From September to May, the most commonly asked question the Directors hear is, “What Do You Do the Rest of the Year?”. Here are the Top 10 things that keep our 4 full-time staff busy all year long…
Review: After each summer, we take a comprehensive look at ALL areas of camp. We take a look at everything from camper bunk dynamics to items on the salad bar to trip procedures to equipment inventories. We use feedback from our campers, parents and staff to help guide our decisions and determine how we can improve for next year!
Educate ourselves: We love to learn, and the educational spirit among camp directors is at an all time high. Throughout the year we attend conferences and meetings (JD is on the board of the American Camp Association NY-NJ section and is active in the Maine Camp Experience group) to stay on the cutting edge of camping and promote the benefits of the camp experience.
Plan and execute: There is a lot ccordination needed to make all areas of camp function well together, during both the summer and winter months. After hours of discussion, meetings and emailing, its time to make it happen. We line up vendors, trips, inter-camp games, buses, vans, new instructionals, equipment, new programs, menu items, and supplies for summer. Then its time to rake, shovel, plow, renovate, paint, stain, build, fix, and plant.
Get together: One of the best parts of Manitou is time with camp friends doesn’t stop at the end of August. We love seeing our campers, staff and camp families throughout the year at off-season events.
Welcome new members of the Manitou Family: Through home visits, new camper events, little brother sleepovers, Father-Son weekend, camp ski trip, alumni events, baseball games, and staff hiring fairs – we travel the world to meet as many new members of our camp community, before the summer, as we can.
Communicate: We read and respond to an average of 200 emails a day (between all of us) and answer and return 30-40 calls a day (or more as it gets closer to summer).
Develop leadership: Interview staff, call references, conduct background checks, and send contracts to new staff. Review, discuss and rehire returning staff. Implement new training methods, safety procedures, and guidelines to make our staff as good as it can be.
Inform: Send out Messengers, forms and information to prepare campers, parents and staff for summer and keep Alumni connected to camp.
Give back: Manitou directors, and many of our staff, volunteer for, and help organize, three non-profit camps sponsored by the Manitou Camps Foundation.
Reminisce: Relive old camp stories, daydream about the next Color War Break, and get excited for summer 2012!!