We are wrapping up the summer at the BDC and getting ready for Fair. This summer we had beautiful weather and a lot of laughter. We harvested gardens, climbed crates, built fires, passed knife tests, shot off NASA approved bottle rockets, made danger candy, dug holes and filled them back in, created an all-camp monster picture, an all-camp pinball machine, did tippy tests and many more activities.
This summer we had many new staff. The new and returning staff stepped up to the plate and hit home runs. The waterfront had active lessons and several kids learned different strokes. We had all new Hawks and Ravens counselors who are our oldest group of kids. These staff successfully led three sessions consisting of two overnight trips with campers.
As a leader, I want my staff to be empowered. They were able to try new things and explore different ways to work with kids. In a country where we are doing a lot for our young adults, I worry about them developing their “thinking skills”. At the BDC, we like to allow our staff to fail and learn from those decisions. While we make sure that safety is always happening, we still maintain a freedom for summer staff to resolve issues and devise solutions on their own. This approach allows the BDC staff to come up with a lot of our wacky activities. Two staff built a Quid ditch field and soon learned how exhausting it is to run with a broom and try to throw a ball. Another staff member built a giant pin-ball machine and didn’t realize that their nails were going to poke through the other side. While the outcome of fun was accomplished for both, the staff also learned that there were other things to think through when offering an activity.
I couldn’t be more proud of my staff and campers this summer. As we put the summer of 2016 into the books, we do so knowing that we have succeeded.