Getting ready for summer, YouthQuake took advantage of youth workers present to prepare for summer camp sessions with one of today’s outstanding youth trainers, Bob Ditter.
A child counselor, Ditter has been involved with Eastern Territory Salvation Army camps and helped prepare the Safe From Harm materials currently used by Army youth workers.
Ditter led three exciting, interactive sessions on working with young people in camp settings and youth groups. Building on the theme “Creating Community at Camp,” he provided both theory and practical applications on creating communication and contributing to the growth of kids.
Ditter stressed the importance of professionalism and concrete skills in working with children. “Many think ‘How hard could this be?’ but camp counseling is actually a craft, and being effective with kids is not luck; it takes hard work, practice, and willingness to learn new skills.” The emotional needs of children are also important. Kids at camp represent many different backgrounds, and those at Army camps are often children that no one else has worked with.
Camp can help children grow up, develop new skills and learn to take healthy risks. “It’s an intense, 24/7, captive community we can create the community we want. What an incredible opportunity!”