Arts and crafts counselors will be expected to keep some records, to use others, and to make reports. The extent of this recording and reporting will depend upon the camp. In most camps, forms for records and reports have been developed, and these are explained to counselors in the pre-camp training period.
Signing up for counselor help, for tools, for supplies. If it is possible for the craft counselor to work away from the craft center, with a tent or unit or small camp group, there must be some way in which the "appointment" is made. This may be by a personal checking of the staff members concerned, or it may be by signing on a special calendar developed for the purpose.
The same may be true of special tools; for instance, sketching boards and charcoal and paper may be available for groups of eight or ten. A group may sign up for the equipment for one or more afternoons. This may be arranged by consultation or by some sign-up method.
Use of the craft workshop. A schedule should be planned and posted of times when the craft center is open for individuals or for groups to get instruction and help, to use equipment and materials. Then it may be desirable to allow campers to drop in whenever the workshop is open, or it may be necessary for individuals or groups to sign up or to attend by a rotating plan.
It is good to have some time when crafts counselors are on hand for informal activity, especially so that individuals can get help for projects already under way. Rainy days will bring about a shift in scheduling, as more campers will wish to make use of the workshop and the equipment or will want to carry out some group plan in the unit hut or center.
Sometimes when a group goes to the workshop, a counselor from that living group goes along to help the crafts counselors, as extra hands and heads will serve to keep projects going with larger groups. It is difficult for one counselor to help more than ten or twelve individuals at one time, though this varies somewhat with the type of activity. If campers are to be encouraged to develop their own individual projects and are not to be "herded" through a set course, a number of staff members should be on hand to help and encourage.
Requisitions for supplies and equipment. The camp will undoubtedly have a form for requesting replenishments or new supplies. One such list will be made by the crafts counselor well before the beginning of the camp season, and periodic requisitions may be used during the season. The crafts counselors should understand the financial arrangements in the crafts program; some materials may be available to campers as part of the program, without cost, and some may be paid for by the individual using other types of materials. Tools, equipment, and such general supplies as construction paper, sandpaper, crayons, etc., are usually provided by the camp. Leather for a special project or cord for a belt may be paid for by the camper. Such expenditures should be kept to a minimum; the more resourcefulness used in getting materials from the out-of-doors, the less the need for exchange of money for projects, especially at the beginner's level.
Requisition forms may be used for the tent, cabin, unit, or small camp counselors to use in replenishing craft chest supplies, or for special events. The crafts counselor works out some plan for getting such material and equipment to the living units.
All staff must understand what can be requisitioned, what must be paid for by campers, and what is provided by the camp. A sheet in the counselors' workbook or manual (usually provided by the camp at the beginning of the season) will make this clear. The system is usually worked out by the crafts counselor and the business manager. Information on prices should be posted so that campers will know the possibilities and the cost, and so that there will be no misunderstandings and disappointments.
Inventories and reports from the previous summer, indicating what was done in the department, what was packed away at the end of the season, and what will be needed by way of supplies or equipment for the following summer, should be in the hands of the counselor before the beginning of the season.
At pre-camp training time, the craft center is set up, ready for use in training the general staff, and for use later by campers.
If there are unit or small camp supply chests, these are also inventoried and are made ready for use before the first day of camp.
Weekly or monthly or terminal reports will be expected of the crafts counselor, stating accomplishments, problems, needs, and so forth. The terminal report is an evaluation of the summer's program, and serves as a basis for the following summer's work. It should contain recommendations, suggested purchasing lists, requests for repairs or replacements or new equipment. Such a report is usually talked over with the camp director before the crafts counselor leaves the camp.
Records of campers may be kept to show attendance, progress, or payment for materials. When the camper must pay for some of the materials used, it must be clear to him what the cost will be and how the money will be collected. Sometimes the crafts counselor presents a list to the business manager, who charges the amount to the camper's account; sometimes the camper signs a "check" for the amount, and pays at the end of the session.
In some camps, an annotated record of individual campers is encouraged; such records may be shared with the tent or cabin counselor, to help in the individual leadership of the camper. Sometimes the crafts counselor is able to pass along information on the good participation or prowess of a shy camper, so that the tent counselor can know how to use that camper in some other activity which calls for some craft skill. There is not much time for this sort of recording, but when it can be done, the results will prove of great assistance to other staff members.
Sometimes progress and attendance records are required in the camp. All records serve as an aid in the compilation of terminal reports of the work of the arts and crafts department.