- THE JOB
Each staff member will serve the Camp to the best of his/her ability in the capacity for which he/she is hired, or in any capacity which, in the discretion of the Directors, will benefit the Camp or Campers. The uniqueness of the camp setting makes it impossible to list every specific task that one may be asked to perform by accepting a job at camp. Therefore, staff members should understand that by taking a job, they are accepting the responsibility of doing anything that is considered by the Camp Directors to be in the general best interest of the Camp and all the campers in attendance.
- CHOICE SELECTION
For 2 periods during the day, campers get to choose the activities they participate in. Counesllors help campers determine their interests and assist them in deciding where they would like to focus and specialize. By the same token, it is also important to encourage campers to try out new activities and uncover new passions. Activity staff must promote their activities and develop creative programming to ensure camper participation and excitement towards their areas!
- INCLUDING CAMPERS IN PROGRAM PLANNING
Staff must engage in conversation with campers, finding out their interests, and discussing individually and as a group the types of fun programs that campers would like to see happen. Including campers in the planning of programs with give them a sense of ownership, stimulate participation, and teach them valuable organizational and leadership skills. These programs can be planned as specials during meals, rest hour, after dinner, or post-evening program and will bring the group closer together.
- THEMES AND MISSIONS
Developing and implementing creative/themed programs is essential when you are a staff member at Tamarack. Such experiences create memorable and rich programs for campers and challenge them to delve into their imaginations and be less inhibited. Themes and missions should be both fun and challenging. They expose campers to a variety of camp areas in new or modified ways.
A mission generates a tangible result. Thought and planning are necessary so as to make a legitimate contribution, rather than being an exercise to pass time. Possibilities include building something, creating a cabin plaque, decorating an area, creating a movie, building a campsite or developing a cabin identity.
A theme is a more abstract approach. It may involve a mission, skit, music, dance, costumes, construction, camping out and more!
- TREATING CAMPERS AS INDIVIDUALS
In addition to supervising and creating bonds linking the group as a whole, you can never forget that a group is made up of individuals. Each member has his/her own goals, strengths and issues. It is critical to understand and get to know your individual campers, including their interests, likes, needs, abilities, goals, fears, skills, and accomplishments/characteristics.
You must spend time with each camper communicating (both talking and listening), problem-solving, sharing experiences and, of course, having fun. Developing relationships with campers will truly make both their summers and yours.
- PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT
Staff employment typically begins in the 4th week of June and runs until the third week of August. The first few days of your job will consist of pre-camp training prior to the arrival of campers. We expect the same commitment, enthusiasm and empathy from you on your last day of employment as on your first. Some staff can be hired for our First (July) Session only.
- CAMPER ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES
All Staff, at the discretion of the Director, may be assigned to help out at points of camper arrivals and departures during the season.
The Camp will send out a Health History Form to be completed by each Staff Member. This Health History Form must be sent to the camp office in early June, or brought to camp by the Staff Member. It is important for us to understand your health background so that we can do our best to help and support you. Staff will have access to our health centre and first aid if necessary at any point during the summer.
- PERSONAL PROPERTY
The Camp shall not be responsible for any damage, loss or theft of any Staff Member’s personal property, howsoever caused. Staff members are discouraged from bringing expensive clothes or other belongings that could get ruined. Staff are welcome to bring a lock box to ensure the safety of valuables (i.e. a wallet)
- PERSONAL CONDUCT
It is well-known that children emulate their leaders. Thus, staff should set a good example and are expected to dress, groom and conduct themselves accordingly.
- DRUGS OR ALCOHOL – anyone possessing drugs or alcohol in their belongings, anyone using drugs or alcohol, or anyone in the presence of someone using drugs or alcohol will be dismissed immediately.
- STEALING – anyone who takes another person’s belongings without permission will be sent home.
- SMOKING – is not allowed in view of children at the camp setting or on camp trips. Smoking may occur only in/at designated areas and times and with proper caution (because of fire/health hazard).
- ABUSE – staff are not permitted to physically threaten and unreasonably punish campers. Physical abuse such as hitting, punching, kicking, arm twisting, or exposing campers unnecessarily to the elements are prohibited. Verbal or emotional abuse such as threatening, swearing, name calling, and demeaning a camper reflect a staff member’s own frustrations. Staff must seek help rather than lose their temper. Any staff person who abuses another individual (camper or staff) will be sent home immediately.
- LEAVING CAMP – leaving camp before your day off commences, or at any time (other than actually on your day off) without getting permission from the Director is NOT allowed.
- RESPECT OF CURFEW
Staff are expected to abide by the usual camp staff curfew of 1:30 a.m. The curfew is in place to enable staff the necessary time to socialize and have fun after camper bed-time, while ensuring that staff members receive the adequate rest necessary to perform their jobs the next day. Staff caught breaking curfew will face extra duties and responsibilities or time reduced from a day off.
- NIGHT WATCH DUTY
Night Watch is an important aspect of camp and a serious job, not only in terms of keeping peace and quiet, but in ensuring health and safety. Night Watch will sit in teams of 2-4 and oversee a few nearby cabins. Night Watch occurs in the time frame after camper bed-time and before staff curfew when counsellors return to their cabins.
When you are on duty it is your job to visit cabins frequently, keep down noise, stop any running around by campers, and assist in medical problems or call for further help. You are there to help prevent accidents, calm fears, essentially helping kids settle down and sleep. You are also there to stop raids, which are absolutely prohibited. You will sit night duty approximately once a week.