All Program, SERVE, and first-time Specialty Staff are required to attend Pre-Camp Training before the summer begins. Staff spend a week together getting to know one another and developing specific skills to help them care for, teach, and lead children. We discuss (and practice) things like
- how to create and implement fun and effective lesson plans in activities,
- how to work together with other staff members
- how to help girls manage their own behavior and emotions
- how to develop and give a cabin devotion or Morning Watch
- how to anticipate what needs to be done and step into leadership
- how to listen to and communicate with kids at specific developmental stages
We also live the rhythms of Camp for the week, sing Camp songs and learn some Camp traditions. This week is packed with opportunities for staff to learn about their responsibilities, build camaraderie as a group, and begin to settle into and embrace the culture of Camp DeSoto.
A first-time staff applicant may love Archery, but they’ve probably never been trained to teach it! We are happy to provide staff with opportunities to become certified instructors so they can safely and effectively teach skilled activities at Camp DeSoto and beyond. Specialized activity trainings take place prior to Pre-Camp Training, and specific dates will be communicated to our staff as they are scheduled.
The following activities require specialized training for instructors:
- Swimming and Canoeing
- Ropes & Climbing
- Horseback Riding
- Mountain Biking
- Farming & Cooking
- Fabric Arts
These certifications contribute to each staff member’s overall growth as a leader and teacher, and they can even come in handy beyond a summer at Camp!
First-Aid and CPR Training
All Camp DeSoto Program and SERVE staff are certified in First-Aid, CPR, and AED. This course is offered as part of Pre-camp Training, and all staff members are required to attend, unless they are already trained and can produce documentation of their current certification.