“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” – Steven Covey
If there is one thing I’ve learnt throughout my years of doing camp, it’s that the success of a camp depends largely on the staff running it. You may have a fantastic programme written out, with well-thought of curriculum and activities, but if your staff isn’t capable and united enough to actually carry it out, then it’s no better than a hastily-planned programme.
Team-building for staff is so crucial, especially when you have a team so diverse in terms of culture, language and background. In this camp, we have people from Thailand, America, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines! You can imagine the international flavour we have in this camp! It’s important to align everyone to the same values, language and frame so that communication is aided and positive energy can flow freely amongst everyone.
It is always easy to feel that we’re not understood, that people aren’t trying to understand us. When miscommunication arises, it’s easy to slip into the victim mindset and blame others for not understanding. Precisely why it’s important to step up and take on a bigger position by choosing to understand others first, before expecting others to understand us. And for this very reason, I’ve got to admit (and I’m not being biased here) this camp’s staff training was tip-top! My heart has been overflowing with so much love, support and positive energy, for and from the wonderful team of staff I have here.
A clarification at this point. My role at this camp is actually a site administrator, where I handle all the administrative and logistics matters to ensure that everything runs smoothly. I am in the office most of the time, coordinating logistics and ensuring that everyone gets what they need. Besides being the senior staff, I am also the camp mummy and nurse, so if the campers/staff need anything that requires one-on-one attention, for example, they’re feeling sick or need a motherly figure to assure them, they’ll find me. Parents also find me. In short, I am the go-to person who runs around a lot behind the scenes.
Of course, camp is never a one-man show. There are a few other people in the office (thanfully!) with me, working behind the scene to ensure a successful camp.
Here’s Melvin, the site manager and my partner in crime! He is largely the reason why I flew here for camp, but that’s for another time to share. 🙂
We’ve done a lot of camps together in Singapore so it’s been a god-sent to have him in the office to manage the human part of logistics. 😛
Here’s Dream. She’s Thai and her role is as an office admin assistant and camp team leader (& my roommate too.) She also happens to be a popular reality-tv show host here in Thailand!
We also have a bunch of team leaders who are the ones with the kids in teams! They’re the ones leading the teams and making sure that the kids are getting the best out of camp.
I feel so blessed to have crossed paths with these young minds brimming with so much potential and energy. Each one of them bring their own strengths and personality to this camp, which makes camp even more fun! We have athletes, musicians, beatboxers, educators, mass comm students etc! It’s been a personally rewarding experience to sit down and connect with them, learning about different cultures and worlds and seeing how different yet similar we all are. I wish I could talk more about each and every single one of these wonderful people but hey, I’ll leave that for another time. 🙂
Now, let’s not forget the people who are actually up on stage to deliver the key pieces of the programme! For this camp, American facilitators are specially flown into the country to rock out their magic on stage.
Derek, our lead facilitator. 🙂
Every camp, different lead facilitators bring different styles and strengths to the camp so it’s always a new experience. I’ve work with a couple of different lead facilitators before this and I’ve got to say, so far, Derek has been the calmest and sturdiest of the lot! His intelligence shines bright in his eyes and you just know he’s got your back. He’s such a pleasure to work with, no kidding!
Charles, the teacher/soccer coach who is phenomenal with kids. He is such an inspiration to me, both as a person and as an educator. You can see his passion and love for the campers and their learning, and the way he’s so willing to show the kiddy side of himself is just heartwarming. I just love seeing his in the main room rocking out with the kids. ❤
Travis, the joker of the bunch. An absolutely hilarious guy who can impersonate characters so perfectly, it’s insane. I’ve been laughing so hard throughout camp, thanks to him, sometimes even getting close to tears! In fact, this is the one camp that I’ve laughed so much! He absolutely loves coming up to me silently and startling me (I’ve a feeling he enjoys my reaction) and he’s been doing it every day.I really need to be more alert, really.He’ll come into the office and joke around with me so it’s been fun in the office! 😛
I’ve got to say that I’m enjoying myself tremendously in this camp, particularly because of the amazing staff. Honestly, I was quite skeptical about coming due to various reasons but alhamdulillah, it has been such a rewarding experience so far, I’ve not any regrets. By far, this is the most fun I’ve had in a camp and I’m really not looking forward for it to end.. But hey! There’s still a few more days and I know it’ll only get better! Just going to stay open to all the experiences this camp has got to offer!