Camp Pinnacle counselor orientation is going extremely well, and everyone is super excited to meet the session 1 campers on Sunday! We are extremely proud of our counselor team. This year, we have 57 counselors, meaning a counselor-to-camper ratio of less than 1:3. Our counselors have traveled here from 23 states (as far away as California, Nevada, and Massachusetts) and five countries. Our six international counselors represent Australia, Wales, England, France, and Canada. The video below gives you a chance to “meet” some of our counselors before opening day.
We invest in two weeks of training every year for our counselor team. Being a camp counselor is a challenging job, and we work hard to prepare our staff for the opportunity to affect young lives. First, we focus on building a close and inclusive staff community; when we all value each other and treat each other with respect, that trickles down to the kids and affects how they treat each other. When campers feel valued, important, and like they are at a second home, it’s easier to build confidence, optimism, independence, and resilience!
And our counselors and directors have done in a lot in two weeks. Before orientation, many of our new staff arrived early to take lifeguarding classes and get certified in Wilderness First Aid. Our staff have participated in two overnight camping trips, and our trip leaders have been training in Pisgah National Forest to prepare for our overnight camp-outs.
We have also brought in many guest speakers: Dr. Wells has trained everyone on anaphylaxis; Steve Rudolph, a nationally known business consultant, has trained us on feedback; and Tricia Miller, a child psychologist, has improved our skills in understanding our campers; and Jason Martin from the French Broad River Academy helped us improve our teaching skills. We even invited local Camp Pinnacle parents to a panel to share their hopes with our team.
We have talked about developing growth mindsets, using outdoor activities and recognition to build confidence, using disruption to expand personal narratives, and learned about leadership theory. And of course, safety and judgment have permeated every conversation. We’ve also learned camp songs, practiced skits, played a wide variety of evening activities, and improved our activity and outdoor skills.
It’s been both a fun and growth-oriented two weeks, but we are now ready to practice all that we have learned and meet our campers!
Session 1 opens on Sunday, June 12, and camp has never looked better; here we go!