Kids’ Camp 2011
COUNSELOR TRAINING MANUAL
District Church of the Nazarene
All Counselors must read manual
before arriving at camp!
CAMP COUNSELOR BASICS!
I. SIMPLE PRINCIPLES FOR ESTABLISHING AN EARLY, SMOOTH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE
a. Learn the names and the nicknames of your campers.
b. Show a friendly spirit and genuine interest in each camper.
c. Always be encouraging in your remarks. Find ways to praise the campers you are working with.
Criticizing a camper before the group will build up well-deserved feelings against you. No one
likes to be singled out and publicly embarrassed,
d. Be patient and understanding (especially with the younger campers). e. Remember- your campers are impressionable. Having a negative attitude is a sure way to make
them have a bad day too.
f. Try to see your camper’s point of view. Campers can have good ideas too!.
g. Be careful! Kidding or horseplay with campers can easily be misunderstood.
h. Enter into an individual conversation with each camper as soon as possible.
i. Boys, girls and camp directors like to see a camp worker with a good sense of humor.
j. Being a good listener is a prerequisite to friendship.
k. Campers like fairness, honesty, and frankness in their leaders.
l. Have individual conversations with each camper. Get to know each one personally. Encourage
them to talk about themselves.
1. His/her interests
2. His/her best friends
3. His/her parent(s)
4. His/her school
5. His/her church
6. His/her likes & dislikes
7. His/her ambitions
Remember the confidentiality of personal information, which a camper may share. m. Set an example of personal neatness, cooperation, and involvement in the camp. The campers
will mimic your action and attitudes. If you are calm, sincere, honest, cooperative, and
work/play hard, then your campers will reflect those qualities. n. Communicate the summary of camp rules to all the campers.
Remember that you are at camp this week to serve Christ by ministering to the children. Dethrone
yourself and put Christ and the children first beginning on the first day of camp.
II. THE FIRST DAY
a. The first day at camp is vitally important. A good first day can literally make a camp. A bad first
day can break a camp!
b. Introduce yourself as they settle into the cabin.
c. With your younger campers, you may want to help them unpack. Show them were to store
belonging, how to hang up their clothes, help them make their bed, etc.
a. If the camp director does not publicly announce the physical boundaries of the campgrounds
you will want to make certain that your campers know boundaries and the areas which are off
limits. There are some unsafe places at Camp Bond. Make that very clear!
b. We request Counselors and other workers to refrain from using their personal vehicles
throughout the week. Should you need something from town, the Camp Director or Aides will
be making trips to town each day to purchase needed items.
IV. THE FIRST NIGHT IS EXCITING FOR EVERY CAMPER
a. Attend the evening service and all other activities with those in your group. Pay special
attention to those who seem shy or at a loss. Especially watch those who are first time campers. b. Stay close to your group. Some may be very uneasy after dark.
c. Stay with them or near them until they “simmer down”. That won’t be too early the first night.
Remember-they have had an unusual day already. The strange environment, strange people,
new sounds; people do not adjust quickly. Be patient. Think about your first time away from
d. Find out what musical or special talents are in your group. You will learn much about your
group as they prepare for bed. Listen well!
e. Develop group fellowship as you talk and enter into the more quiet preparation for devotions
and lights out. Formal devotions may seem strange the first night. One way to handle that is to
ask each of them to share one of the best things that happened to them that day. Read (or have
a camper who wants to read) a brief passage from the Bible about God’s concern (example:
Matthew 6:26) and pray for their concerns, for their families, and for the week of camp. f. Each counselor is responsible to have their own campers in their dorms and quiet near lights
out time. Be sure you stay awake until all of your campers are asleep.
g. Should you have a safety concern in the night, alert your Camp Director or Aides who have
instructions as to how to handle those problems.
V. IN THE DINING ROOM
a. Counselors should sit with their group at all meals. Do a head count at each meal. Make sure
that your campers pick up after themselves and take care of their own tray. b. Be punctual in arriving for meals and encourage/require your campers to do likewise. c. Make the conversation pleasant and purposeful. Encourage all campers to take part in the
d. Set the example of conduct at the table. Boisterous conduct, loud laughter and put-downs are
not acceptable and should be avoided.
