Ask them here and someone from our staff will get back to you within a day or two.
Camp Directors often fall into the same category as teachers in kids’ brains. It’s obvious that we sleep in the cabins, eat all of our meals in the dining hall, and go canoeing every day! And we definitely don’t leave the camp property. Ever.
Of course, we do have real lives. We have to go grocery shopping once the kitchen staff pack up and leave for the season. We have bills to pay and non-camp hobbies to pursue. It’s eventually far too cold outside to enjoy the lake, wooded trails, and sports fields at camp. So what is it that Camp Directors really do once the summer ends?
Personally, I love to read, catch up on all the TV and movies I missed during the summer, travel, and visit friends and family. We often don’t see our loved ones during the summer months because of the busy camp season. We also don’t get a summer vacation, so we tend to travel in September or October! Some of my favorites have been Cape Cod, New Orleans, and Iceland!
Professionally, there is a ton of work that happens during the off-season! Immediately following the summer, we collect and evaluate all of the feedback that we gathered from campers, caregivers, and staff throughout and at the end of the summer. The feedback helps us determine what changes and updates we want to make to our program for the following summer. We edit and tweak schedules, curriculum, and staff training. We take an in-depth look at all parts of the camp program: from the smallest change in signage in the dining hall to brand-new specialty camp programs that we can offer. It is a time of intentional, thoughtful planning that is crucial to providing a current, engaging program for all campers.
We also do a ton of marketing and recruitment! We create marketing materials, brainstorm and formulate our social media and digital marketing plan alongside our marketing team, and attend in-person and virtual camp fairs. We recruit and hire international staff and we check-in with our returning counselors. We spend a lot of time on Zoom interviewing staff. Year after year, talking about camp with new and returning staff in the fall and winter months brings on a feeling of renewal that never gets old.
In the Spring, we continue to hire staff, market camp to new campers, and prepare for the summer. We finalize schedules, plan staff training, and begin to order supplies, equipment, and materials needed to run camp. The phone begins to really ring in the Spring as families realize they might be a bit late to the registration game. We process Financial Assistance applications, collect camper paperwork, and answer questions about what to pack and how drop-off works. It’s always a busy time, and before we know it, the weeks of Spring school field trip groups, leadership staff training, and all-staff training have come and gone.
Suddenly, it’s the end of June and the campers will be arriving soon. It’s our go-time. The days we live for are here; we’ve waited 10 months for these precious 2. All of the work will soon pay off and we will get to witness the joy of a first s’more, the thrill of sailing on Lake Nichecronk, and the warmth of sitting around a campfire with friends. So, we won’t wish winter away just yet… we’ll do our best to enjoy the short days and long, cozy nights. We will work and plan, and daydream about long, hot days in the sun. And we remind ourselves to be grateful, because summer will be here before we know it.