Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Great Starts & Great Endings

Research indicates that how we start and how we end training sessions is critical. The opening and closing of a training session impacts how well staff learn material, whether they will be able to recall it and if they will be able to apply it on the job.

An effective opening to a training session consists of three elements; an attention step,  a motivation and an overview. In the attention step we seek to engage the learner. A story, visual element, statistic, quote or activity could all be potential attention getters.

In the motivation we give staff a reason to listen. We answer the question "why is this important?" We help them understand why they will need this information to be successful at camp.

In the overview we outline what we'll be covering. As we take in information our brain is constantly trying to make connections and create structure. Giving students a road map of where the training is going helps learners mentally organize information.

At the conclusion of the training we reverse the process used in the opening. We start the closing with a summary of what we've covered. Remind staff members of what they've learned and how it fits together. After the summary offer a "remotivation." Reinforce for them the importance and applicability of what's been covered. Finish with something significant that wraps up the session.