Summer is the time to dream.

It’s blissful – that perfect moment when the chaos of all of the planning and training come together and it just works. 

That moment in the summer when the busy-ness calms down can sometimes catch us off-guard. But it almost always happens for camp leaders. There is a bliss in just stopping and watching the summer camp magic happen all around us. Laughter, games, meaningful conversations and friendships are everywhere and you get to witness it all.

Sometimes it doesn’t last long, but if we are lucky we have a few weeks when things run smoothly and we are given a reprieve from the chaos. It’s during this time that we can dream!

This year, when that happens, I challenge you to take some time and listen to your summer staff. The young adults in your midst are filled to the brim with energy and optimism for how they can change the world. Their lights shine so very bright and they want to share their ideas. What an honor it is for them to be asked and listened to.

It’s simple and only requires that you suspend any “we’ve-done-that-befores” and skepticism in favor of listening to their ideas and celebrating their love for camp.

STEP 1: Ask intentional questions

  • How would we get more campers here?
  • If you were in charge, what would you do?
  • What do you see me do that you think, ‘one day, when I’m in charge, I’m going to do that differently’?
  • What product do you believe you are delivering? As they deliver the mission, are they getting it right? Do they see/experience something different from those of us who are in charge?

STEP 2: Take notes and dig deeper, as you are able

STEP 3: Share their thoughts with your leadership team. Find the gems and use them. Be sure to give them credit and thank them!

What a powerful way to honor your summer staff and capture their way of thinking to shape the future!

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