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Things We Teach Our Camp Counselors – Part 4

Unity and Teamwork – The Unsung Heroes of Training

When people think about training for a job they think about all the practical aspects: safety, knowledge, emergency preparedness, etc. However, very often fun, unity, and teamwork is overlooked. Obviously, the first and most obvious parts of training are super important. But if bonding and team building isn’t part of training, somehow the other things seem to fall apart. Team building and bonding during staff training is the glue that holds all the other parts together.

We pay our staff for a whole week before any camper shows up, and we ask them to come a few days early before that week of training just for some fun. We’ll do things such as taking a camping trip to northern Michigan, an Olympic opening ceremony for the first night, sharing testimonies with one another, and our favorite…an all staff Amazing Race all around southwest Michigan!

Throughout the summer we will continue to build unity among our staff by helping them plan trips to area cities, going to a Chicago Fire soccer game, providing weekly worship times, going to church together, and praying together. When people have fun together, they also work and collaborate really well together.

Why is unity important?

To be an example for the campers

In John 17, Jesus prays for his disciples that they will be one (unified) so that the world will know that Jesus is sent by God. This is our prayer for our staff that they may have a love for one another that is obvious to parents and campers that Jesus is real and changes lives. We want their unity to be the best example of the hope, joy, and full life that God has given us.

To improve work quality

We believe that when a team is unified and they like each other, they do their work better. We find that a unified staff has a better emotional maturity and mental maturity to take care of the kids in a fun safe way. They aren’t as distracted as a staff that is thinking about a problem they have with another staff member. Instead, they are enjoying their work, enjoying being with each other, and are happier for the kids.

To help us select better staff in the future

We have found that the best way to recruit staff is by word of mouth. And the best staff tend to be friends with other really good potential staff. It’s kind of a guilt by association, but in reverse. So we find that when we focus on unity during training and during the summer, the best staff are more willing to talk about what a great time they had with their friends. And that in turn, helps us have an even better summer staff each consecutive year. You can never only just focus on the summer in front of you…you have to always think for the future.

There are many other reasons for focusing on unity, but those are a few. But the main thing…

It’s Biblical…and it’s the right thing to do…

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” -Eph 4:1-3