Discovery Day Camp Aims to Develop Your Child’s Character
May 19, 2017 by
Camp Q&A: Blaine Seamone, Camp director at Discovery Day Camp
Q: How long have you been the director of Discovery Day Camp?
Q: What is your favourite part of your job?
I think it’s being able to hopefully provide the children an opportunity for a fun and exciting and engaging summer.
Q: What does it take to be a camp director/counsellor?
Well, you have to have appreciation for people – children and adults – because you’re working with both. Tolerance. Patience. Good humour. You have to have empathy, the ability to put yourself into a place of others and actually see how they might feel about something and being able to accept that as a fact, setting a good example, being a good role model by having great habits and conduct. At some point, you have to be youthful yet mature all at the same time and be able to walk that line. And I think you have to be persistent in finding satisfaction in what you’re doing, even when sometimes it may not feel that way; you have to be persistent.
Q: What is the best thing a parent or guardian can do to prepare their child for their first camp experience?
Engaging them in the discussion and decision-making about what camp they might go to, what they might be interested in doing. And if there’s any opportunity, visiting the facility with them, talking to the staff, and letting them be able to do that, I think, helps ease any transition into that first time and first day.
Q: What do you do to prevent exclusion?
In our staff training, we do go over a part of that. And I think one of the biggest things to be doing as counsellors is being observant of the children, being able to read body language and their expressions and being able to step in, guide them, talk to them, help them come up with solutions to whatever the problem might be and why they think or why they feel like they’re being excluded. But also, tapping in and knowing your campers. Who are your leaders and who can you count on to be able to take those students under their wings and lead them through a day and help them make connections and feeling apart of things?
Q: In your 16 years as director, have you noticed any changes in the way camps are run or in the way children and their parents approach camp?
I think probably the biggest change is just the change in the types of programs they’re looking for. Obviously, the word STEM and things like that are the buzz words of the day. So I think the programs that they’re looking for tend to be more in that line, thinking that they’ll help be ready for school and 21st century learning.
Q: Can you remember any campers or instances that really exemplified the power and spirit of camp?
We had a young lady who came to camp. She had some self-confidence issues, but she ended up trying Taekwondo for a week and she would have never been the child if you would have asked me that would have. And after that, she ended up joining it outside of camp with a couple of friends that she made at camp, and ended up becoming a third degree black belt. So, through the connections and trying something new, she was able to do that. Another one that I would say is we had a student, a high-functioning autistic student that came to camp and it was very interesting to see how the empathy and understanding of him came on to his group in the cooking class and how everyone just sort of came together and helped and treated him as an equal and it was beautiful to see.