Techniques to Engaging Campers

The final part of the staff training series will look at different techniques and strategies counsellors can use to engage campers. Often what makes camp special are the counsellors. Campers know when their counsellors are sincere, comfortable and confident. The following techniques will help your staff be the kind of counsellors that campers get excited about.

Leadership Training Activity #3

  1. Generate excitement. Anyone that has worked with kids knows that occasionally you have to be more interested, excited and enthusiastic that you actually feel. Remember to always make eye contact, nod your head, smile, raise your voice enthusiastically, use your arms when you talk and say things like “wow,” “amazing,” “that’s fantastic!,” “really?,” etc…

  2. Participate in the activity. Counsellors are always encouraging campers to be involved, but that also goes for the counsellor. With a little bit of creativity, imagination and excitement, a counsellor should be able to get a group of 15 year old boys to enjoy a challenging game of Duck, Duck, Goose!

  3. Always have a back-up plan or idea. Counsellors need to be able to keep their campers engaged, interested and busy. If a game or activity is not working out, the counsellor needs to have a bag full of tricks or other activities that they can do on a minutes’ notice.

  4. Ask more questions than you use statements. This strategy gives campers an opportunity at being involved, in control and a part of the activity. In being a part of the creation of the activity, campers are more apt to do it and enjoy it. This also helps with problem solving and with developing expectations for the activity.

  5. Use props when you are presenting an activity. Show your campers a completed project, materials that will be used during the activity or even use campers as props to show what you will be doing that day; this can keep their interest and generate excitement in the activity.

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