Organizational Leadership,  Summer Camp

Week 1.8

Camps all over the country measure time during the summer by week number. If this is a camp’s sixth week of camp then it’s called  “Week 6”.  It becomes so ingrained in our language that we can slip into using this camp calendar when talking to people outside of the camping business.

SpringHill was no different until a few years ago when we started to re-think the perspective this calendar comes from and it’s implication to how we approach a week of camp.

We realized that the calendar, and it’s language, is from SpringHill’s perspective not the camper’s. For a camper, even though it may SpringHill’s Week 4, it’s still their first and maybe only week of camp.

Opening day of Week 1.4 in Indiana. Kids are getting ready for a fire engine ride to their cabins.

So we decided to change the language of our calendar to better reflect the camper’s perspective.  It started with simply saying that every week of camp is Week 1. Implying we should approach every week with as much diligence and enthusiasm as we do that first week of camp.

Unfortunately we still had the need, internally, to know which week of camp we were in.  So as good as the language “every week is Week 1 at SpringHill” was from a camper perspective it didn’t help us in managing our weeks of camp.

So by the end of that summer one of our staff figured a better calendar and calendar language.  One that communicates both which week of camp we are in and which week of camp it is for our campers.

Thus was born the new calendar that every week is Week week.  Each week is a new version of Week 1.  It captures both the internal need to track which week of camp we are in and also reminds us that this is the first week of camp for our campers.

So yesterday morning at our Michigan overnight camp’s summer staff meeting we ask  “What week is it?”  And the answer the staff yell back was “It’s week 1.8”. It’s our 8th week of camp, but more importantly for our campers, it’s Week 1.

Opening Day of Week 1.8, a little entertainment for arriving campers.

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