What to write about today?
The PENNY CARNIVAL!!! (woooooo!)
This is a simple... simple... simple idea. Did I say simple?
Basically, your camp has a bunch of teens who are generally uninterested in doing anything. I'm not talking about the Counselors in Training, who are also uninterested, but somehow get away with it... No, I'm talking about that teen program that has always needed a little revamping.
Are you with me so far?
Anyway, these teens need empowerment wherever they can get it. Sure, they may be too young to be given huge responsibilities, or too immature to handle serious work... and, in reality, we have to remember that they are campers and should be given the same amount of activities as everyone else. But empowerment creates motivation.
Let me clarify.
I'm an angsty teen who doesn't want to do anything. At all. I have an iPod hidden in my backpack, a PSP in my pocket and my cell phone on vibrate. I want nothing more than to sit around and talk and avoid any authority figure that may change my current state.
Put me in charge, and all that changes.
If you don't believe me, have a Reading Day for your youngest campers. Take the teens and allow them to run the entire program. They'll love it and surprise you.
The main gist of my entry for today is giving the teens the grand responsibility of creating, designing and running the Penny Carnival. Will they succeed? Of course. Will they exceed expectations? You bet!
They setup everything. You give them a week to design the games - no more than 2 or 3 teens running each attraction - and let them decide where the pennies go. During lunch they put everything together and then *BOOM* release the campers! Hehe.
Of course you have to pay attention to the little things > there cannot be too many of one attraction; a strict level of appropriateness needs to be enforced (shooting games are out); the amount of "tickets" or prize certificates needs to be regulated; and etc.
In the end you'll see some of the most creative projects... and you'll see motivated teenagers - which can be as rare as a Bigfoot sighting.