Why Did I create this site?
Camp professionals are some of the most creative and impassioned people in the world. Every summer camp has an incredible group of people working selflessly to inspire the campers that come through their care. Counsellors and Directors are forever coming up with new and imaginative activities to develop their campers as well as show them a massive amount of fun. So many of these great activities exist only in one place or in the skill set of a particular group of staff. Youth Leadership Resources was created to allow past and present a way of sharing the best of their activities with others who have similar goals.
After three years of working at Camp Silver Beach, my director, Mish Hood, asked me to take on the challenge of revamping both the Teen Adventure Camp and Counsellor in Training Program as the Leadership Development Director. The aim behind both of these programs was for campers to be able to recognise their strengths and also their weaknesses and then to build on these characteristics, developing leadership confidence and ability. In order to do this in a manner that was both fun and impactful I looked to incorporate varied and challenging activities. Throughout the 12 months that was spent on developing the programs I drew on my own experience working at camp as well as from my colleagues and friends to create unique activities that could all be tied in to specific learning outcomes.
Working as the Leadership Development Director was without doubt the highlight of my time spent at Camp Silver Beach. Witnessing the growth of both the participants and the staff operating the programs was an incredible event to be a part of. The joy in helping those around you is what I believe makes the summer camp industry so special.
Just as every summer draws to a close so too did my time working at camp. When I decided to try and put all the material I had used and created into a website my thinking was that if I had material that would work perfectly in other camp settings then other professionals must be in a similar situation. Working at camp has left such an impact on my life that I would love to be able to give back and make it easier for other people to share in that experience.
It is not often that an idea can be put into practice by a single individual, and it is most certainly not the case for the activities I describe. While it is true that in general the idea for the different games - particularly the big activities - came from me they would not be what they are now without the incredible input of a great number of people. Most notably I give credit to Andrew Hood, 'Mish' to those who know him, the former Program Director and my boss at CSB and now Executive Director at YMCA Camp Cullen in Greater Houston, Texas. Mish is a superb devils advocate, if there is a flaw in the plan then he will find it but as well as that there is nothing he loves so much as taking a mediocre idea and working out how to make it great.
Beyond that there is the staff at CSB during my years there, particularly the staff of both the TAC and LDP programs who worked out the flaws and kinks of the activities and then found where improvements should be made. It should also be noted that while the activities were all created for CSB purposes they are generally a reflection on a lifetime worth of different experiences - from High School activities to playing computer games with my friends. With that in mind I have given specific credit to the people who were involved in taking the activities from idea into practice but there is a huge body of friends, family and teachers who were involved in generating the ideas and workings of the activities without even knowing.