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Happy Campers
Marcel Horowitz, MS, MCHESAdvisor, Yolo County
The most valuable thing children get from camp is…
Find yourpartner.Discuss your answer, digging past “why”.
The best laid plans are ruined by…
Grumpy campers.Emotional safetyFeeling goodGrumpy teens.Support and preparationFeeling goodFocusing on content instead of structure.Planning too much.Planning too little.Lack of balance between new and traditions.
Emotional safety makes happy campers!
Cabin agreements
No embarrassing traditions
No forced individual attention
No teasing or put downs
No inappropriate content
A sense of belonging
Behavior management
No religion
No forced co-ed touching
Feeling good makes happy campers!
Enough sleep
Movement
Hydrated & nourished
Illness/ Injury prevention
Nature
Social groups
9+ hours of sleep!
What prevents this from happening?Sleep not prioritized, this leads to:Bad moodsLack of recall/ memory/ learningLack of problem solvingConflicts & discipline problemsOvereatingStressPoor emotion regulation = homesicknessDecreased immunity/ increased illnessesLack of interaction by teens
9+ hours of sleep!
Hyped up campersNo caffeineActivities at the wrong timesDecompression /reflection time for “cabin” groupDecompression/ reflection time for the camper
Too much in the scheduleForgetting nighttime & morning routinesToo many “must have” traditions/activitiesTeen meetings late at nightLack of follow through on curfewNo supervision at bedtime
9+ hours of sleep!
Structure and schedule
In groups of 4, write up a daily schedule that allows time for:morning routineshower time3 meals, 2 snacksmorning physical activityquiet rest time in the afternoon. List ideas.c0unselor meeting while campers are chaperoned and out of “cabin”.Last activity of the night = calm. List ideas.bedtime routine (incltime for meds from nurse)Cabin decompression/ reflection timeIndividual decompression/ reflection time9+ hours of sleep, with consistent bedtime
Supported teens make happy campers!
Behavior management training
Daily debriefs
Back-up plans
Realistic expectations
Accurate and supportive feedback
Enough sleep

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_-Happy Campers - ucanr.edu