The Economy of Beads (Part 2)

Although I am a fan of the *free* qualities of Blogger, the application that I am using to post this information, sometimes it can be a pain - as it DELETED a portion of my bead post!?!

Until I got some positive praise that pointed out the error, I didn't notice that my entire rare through ultra-rare piece got cut. If you saved the original text, I will love you forever, but otherwise I'll just have to remember what I wrote :-)

Level-1 Beads are those that everyone in the institution can get once. They can be a bulk reward for behaving well or cleaning up trash between periods. I would always have some sort of trash day where every group was awarded a special bead if they had more than X bags of garbage (of course, this got corrupted by crafty kids / counselors who would actually TAKE trash out of the garbage receptacles to fill their own bags).

Here's an example of how to breakdown the bead distribution:
If each camper / participant has 20 beads at the end of the week / session, 10 - 15 of those should be common; 3 - 5 should be Level-1; and the rest should be Level 2+ (you do the math).

The PERCEPTION with Level-2+ beads is that the camper / participant thinks they have something wholly unique that no one else has, or perhaps only a small handful of people have. These beads are not hard to purchase, they can be found at the craft store in variety packs, but the real challenge is the distribution...

Only a few administrative people should be in charge of giving out anything Level-2+. Here's why:

You give Counselor A and Counselor B 10 Level-2+ beads each and tell them to give them out evenly throughout the week. By the end of the week, you find out that Counselor A gave them all out on day 1 and Counselor B has yet to give any out... BLAH!

Level-2+ beads, which I like to call Ultra-Rare or Super-Rare or Super-Ultra-Rare depending on the amount I've seen in my adventures, should be given out for the big things, like one camper helping another finish a project or a camper hitting the bulls-eye with all three arrows. Never indicate *exactly* what they are given out for because that takes away from the good deed... It's all right to motivate them to clean up garbage, but continuously putting on a show for administration in order to get an Ultra-Rare bead is... well... not genuine.

Don't forget the Pomp & Circumstance!!!

I would always wear my bead strand (as well as Bryan) which I had "since I was a camper." Mine was very long and filled with beads of every sort. Some of the beads I had were never even seen by campers at all, meaning that there was a constant circle of campers hoping to catch a glimpse at something Super-Ultra-Super-Duper-Rare. Once a week or once a session, during announcements, I would take a bead off of my very own strand and award it to a camper or counselor in front of everyone. ***That was so key... It not only meant supreme pride within the camper, but her tribe would boast, "Jenny is in OUR tribe!"

/more to come.


Coach Lion said...

great update! basically the same info, but differently so. i wish people could pay you to write about camp all day...perhaps write a book?
thanks again.

Brian said...

i've found your site in the nick of time. i am about 10 days from having a camp in bakhchisaray, crimea, ukraine (i'm a peace corps volunteer). hopefully the kids like these songs. thanks for all your hard work!

Anonymous said...

I run a camp in New York and I just instituted the Bead economy because we were having participation issues. I just wanted to say thank you because it has been working really well and the children are participating in games a whole lot more. Everyone is happier. Keep posting!