Girl Scout camp registration is now open! We hope you're as excited as we are for the 2014 camp season. Over the next few months, we'll be sharing blog posts from camp staff and guest bloggers with memories and tips on how to make the most of the camp experience, for both girls and volunteers.
Program Aides (PAs) and Counselors-In-Training (CITs) are girls entering eighth grade through graduating seniors who lead and plan camp activities. They are nervous and excited to be role models at camp as they teach outdoor skills and recreate all the fun memories that they experienced back when they were campers.
Here are five ways you, as an adult volunteer, can support your PAs and CITs this summer:
1. Be the role model you want her to be.
Assist with games and songs that the PA is leading. Let her know you are there for her when she needs any help during the day. It is always helpful when adults support PAs/CITs by helping campers who may need extra attention or direction.
2. Give her encouragement.
Tell her that she is doing a great job; tell her what she did well; tell her what you appreciate about her leadership style. Remind your campers to say thank you to show their appreciation, too. Introduce yourself and let her know you are excited that she is with your group.
3. Allow her to make mistakes.
All PAs and CITs have completed training to lead girls and work with adults. Remember that these young women are learning skills that we as adults are also still working on. It’s also great for your campers to see that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as we keep moving forward as we learn from them.
4. Help her spread her wings by giving her the opportunity to be in charge.
Whether she is leading a song or the entire group in a game, PAs and CITs learn tons about leadership when they get to practice. If she falters a little, be there to support her without taking over. Every PA and CIT is different. Some may need less support than others, but all need your confidence in them.
5. Watch in awe as she grows her leadership skills and shows her strengths.
Girls learn skills quickly, develop leadership over time and reinforce their confidence along the way.
— Camp Directors of GSWISE Volunteer-Led Day Camps