Bunk Bonding At Any Age
We laughed a LOT, sharing stories about summers past, as we diligently planned for the summer that lays ahead. The eight of us sat together, pajamas and all, with snacks strewn about, until the late hours of the night. Sounds familiar, right? Like a late night of antics with your bunk sitting in your best friends area, flashlights in hand, as you shared the stories from the day, trying to keep the laughter just quiet enough so the counselor doesn’t send you back to your own bed.
Only, it’s 20 degrees out, we’re not in a bunk at camp, but a hotel in Waltham, and we aren’t 10 years old anymore. Much like a camp bunk, we are a conglomerate of personalities, with a variety of experiences and strengths, styles and methods. We are a group of individuals who have been brought together, to work as a team, overcome challenges, and provide the campers of Camp Tel Noar with the most memorable summer of their lives. No two of us have the same story, but the common thread that weaves our team together is our passion and love for Camp Tel Noar.
Over Martin Luther King Weekend, the Administrative Teams from Tel Noar, Tevya and Pembroke came together for the annual weekend of collaboration and planning. The theme of the weekend was Staff Enrichment and Development, and on Saturday the leadership from all three camps came together during a workshop facilitated by Dr. Chris Thurber. As a greater organization we deliberated the core competencies we wanted our counselors to have and dissected our training methods to address each of these. It was impressive that even amongst such different leaders from three distinct camps we all valued very similar characteristics and proficiencies. The Cohen Camps are committed to providing an incredible camping experience for every camper and Tel Noar strives to continue this mission through a variety of avenues of staff training. The weekend gave us even more ideas to build upon our existing training foundation as we look forward to integrating the new position of Staff Development Coordinator. Focus has widened from precamp preparations to continual enrichment programming and training for our counselors throughout the summer, and we are so excited to implement a layer of support to our staff model. Providing our counselors with the tools and structure necessary for their success within the bunk and beyond is something we all agree is a priority.
While the weekend was formatted in a way that allowed us to share ideas in mixed groups with other Cohen Camps staff, some of the most valuable time was spent just the eight of us. It was our first time all together, and while most of us have been to camp before, 2013 will mark our first summer at camp as a team. It may only be January, and some of us have only just met, but it is an incredible feeling to look around a room at a group, and know that these are the people that are going to have your back through it all. Camp is our own little bubble, where days feel likes weeks but a month passes in the blink of an eye. To have the support of such wonderful, like-minded people through it all makes those 20 hour days a little more bearable. We come to camp because we love it. So what did we get out of this weekend you ask? We learned a lot, laughed even more and had some serious fun…isn’t that what camp is all about?