It is recognized that one of the keys to a successful anti-bullying program is staff training. Research indicates that attitudes and behavior all demons state positive change when the staff is informed, educated and given the right tools to handle bullying behaviors. This will encourage a feeling of family while fostering a caring camp community.
Anti-bullying training should be designed to educate counselors and help them reach out to campers in a practical manner. When counselors have the tools, campers can learn how to stop bullying. This approach leaves everyone involved, better informed and equipped to deal with bullying issues. Camp directors should be confident that they have informed and educated their staff. This will have a positive impact on children and the whole camp experience.
A comprehensive anti-bullying staff workshop should provide:
- Facts and background information as well as practical problem solving
strategies geared to helping staff better serve campers.
- Provide anti-bullying resources, training and activities for the staff.
- Foster the development of a caring and enlightened camp community.
- Promote empathy and problem solving in a proactive manner.
- Build communication skills.
A comprehensive anti-bullying program should include the following information to be effective.
- DEFINE BULLYING- A child is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more campers. Bullying can take many forms, both direct and indirect. It always involves a power imbalance that makes it difficult for the victim to defend him or herself.\" (Olweus)
- KEY PLAYERS- To identify the key players, (bully,victim/target,bystander), and their role in a bullying situation. To understand children are NOT bullies, most children are NOT victims/targets. Most children ARE bystanders.
- ROLE PLAYING- Practice, practice, practice, to learn activation strategies that can be imparted to campers.
- HOW TO SPOT BULLYING- Not all bullying is overt. Be alert...inspire campers to be sensitive to how their behavior affects to the climate of the group.
- SETTING THE TONE- Counselors should be positive leaders and role models. They must let campers know what behaviors are expected and what behaviors will not be tolerated.
"I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or dehumanized." Haim Ginott
"Staff training that incorporates all of these components serves to improve the quality of the camping experience and instill joy, security and self-confidence in campers and their families." Carol Blank- School social worker & crisis counselor
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