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, October 12, 2015

Culture Trumps Strategy

"Culture trumps strategy" has become a popular axiom in today's management literature. The belief is that having a strong, intentional organizational culture is more important to success than pursuing the right strategy.  The best organizations are not those who always make the right strategic decisions. The best organizations are those that are made up of staff who share a commitment to a common set of goals and embrace the same core values.

How do you create a strong camp organizational culture?

1. Identify and articulate what your organizations believes. Have a clear, written mission and core values.

2. Hire staff who buy into your mission and embrace your core values. Make values are important component of your selection process. If one of your values is putting the needs of campers first, hire staff members who value serving others and are willing to put the needs of others before their own.

3. Integrate teaching your mission and values into every aspect of staff training. Every topic in staff training should be linked to your mission and values. Teach not only what to do, but why it's done a particular way at your camp.

4. Lead by modeling your mission and values. If you want it to be part of your organizational culture, it must be part of how you and your leadership team lead your staff.