About the Role
You are special! You are a Specialist! As a Specialist, you get to make an impact on every child in the camp! You will see each of them during the week. But who are they?
Newts- Rising (going into after the summer) Kindergarten
(4, 5, 6-year-olds)
They get to do all the areas of camp except for Climbing Tower.
Group Abbreviations used on schedules: N1,N2, N-All
Bobcats- Rising (going into after the summer) first graders (6, 7)
They get to do all the areas of the camp.
Group Abbreviations used on schedules: BC1,BC2, BC-All
Coyotes- Rising (going into after the summer) second and third graders
(8 and 9) year olds Group abbreviations- C1,C2, C-All)
Bears- Rising (going into after summer) fourth and fifth graders
(9,10, and 11 year olds) Group Abbreviations- B,B2 B-All)
Middle School- rising (going into 6th, 7th, and 8th grade)
(12,13,14 year olds) Access to all areas of camp Spend half the day doing service, and half the day with activities
AC= Arts and Crafts (includes music and drama)
SR= Sports and Recreation (there may be a SR2)
OE= Outdoor Education (science and nature)
WHAT ELSE IS ON YOUR SCHEDULE?
Prep- Your prep time to do tasks related to your specialty, create schedules etc.
Clean- Cleaning and organizing time.
Office- Report to office for possible schedule changes or assistance with other areas.
Handwritten items- During the summer programming needs may change from week to week and we may need to make some handwritten notes on your schedule with the changes. FLEXIBILTY IS THE KEY!
PROGRAMMING AS A SPECIALIST
As a Specialist, you will see close to all the kids in camp in a single week. You are the fresh face, the new idea, and the “expert” in your area. Some groups may come to a Specialist more than once. Your schedule may change a bit from week to week, based on registration and overall programmatic needs.
When you are programming you are expected to keep track of what you have done with each of the groups throughout the summer in order to avoid repeat activities.
Specialists have the option of doing one lesson for all the groups throughout the week or changing up the lessons. There are many things to consider when choosing how to schedule. Specialists will need to consider their audience and their medium/lesson.
The OE Specialist will have very unhappy reptiles if they are used, repeatedly all day, every day for an entire week so consider only using them for certain groups and rotating animals.
Another example where it may be best to do one type of lesson throughout the week could be the Nature Specialist teaching Native American Artwork. The Specialist has planned Fish Prints for all the groups that week. This is utilizing fish bodies, paints and fabric to make a print. This lesson needs to be repeated due to the shelf life of the fish (oh the smells that could arise on a long hot summer day), and the availability of the different variety of fish. The lesson may then branch to education on fertilization for a group who has nature twice in a week, so the fish carcass can be used to show how Natives planted and fertilized.
Still another style of scheduling is doing the same lesson for each age group, but having 4-5 different lessons/activities for the week. The Arts & Crafts Specialist may choose this style to have different projects throughout the week, as the ages of the campers very much affect their development and the tasks they can handle. For example, to continue with the Native American theme…The Bobcats may make headdresses with feathers, construction paper, markers and staple them all together. Coyotes may make traditional Native American decorated musical instruments. The Bears may make cloth Tee-Pees, by gathering small sticks, decorating fabric circles with fabric paints, and assembling their projects. The Middle Schooler may be weaving on small looms a piece of textile similar to that of a Native American Blanket.
Lessons will need to be appropriate for each age and within the camper’s developmental abilities (physical, emotional, and mental). Activities should be challenging yet achievable.
Lessons need to be well thought out and developed. For example a beginning, middle, and end. Start with an introduction/background to your activity, then do the activity, and then have a wrap-up to discuss what the campers learned.
Schedule Writing- As a Specialist, you will have your schedules before other group counselors. There are areas that are Specialist only, such as the OE Center and supplies shed, But there are also common areas that Specialists get to have the first chance to obtain. Proactive counselors may come to you and ask you what you have planned so they are aware when writing their schedules. Occasionally as the summer progresses, cabin groups may ask Specialists to do a specific activity with their group, as they would like the opportunity. Some Specialists plan out the majority of the summer early and then make adjustments as necessary based on a group’s special requests. This is particularly helpful if the Specialist may be making requests for supplies that are not readily accessible in the local community.
Lesson plans will be included with your schedules, to demonstrate the “thoughts behind the lesson”.
Activity requests-This is the process for obtaining the necessary supplies for the upcoming week's lessons. If there are special items that will be needed, then the Specialist will complete the activity request forms and submit them to the Assistant Director with the schedule. The needed items will be obtained if possible, if there are questions about the availability of supplies in the local community for things you may be considering for lessons during the summer please bring those thoughts up as soon as possible, as special items can be ordered from various camp supply companies.
As a Specialist, you may be asked to fill activity requests for counselors. The Arts & Crafts Specialist will fill requests for supplies from the in-camp stock (or ask for more supplies on a request to fill the Activity requests of the counselors) such as felt, sequins, safety pins, etc. The Sports & Rec Specialist will fill requests for sports equipment. (This is another important reason for Specialists to complete their schedules before counselors, as there may be limited numbers of certain types of equipment). The goal is that Specialists will be given activity requests by Friday morning for the following week. This allows for communication and clarification with counselors before the end of the week, in case more supplies need to be purchased.
Communication with the Groups- Each morning all Specialists need to communicate with the lead counselor of each group. This time is to be used to let the counselors know where the group should meet them on a daily basis. This is critical to the success of the day’s activities. TheOESpecialist may want to be at the OE center, Lake, Garden, woods, etc. This must be communicated so the counselors can have the campers in the right place at the right time.
Specialist help: On occasion, a specialist may be needed as added supervision, and to participate in special ceremonies. The key to success in these positions is: to be prepared, be positive, be ready, and be flexible!
About the Company