By: Janelle Siqueiros
With the introduction of a new camp season comes the introduction of new counselors, campers, staff, and new opportunities to show Camp Savios’ ability to be highly adaptable. Throughout the years, Camp Savio continues to be ever-growing, and while the ability to share this beautiful and unique experiences, that we at Camp Savio believe can only be delivered through the combined efforts of our pristine counselors and dedicated staff, there come challenges. Some challenges are to always be expected, while others, unique to each camp season. None the less, here at Camp Savio, it is our mission to serve the youth of our community and to offer a safe and religious environment for them to grow deeper in their faith while also having a spectacular summer. That is the purpose of the Friday meetings and the purpose of Counselor Training Week; to train counselors to be ready to handle a wide range of scenarios that they will more likely be faced with during the camp season.
Our counselors began their training over the course of two hour-long meetings every Friday beginning during their school year as well as throughout Training Week, which is during their summer break, one week prior to Camp Savio itself. The purpose of the Friday meetings is to pique the interest of new counselors to be a part of our summer program, expose the upcoming camp seasons’ head staff to the responsibilities and expectations of being a head staff member as well as being in a leadership position, and to bring the soon to be counselors out of their comfort zones in a fun and religious environment. “Being able to come to meetings during the school year allowed me to meet the other counselors that I’ll be serving alongside with and to learn who the head staff will be, all while not interfering with my school schedule (Grant Zandvliet).” Grant Zandvliet will be beginning his fourth consecutive camp season as a counselor and when asked what he believed the purpose of the school year, Friday meetings, were for he emphasized the gratefulness he felt being able to learn who his head staff would be and the other counselors he would be spending his summer with here at Camp Savio.
Training Week differs from the Friday meetings in the sense that Training Week begins at eight thirty in the morning and counselors are dismissed at roughly three in the afternoon, and takes place the week prior to Camp Savio itself. This week is jam-packed with group building activities aimed to get counselors out of their comfort zones, as well as talks given by each of our head counters on subjects such as child psychology, the importance of communication, and what to do in events of emergencies whether they be within their own grades or campus-wide. This week is also when our head staff is most put to the test in their leadership capabilities, as being a Camp Savio head counselor means that you are not only able to lead, but inspire others to become leaders as well. “As head staff, being able to inspire my counselors to come out of their comfort zones is one of the many unique experiences that I am blessed enough to be able to be a part of and is where I truly believe God is present in their lives (Stephanie Castrejon).” Stephanie Castrejon is this camp seasons head counselor of 2nd Grade and when asked what experience she wanted to share regarding Training Week she said that she sees Gods work truly being done when a counselor opens up to her and steps out of their comfort zones in the aims of becoming a better Camp Savio counselor. That is the overall goal of what all the preparation, training and educating is cumulatively for, to ensure that each and every one of our counselors are prepared to face whatever camp season challenge they may face and to give them the knowledge to become wise Camp Savio counselors for the children of our community.