Reflection is an essential component of any staff development curriculum. The following topics provide a solid foundation for individual contemplation as well as ideas to stimulate large and small group discussion. This material focuses on staff attention and efforts while it also communicates clear expectations of a camper-centric work ethic. These themes also help to reveal the meaning and power behind a staff’s work and purpose during the camp season. Each question can be easily tailored to reflect an individual camp’s philosophies, missions, and program objectives. Most of these questions are best presented to a staff at the middle or end of a camp season.
1. Describe a time this summer when you completely exceeded your expectations for yourself.
2. This summer, did you experience more moments that were professionally rewarding or professionally challenging? Throughout the season, did you focus more attention on the rewarding moments or the challenging ones?
3. Describe a moment with campers that made you stop and think.
4. Practice gratitude. Create a list of ways to thank yourself on your time off.
5. Do you have a role model on staff? Identify what you admire about her.
6. Can you recollect a time when you solved a problem by stepping back and using a sense of humor? Conversely, can you recollect a time when you solved a problem by stepping in and taking yourself and the situation completely seriously?
7. Share a positive thought for the start of each day.
8. Describe one topic that you’re passionate about outside of camp and explain why you’re so dedicated to it.
9. Set a milestone to celebrate with your campers this summer. What will it be and how will you celebrate it?
10. Describe a time when you thought and acted beyond your own immediate needs for the good of the camp community.
11. Create an award to present to the entire staff.
12. Name a way that this job will affect your life outside of camp.
13. Name one thing that you offer the camp community that is uniquely your own; something that can never quite be replicated.
14. Imagine that you’re giving advice to next summer’s staff. What would you like to say to them?
15. How do you define “success” at camp?
16. Is there anything about yourself that you wish you’d known at the start of the season?
17. Imagine that you’re writing a thank you note to your campers. How will you thank them for who they are and what they’ve taught you about yourself and your place in the world?
18. Imagine that you’re writing a thank you note to your co cabin leader (or program instructor). How will you thank her for who she is and what she’s taught you about yourself and your place in the world?
19. If your campers learn just one thing this summer, what do you hope it is?
20. What has this job done for you? What have you done for this job?
21. Describe a time this summer when you were pushed to think outside the box.
22. If you could take one thing that you’ve learned in this job and incorporate it into your life, everyday, what would it be?
23. Name your favorite place at camp and a moment that you shared with a camper there.
24. In the last 24 hours, try to count how many times your campers have made you smile. In the last 24 hours, try to count how many times you’ve made your campers smile.
25. Did anything happen this summer that you expect to impact your next off-season year for the better.
26. What is the quickest way to make someone smile? Do you do this often throughout your day?
27. If this summer has encouraged you to add any three things to your life’s bucket list, what are they?
28.Describe five random acts of kindness that you’ve witnessed this season.
29. What are our ultimate goals for our campers? How can we begin our work with these in mind?
30. If you could teach humanity a single lesson, what would it be?
31. If you had to create a time capsule to represent your work this summer, what would you put in it?
32. Give an example of a minor victory that we can celebrate as a staff.
33. Was there a mystery that you solved this summer?
34. Describe how we’re making a difference throughout our day’s work.
35. Name three character traits that are essential to being an effective and successful cabin leader.
36. Did you build anything from scratch this season? (Think beyond things here.)