A note from Kurtz:
Hi, friends! As you may know, applications for the spring semester of The Summer Camp Society are due by this Friday, February 1! The semester will run through mid-April. Anna Hopkins, the amazing director of the amazing Friends Camp in Maine, started off with us as a program participant in the fall of 2017. We love not only the way that Anna thinks but her ability to build community, so we asked her to come on as an additional facilitator this fall. We are so grateful to have her! Anna sent an email to a friend of hers explaining why TSCS is a unique and valuable opportunity, and I got CC’d on it. SO….I am putting it on the blog. Because Anna articulates so well why TSCS exists and why you should join us :-)
The Unique Benefits of TSCS
Taken from an email by Anna Hopkins!
At many conferences you attend, one of the best parts is meeting new colleagues in the camping world. However, with the traditional conference model you'll meet a few interesting folks, but the relationships and connections will peter out after a few days. The Summer Camp Society works to make these relationships last longer and be more valuable. You'll form tight connections and understanding with your weekly online "cohort," with the whole group of folks from your semester AND previous at the conference, and we have a Slack page that is very active about all kinds of topics throughout the year.
The cost of the semester will come out about the same as if you attended something like Tri-States, but it is a more extended timeline so your work over the whole semester is more transformational/imbues all your work for the few months. I've found this to be one of the biggest impacts. Professional development becomes a way of working and thinking, rather than a 3-day experience separate from the rest of your work.
Kurtz and Jack are two of the best "speakers" I've heard in the camp consulting world. TSCS allows you ample time and connections with them, including a 1-on-1 about anything you choose.
TSCS weekly online sessions and the conference are willing to dive into some tricky camp topics that other settings avoid for fear of offending folks-- race and diversity (staff and campers and in general), how to work with a tricky boss, what happens when a big crisis happens at camp, how to respond to a sticky situation with a camper parent, etc.
About 50 people have participated in the program, ranging from executive directors to program directors, to folks in seasonal roles hoping to break into full time camping work. Camps represented are about as diverse as the camps in the US-- this kind of diversity means there will be someone to talk to about any kind of challenge or question you can come up with.
TSCS depends on the insight and experience of its members. You'll be responsible for presenting a 5 minute talk at the conference, and there's other opportunities to step up for leadership if that is something you want. This can be a valuable way to practice your public speaking/ get more of a name in the camp world.