Camper Expectations, Part 3: SFR Disciplinary Procedures
The American Camping Association posted an article titled “What Parents Want to Know that Camp Counselors Should Know”. The article focuses on five major areas of camp that parents have questions about. I have been walking through each section of ACA’s post and answering the questions for Shepherd’s Fold. The first three posts go over SFR’s Staff Qualifications, Camper Health and Safety, and Communication and Technology with Campers.
Section 4, Part 3: SFR Disciplinary Procedures
This is the third part of section 4 of ACA’s article. Read Part 1 HERE (SFR game participation) and Part 2 HERE (SFR dress code). Today’s post will discuss the Shepherd’s Fold Ranch disciplinary policy.
One of the most asked about topics is how the camp handles discipline. On Sunday evening after the campers arrive, each counselor goes over the rules, boundaries, and dress code of Shepherd’s Fold with their cabin group so that each camper knows what is expected of them throughout the week. We also have the campers write “We Wills” in their cabin groups. This lets them set their own expectations and goals for their group. The counselor facilitates the conversation, but they let the campers come up with what they want to put on the list. The counselors and campers talk about each thing and make sure everyone agrees before putting on the list. When they are finished, every camper signs their name at the bottom. Having been a counselor for two summers and reading through we wills for the past five years, I am always amazed at the things the campers come up with. Because this is something the campers have established, they really take ownership of what is written and the “We Wills” are a great tool for reminding campers to be kind or encourage or take cabin clean up seriously, etcetera. A sample “We Will” list is below.
- Have fun!
- Listen to the leaders.
- Win cabin clean-up.
- Be kind to each other.
- Say nice things.
- Treat the guys as brothers, not dates.
The discipline procedure is simple. If a camper doesn’t follow the rules, boundaries, and dress code, a staff member will pull them aside and gently remind them of the rules. If misbehavior continues to happen, the camper, counselor, and camp coordinator will sit down and have a conversation on what needs to happen. If that is not effective, the Camp Director will become involved and determine whether the camper needs to be sent home. It is Shepherd’s Fold Ranch’s policy that at no time is it ever acceptable for staff members to lay hands on campers to correct their behavior. Doing so is grounds for termination. We have two weeks of thorough staff training to ensure that this is clearly communicated.
If you have any questions regarding camper expectations or behaviors, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 918.263.3622.
See you at camp! Register HERE.
Blessings, Hope Chitwood // Camp Director