VI. HEALTH PRECAUTIONS
a. Make sure that your younger campers do not stuff themselves with too much junk food. Too
much pop or candy will affect their sleep and yours!
b. No food or drink is to be brought in or kept in the dorms. It might spoil and it will bring
unwanted ‘creatures of the wild’.
c. Make sure you know the day and night location of the camp nurse.
d. Take any sick or injured camper to the nurse immediately! Do not give any medication to a
camper; not even an aspirin or a cough drop!
e. Take all medication that the campers bring with them to the camp nurse. They will distribute as
required/needed. Know each of your campers special needs: medications, allergies, etc. f. Rest is important. Please see that your campers get to bed at the appointed lights our time.
a. Counselors set the tone for all worship services.
b. Please make sure that all your campers use the restroom and get a drink before the services.
Only allow them to leave for restroom emergencies only. This cuts down on distractions in the
service. Start this process and rule at the beginning of the week and the children will learn to
expect this for the entire week.
c. Encourage your campers to participate by being an example in the worship service.
d. Discourage rude, loud or distracting behavior.
VIII. PARTICIPATION IN THE GROUP EXPERIENCE
a. Attend all services, activities and programs with your campers. They may get tired but
encourage them to continue to participate with the group.
b. Come to camp loaded with several ideas for things that you can do with your campers. c. Have a great time together as you lead then into a new spiritual adventure with God.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEXUAL MISCONDUCT!
Child Sexual Abuse Knowledge Inventory
Please indicate whether the following statements are true or false. 1. Child sexual abuse always involves physical contact with children. 2. Most child molesters are male.
3. Child molesters are usually strangers
4. Victims of sexual abuse suffer no long-term effects. 5. One out of five molesters begin their activity before age 18. 6. Only a small percentage of victims are male.
7. Most church camps screen workers for potential molesters. 8. District camp leaders cannot be held liable for child sexual abuse. 9. Some child sexual abuse victims have won settlements of over $1 million from churches.
10. A child molester who has experienced a religious conversion no longer presents a threat
11. Child sexual abuse is a criminal offense in all 50 states. 12. A child molester may have over 500 victims in a lifetime. 13. Churches have in the past been supportive of victims of child sexual abuse.
REDUCING THE RISK OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AT CAMP
1. The Problem is Real:
Ed begins attending First Church. After a few weeks, he volunteers to work with the youth group.
Church staff members do not know Ed, but they are delighted to have another worker. He is put to work
immediately. The youth group has an overnight activity a few months later. Following the activity, two
minors report that they were sexually molested by Ed. The parents of one of the minors contact an
attorney, and a $3 million lawsuit is brought against Ed, the church, and the church board. The parents
claim that the church (and the church board) acted negligently by not doing any background
investigation before using Ed as a volunteer worker.
2. A Definition for Child Sexual Abuse is:
Any sexual activity with a child – whether in the home by a caretaker, in a day care situation, a
foster/residential setting, or in any other setting, including on the street by a person unknown to the
child. The abuser may be an adult, an adolescent, or another child, provided the child is four years older
than the victim.
3. Child Sexual Abuse May Be Violent or Non-Violent
4. Child Sexual Abuse is Criminal Behavior that Involves Touching, and Non-Touching Aspects.
5. Types of Abuse that Involve Touching Include:
b. Invasion of any private body part
d. Forcible Rape
e. Striking a child with your hand or other object
6. Types of Sexual Abuse that Do NOT Involve Touching
a. Verbal comments
b. Pornographic pictures or videos
c. Obscene phone calls
e. Allowing children to witness sexual activity or intimate displays of affection
