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Be An Administrative Whiz. Make it seem like magic . Amanda Zoellner This is not rocket science, but it does require some effort and organization. Review camper and staff lists regularly.

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Be An Administrative Whiz

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Be an administrative whiz

Be An Administrative Whiz

Make it seem like magic.

Amanda Zoellner

This is not rocket science but it does require some effort and organization

This is not rocket science, but it does require some effort and organization.

  • Review camper and staff lists regularly.

  • Talk about your program with your colleagues, and make sure you know about any program changes or highlights.

  • Challenge yourself to remember things. Get people to test you.

  • Organize your workspace and information.

Information is everywhere

Information is Everywhere!

  • What do you know already?

  • Database

  • Caller ID

  • Membership records

  • Mailing lists

  • Read everything at least once, and make note of details that could be important.

Memorize the basics

Memorize the Basics

There are a few kinds of information that should stick in your head easily with repetition.

  • Program dates and prices

  • General camp information and policies

  • Contact information that you need often

  • Telephone area codes and exchanges

  • Zip codes for common cities and towns

Use reference material

Use Reference Material

There’s plenty of information that it’s unnecessary to memorize, because you can find it so easily.

  • Camp brochures, registration forms, handbook, medical forms

  • Listing of available spaces (because it changes)

  • Phone numbers that you need regularly

  • A web browser window open to your camp’s homepage

  • Google, if all else fails

Memorizing advanced

Memorizing – Advanced

  • Parents love it when you can say “Of course I remember you” and mean it.

  • Know the names of kids and their friends, if that’s important at your camp.

  • Pay particular attention to details about kids with special needs.

  • If your brain allows, know who’s going to which session.

The reply

The Reply

  • Be fast! Get back to people as soon as you can, and make sure people know when that will be.

  • Do some research before you return a call or e-mail.

  • If the answer you have to give is not the one a parent wants to hear, have some other options ready.

  • If you have to follow up, let people know when they can expect to hear from you again.

On the phone

On the Phone

  • Let parents talk, and don’t interrupt…

  • But, make sure you tell them what they need to know.

  • Ask simple questions to make sure you understand what they want, if there’s any doubt.

  • Learn to talk and type (or write) at the same time. Get a headset if that will help you.

When you re away

When You’re Away

  • Always leave an out-of-office message, and make sure it’s accurate

  • Anticipate questions

  • Leave clear instructions

  • Have a back-up person for urgent questions



  • My workflow is best described as “do it now”.

  • You have to find a workflow that works for you and for your camp.

  • When are you freshest?

  • When (and how) do people want to reach you?

  • What’s your camp culture?

  • How does your workflow mesh with others who work at your camp?

Organizing your stuff

Organizing Your Stuff

  • Create a system that works for you

  • Learn to use your e-mail system and calendar

  • Keep the stuff you need near your desk

  • Think about what’s on/in your desk

  • Clean your office

The fun stuff

The Fun Stuff

  • Adopt a “camp costume”

  • Use clues that will allow you to greet campers by name, if possible

  • Practice the hand-off. Help families get ready to stop relying on you, and start relying on the staff at camp.

Your to do list

Your To Do List

  • Figure out what information is most important at your camp, and learn it or make it easy to find.

  • Create an office environment that supports your job. Don’t be afraid to rearrange.

  • Extend your effort where it’s most needed. If you already have a process that works just fine, don’t break it.

  • Practice!

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