By Kara Deutch
To spend my first summer away from Jacobs Camp since I was 8 years old was the weirdest feeling I’ve ever felt. Jacobs is truly home to me. But this summer I really needed to take some additional college credit classes, so I chose to stay at school.
To fill some of my time – and admittedly to try and fill the void left by not being at HSJ – I took a job at a local summer day camp. And one of my biggest takeaways from this day camp job? I came to fully appreciate the quality of the staff training I received at Jacobs.
Our orientation at day camp lasted just one day, and consisted of just teaching us the basics – and I stress the word “basics.” The goal of the “orientation” was for us to come out feeling completely comfortable on the first day of camp. The orientation program basically consisted of how to clock in and out, and some of the rules of the organization; the orientation was SO basic, in fact, that I don’t remember much of it at all.
Until I completed this orientation, I didn’t appreciate at all the top notch staff orientation I received at Jacobs. The week long, detailed orientation that is provided for all staff members truly made us feel comfortable with every aspect of camp. I can’t even go into detail on how much more I learned from Jacobs Camp orientation than I did at this day camp –after all, this is just a blog post! From fire safety, to how to use an epipen, to MOME-ing (“Making Ordinary Moments Extraordinary”), to how to keep a kid from gaining 30 pounds at camp… The list could go on and on.
My Jacobs staff orientation made me a great day camp staff member. Throughout the summer, I found myself MOME-ing campers – even though I couldn’t explain what a MOME was to my staff because they would have thought I was crazy. The littlest things that the HSJ staff do mean so much to campers, and that’s one huge takeaway that I tried to utilize at day camp.
Thanks to the team that puts together HSJ’s staff orientation summer after summer. You do an incredible job and your staff should not only appreciate your hard work, but also the incredibly valuable information they are learning – information that will help them not just in other camp jobs, but in life.