f. Viewing a child’s private parts
g. Taking pictures of children who are nude or in their underclothes
7. Child Sexual Abuse Robs Children of Childhood and Can Potentially Scar Its Young Victims for Life
8. Who is the Typical Child Molester?
a. Over 80% of the time, the abuser is someone known to the victim
b. Most abuse takes place within the context of an ongoing relationship
c. The usual offender is between the ages of 20-30 years
d. 20% of sex offenders begin their activity before the age of 18
e. Child abusers often are married and have children
9. All Fifty States Require Certain Individuals to Report Known or Reasonably Suspected Incidents
10. Report Any Suspicious Behavior or Disclosures by Campers or other Camp Workers immediately to
the Camp Director
11. Symptoms of Molestation:
Physical Signs May Include:
a. Lacerations and bruises
c. Irritation, pain or injury to the genital area
d. Difficulty with urination
e. Discomfort when sitting
f. Torn or bloody underclothing
g. Venereal Disease
Behavioral Signs May Include:
a. Anxiety when approaching cabin or a given area
b. Nervous or hostile behavior towards adults
c. Sexual self awareness
d. “Acting out” of sexual behavior
e. Withdrawal from church activities and friends
Verbal Signs May Include the following statements:
a. (Name) does things to me when we’re alone
b. I don’t like to be alone with (Name)
c. (Name) fooled around with me
12. Practice the Two Adult Rule at Camp. Try to Avoid Being Alone With Any Camper At Any Time.
13. Limit Your Physical Contact and Affections With Your Campers. This Is Often Difficult To Do, But
Remember This Can Often Be Misunderstood. “Side” Hugs are Bes. Some children receive little or no
physical touch and a gentle “side-by-side” hug lets them know they are loved. Be Careful How You
Deal With Your Children At the Altar.
REPORTNG PROCEDURE FOR ABUSE
In the event an incident of child abuse or disclosure takes place it is to be reported directly to the Camp
Director. The Camp Director will notify the proper authorities. No abuse should be taken lightly. If you are
uncertain about an incident please talk it over with the Camp Director immediately! Do not wait until after the
week of camp! Do not discuss the incident with any other person(s).
SPECIAL RULES AND PROCEDURES
1. Discipline Procedures
a. Eliminate potential problems by firmly reviewing camp rules with the children on the first day
and with gentle but firm reminders throughout the week. Allow a question and answer time so
that the children will be able to clear up any misunderstanding.
b. Be consistent with the rules. Do not back down on punishment. Make the punishment fit the
behavior. (example: if they throw food in the dining hall, let them clean the dining hall after the
c. Try to be positive and treat the children with respect. In return they will treat you the same way.
d. Speak one-on-one with the child to try to solve the problem.
e. Ideas for punishment
Take away privileges
Time-out from activity or from the group (1 minute per year of age)
Allow the children to decide the punishment. (this should be within reason and planned ahead
of any occurrence)
f. Do not use any form of physical contact or verbal abuse!
g. Report any uncontrollable situation to your Camp Director.
h. Children will be sent home as a last resort.
2. Abuse Reporting Procedures
In the event an incident of child abuse or disclosure takes place, it is to be reported directly to the
Camp Director. The Camp Director will notify the proper authorities. No abuse should be taken lightly.
If you are uncertain about an incident, please talk it over with the Camp Director immediately! Do not
wait. Do not discuss with any other person(s).
SUMMARY OF CAMP RULES
Here are some important rules to communicate to your campers at the start of the week. 1. Every camper is expected to go to every scheduled activity of the day. There will be no exceptions to
2. Campers are to stay with their assigned counselors. No camper should be roaming the campground
alone at any time. This includes trips to the cabins or restroom.
3. No one is to use the phone without the Counselors permission.
4. Help keep your cabin clean. All cabins will be inspected by the Camp Director or Aides each day before
lunch. Special recognition will be given for the cleanest cabin each day.
5. Never, never cross the fence by the highway or climb the mountain behind the campground. 6. Respect your counselor at all times.
7. Come to every chapel service. Listen and be courteous. Use the restroom and get drinks before chapel. 8. Everyone is to have fun this week!
RESOURCES FOR TRAINING BOOKLET
Nazarene District Children’s Ministry and Camp Directors
West Texas District
Northeast Oklahoma District
Church of God- Anderson
Southern Baptist Church
Dr. James Cobble, Executive Director for Children’s Ministry Resources
Christian Camping International/USA
Camp Counselor Packet (Revised Feb. 2011)