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Happy Campers. Marcel Horowitz, MS, MCHES Advisor, Yolo County. The most valuable thing children get from camp is…. Find your partner . Discuss your answer, digging past “why”. The best laid plans are ruined by…. Grumpy campers. Emotional safety Feeling good Grumpy teens.

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happy campers

Happy Campers

Marcel Horowitz, MS, MCHES

Advisor, Yolo County

the most valuable thing children get from camp is
The most valuable thing children get from camp is…
  • Find your partner.
  • Discuss your answer, digging past “why”.
the best laid plans are ruined by
The best laid plans are ruined by…
  • Grumpy campers.
    • Emotional safety
    • Feeling good
  • Grumpy teens.
    • Support and preparation
    • Feeling good
  • Focusing on content instead of structure.
    • Planning too much.
    • Planning too little.
  • Lack of balance between new and traditions.
emotional safety makes happy campers
Emotional safety makes happy campers!

Behavior management

Cabin agreements

No inappropriate content

No religion

No forced individual attention

No embarrassing traditions

No teasing or put downs

No forced co-ed touching

A sense of belonging

feeling good makes happy campers
Feeling good makes happy campers!

Hydrated & nourished


Social groups

Enough sleep


Illness/ Injury prevention

9 hours of sleep
9+ hours of sleep!

What prevents this from happening?

  • Sleep not prioritized, this leads to:
    • Bad moods
    • Lack of recall/ memory/ learning
    • Lack of problem solving
    • Conflicts & discipline problems
    • Overeating
    • Stress
    • Poor emotion regulation = homesickness
    • Decreased immunity/ increased illnesses
    • Lack of interaction by teens
9 hours of sleep1
9+ hours of sleep!
  • Hyped up campers
    • No caffeine
    • Activities at the wrong times
    • Decompression /reflection time for “cabin” group
    • Decompression/ reflection time for the camper

9+ hours of sleep!

  • Too much in the schedule
    • Forgetting nighttime & morning routines
    • Too many “must have” traditions/activities
    • Teen meetings late at night
    • Lack of follow through on curfew
    • No supervision at bedtime
structure and schedule
Structure and schedule

In groups of 4, write up a daily schedule that allows time for:

  • morning routine
  • shower time
  • 3 meals, 2 snacks
  • morning physical activity
  • quiet 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 (incl time for meds from nurse)
  • Cabin decompression/ reflection time
  • Individual decompression/ reflection time
  • 9+ hours of sleep, with consistent bedtime
supported teens make happy campers
Supported teens make happy campers!

Behavior management training

Back-up plans

Realistic expectations

Daily debriefs

Accurate and supportive feedback

Enough sleep