Professional Development at Buckeye Leadership Workshop

Last week our staff returned from an annual professional development trip to Ohio. Every year, our year-round staff attends Buckeye Leadership Workshop, a 5 day conference for youth development.

This year, three of our leadership staff also attended (Bridget, Clara, & Kayla). The event is held at a summer camp in Ashley, Ohio. Participants sleep in communal dorms, and eat all meals in a dinning hall – just like camp!

At the workshop, our staff attend week-long sessions taught by industry leaders. This year’s session included: marketing, creating community, wildlife activities, and square dancing. This year, Kori, one of our program directors learned how to play the Ukulele!

During a session on ‘Mazing Camp Marketing, our staff talked about our WHY statement. Why we do what we do. Camp Newaygo’s why is: because every child should have a safe place to become their best self. As a staff we also talked about WHY couples should get married at Camp Newaygo. WHY businesses choose to to hold retreats at camp. And WHY volunteers give their time and talents to camp. Our values of women’s empowerment, nature exploration, and building resiliency was a theme across all areas.

Scott and Kori attended a session on Creating Difference Makers. They took personality tests and learned how to use their strengths to help create community in all our programs.

Jalisa led a session on Camp Counselor training. Jalisa’s session included resources for back=pocket games, behavior management, and tools for processing and reflection. Jalisa has presented trainings and workshop throughout the United States for camp professionals.

During this workshop, our staff also get to sample Evening Programs. This year’s schedule included a life-size logic puzzle, and a build-your-own catapult team event.

As camp professionals we often get asked the question: “what do you do the rest of the year?” Aside from our monthly community events, rentals, conferences, and camp recruitment, we spend a lot of that time on professional development.  We want to make camp an essential part of a child’s development. And it order to do so, we have to make sure our skills as a staff are expanding. You could even say that we hope to become our best selves at Camp Newaygo.