Specialist and Staff training weeks are when the kosher sausage is made for everyone who works at CLC. Depending on camper age or area of responsibility, we all go through various tests to get us ready for camp. Each staff member attends regular activities with different leaders to practice unique challenges meant to push everyone out of their comfort zones and explore the ways to ensure the best environment for campers. Both returning and new staff members to worked on knowledge and skills that could be implemented throughout the summer.
We attended mental health presentations from distinguished bodies such as the Baltimore Child Abuse Center; we simulated full days at camp; we learning about and practiced safety and security procedures; we even participated in Jewish learning seminars to get a taste of what the campers would learn in Limud and Kesher. A fan favorite among staff is the ‘Behind Closed Doors’ program. In BCD, our Leadership Team role plays scenarios that they’ve seen in the past, often dealing with inclusivity, conflict resolution, and tough topics. Seeing grown ups acting like campers was fun and entertaining, but the exercise prepares us as a staff to deal with tough scenarios that we’re likely to see as summer chugs along.
Staff and Specialist training weeks also prepare us for the inevitable unpredictability of the summer. Whether its the weather, or being split up from a best friend for Color War, the staff is prepared. Staff week creates strong teams with decision-making skills and a full toolbox to face any scenario. ￼
Crane Lake creates ‘Staff Week Families’ that are compiled of general counselors, specialists, leadership team, maintenance and kitchen staff. The purpose of these randomized groups is to integrate all members of our the camp community (except the campers!) with one another and reflect on each person’s work impacts each other’s. The discussions that occur within staff week training are incorporated into the community and help promote a pervasive culture of interdependence – one of our Camp Core Values! Regardless of unit placement, specialty area, or leadership team position, staff week creates a bond between all Crane Lake Staff members that invites constructive criticism, help, and encouragement from and for every area.