Shifting up a gear

We’re now gearing up for 50% more kids, almost 75 of whom are new to camp. In order to keep ahead of that wave, we have twice as many coaches at camp, and judging by the apparent energy in the air, we are going to be more than ready for camp to start in less than 2 days. I know it’s a bit risky to be too optimistic about prep work for so complex a task, but it feels right to be this confident. We have fabulous team of coaches and admins who are more than up to the task. We’re proven from past years and more importantly, last week. This week is going to ridiculously awesome.

Flick Photo Album – 7/2/13
YouTube Video – 7/2/13

I managed to find myself a normal(ish) amount of sleep last night, so when I settled down outside the Mohodoun to catch up on email, I was pretty close to fully awake. A round of David’s coffee later, I was truly ready for the day. With lots of new staff members filtering into the Mohadoun, I got to say hi to just about every new staff member. It was so great to see Ava again!

Ava! Go STJ!

Most of the staff packed into one large table at breakfast and enjoyed meeting each other. By shortly after 9am we were in the auditorium where David and Nancy ran us through the first rounds of staff orientation. We talked about the camp and moved through several pages of the staff manual. We went over camp roles, coaching teams were announced, and every stood and introduced themselves and said why they were at Ultimate Peace. Right before lunch each coaching team was given their skit topic, to be worked on over the next couple days and presented as part of camper orientation. Oh, the other amazing part of the morning was being able to Negev, a dog that’ll be with us on campus for the next day.

Negev in a UP jersey! :)

During lunch each coaching team socialized and talked a bit about the skit. As usual, I enjoyed some harif on various Schnitzel-like products. After lunch we made it back into the auditorium where we worked through more staff orientation tasks. There was a panel made up of returning coaches covering what new staff members should do in certain circumstances. At the end, the different task teams were described and then we were all set out to get to work on our tasks. I relocated to my dorm room where 8 more people joined to work on media. With Alex returning to do the Get UP! newsletter and Sarah to post to FB, along with 7 new people to help with photos, video, and blogging, this week’s media presence should be even bigger than last. By around 3:30 I finished the media planning and worked on the final edits to the coaching sessions. I snuck in a quick nap and by 4:15 was headed over the auditorium to get setup for the coaches training session.

Summer Camp coaches training

At a little after 4:30 I was in motion. With 50+ people in the audience there was a “bigger” vibe to the event. The coaches were engaged, active participants, and focused on the task at hand. We talked about spirit, covered lots of important points, and then moved outside. They handed in questions they’d like answered, and on those sheets I was able to take a quick census that ended up telling us that there was over 400 years of Ultimate experience in the audience, with the average person having played 7.5 years of Ultimate. Wow! Next we moved outside for the skills section of the training session.

Summer Camp coaches training

The coaching teams came up with methods for teaching basic skills, then gave their presentations to the whole group. The main focus of the activity was on teaching tactics, and the groups did well! It’s certainly a challenge to present any teaching material in a truly effective manner, but especially so when you’re working in a triple language environment. Nancy added in her great voice to the evening, as did her husband. What a power couple! David spoke for a bit at the end and then everyone was off for a bit free time before dinner. After filling up one more harif-based cousine, I was back in the auditorium for more training.

Flag time!

Nancy ran us through some more important orientation materials, taught us about the flags, and the CITs helped us through the Summer Camp staff’s first run-through of the camp song. We then got into our coaching teams to practice our skits. My group retreated to the Mohadoun and came up with a great skit for “Friendship”. I then hunkered down for media work while the rest of the camp went out to the fields for name-based social, get-to-know-you games.

Tomorrow we work through our last day of training and iron out all the details for the camper invasion on Thursday. Here they come!

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