Supporting Staff Mental Wellness - CampHacker #107

 
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By Travis Allison, CampHacker from Travis, and Beth Allison. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

How many of our camp brochures or websites preach that our camp teaches kids about grit and resilience?

Okay everyone, put your hands down.

Now, home many of us can say that we put that same effort into fostering grit and resilience with our staff? Sure, we may have staff check-ins and encourage staff to write motivational notes to each other, but although those are great, the times when just that was enough are likely coming to a end.

Before we continue, let's check ourselves remember that the world that we grew up in, in the 70's, 80's and 90's is very different than the one where our staff are growing up in now. The pressures of the world combined with the increased expectations of parents and peers, all lumped in with a toxic social media culture, makes for one of the most tumultuous times to be a youth.

We've grown and changed as an industry in so many ways. Now, when it comes to addressing the mental health of our staff, it's time to grow again. We would never leave our campers who are missing home and mentally struggling, so why would do it to our staff who are missing home, camp and mentally struggling in other ways?

This is a challenging episode, and honestly, it might be one of our heaviest yet, but we hope you'll stick with it and let this sink in.

Joining Travis, Dan and Gab in walking down this road is the fantastic Amanda Grassick from Camp Woodeden. Amanda has been working hard to make their staff's mental health a priority at Woodeden, and after a tough start in their first year, Amanda is starting to see some results thanks to what they've put in place.

This is more than a "get a pen and paper" type of episode. It's a "get a pen and paper, and ready to grow" type of episode. We know you'll enjoy it.

What are you doing to look after your staff team's mental health? Let us know in the comments below!

Bonus Resources

Mental wellness isn't something we can just "figure out" on our own (like you "figured out" how to jerry-rig that leaky toilet, you genius you!). Get professional training and approach this issue like a professional. These links will get you started.

https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org

http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca/en

Tool of the Week – Make Yourself a Better Camp Director

Travis: The Power of Moments: Chip & Dan Heath

Dan: Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

Gab: Find someone to talk to that’s not family or friends also this book Loving someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Amanda: Smartsheet

Your Hosts:

Travis Allison, Summer Camp Consultant - CampHacker.TV, Founder at Go Camp Pro

Dan Weir, Director of Camping Services - Frost Valley YMCA

Gabrielle Raill, Camp Director - Camp Ouareau

Amanda Grassick, Camp Director - Easter Seals Camp Woodeden

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(Thank you!)

140 episodes