping Association’s annual meeting or other suitable gathering.
Just a reminder, nominations for a camp or an organization must come from an external source.
The enthusiastic reports and contented faces on tree planters attest to the success of the 2017 CCA Tree Planting Program. Plan on joining this program in 2018 and reap the many benefits for your camp and campers.
“Awesome program that we love being part of. Our campers and staff are proud every year to plant trees around our site.” Terry Konyi, Camp Yowochas, Alberta
“We incorporated the tree planting activity as part of our Canada 150 theme day. Campers loved the idea that they would be creating something that would become a permanent feature of camp for future campers to enjoy.” Ilana Stoch, Camp Kodiak, Ontario
“Plenty of kids planted their trees and created a heart of rocks around it. Some even made tiny log houses beside. It really motivated them to take ownership and show love to ensure their tree is successful.” Clayton Freeborn, Sparrow Lake Camp, Ontario
On July 4, 2017, John H. Redekop, Chair Stillwood Leadership Board, announced the retirement of Harry Edwards after twenty years of exemplary service:
The Stillwood Camp and Conference Leadership Board announces that after slightly more than 20 years of successful leadership, Harry Edwards, our Executive Director, has decided to retire from full-time leadership of Stillwood, a 100-acre ministry centre located near Cultus Lake in Southwestern British Columbia. Harry has provided strong leadership, always assisted by the extraordinary contribution of his wife Gail. Both Harry and Gail have obviously played major roles in enabling Stillwood to become the award-winning Christian ministry it is today.
Stillwood now ministers to approximately 3,000 campers during the summer season and many hundreds of guest groups from early September to mid-June. Under Harry’s leadership Stillwood now also offers a variety of specialized weekend retreats and conferences.
Harry Edwards has played a major role in bringing Stillwood to a whole new level of excellence and ministry effectiveness. Thousands have benefited from his leadership and hard work. Just as many will long remember the outstanding leadership Gail has provided in food service. The Edwards’ legacy is an impressive one and will be gratefully remembered by many for a very long time.
We wish Harry and his wife Gail safe and happy travels as they check off the places on their long bucket list that they wish to visit.
Fellow camp professional, I think you’ll understand …
Even after 15 years of being a Camp Director, I would often fall into bed saying “Just one thing, please give me one thing that I can control!”
I’m Travis Allison. You might know me from Summer Camp Professionals on Facebook, Camp Code & CampHacker podcasts. My colleague Joanna Warren Smith (Camp Consulting Services) and I have created our 10 Commandments of Camp Marketing. (sign up here)
This article is yours for free and when you download it, you’ll also receive our monthly ‘Marketing Mondays’ Tips, each of which includes two items to help you get control of your camp marketing madness.
On May 7, 2017 in Toronto, Dr. Stephen Fine, Chair of the CCA Research Committee, chaired a meeting of CCA Executive Members, John Jorgenson (President of the International Camping Fellowship), and several academics representing various disciplines: education, nursing, architecture, sociology and anthropology, and recreation and leisure studies. The focus of the Think Tank was to share experience and resources to further research in the phenomena of camp.
Academic participants at the Think Tank on Camp Research included: Dr. Troy Glover, Professor, University of Waterloo; Dr. Karla Henderson, Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina; Dr. Deb Bialeschki , Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Catherine Laing, Assistant Professor University of Calgary; Dr. Thomas McIlwraith, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph and Dr. Trevor Norris, Associate Professor, Brock University; Peter Gilbert, Professor Emeritus, Ryerson University; and John Blakey, Nature Based Learning Teacher and Educational Researcher, Montcrest School.
The group confirmed that the ultimate goal of research in camping is to assist camp professionals in maximizing the experience for campers. Research results have to be understood by camp directors and seen to have practical applications. Currently research is a strong component at International Camping Congresses. Local camping conferences can also be suitable venues for researchers to share their work. The Waterloo research project, which proved the benefits of camp, is being used in the upcoming national campaign to promote camp. Research has a role to play in educating the public, informing camp professionals and validating and improving the camp experience.
In the Fall of 2017, the CCA will be contacting member camps across the country as to their interest towards participating in an American/Canadian research project. The project’s aims and methods align with the National Research Council’s work on college and career readiness, which means that reports on the results of this project will help position camp within the broad context of youth development programs. Interested parties should contact: Stephen Fine by email at email@example.com.
Here’s My Canada is a Canada 150 Signature project and is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Bank of Montreal.
Please visit HeresMyCanada.ca for more information on how your camp can participate.
From the Globe & Mail: “In her new book Camp Food Matters, Margot Perlmutter recounts her quest to improve the nutritional quality of food at Camp Tamakwa in Algonquin Park, Ont.”