In organized camps every staff member takes some part in most camp activities, and often it is the hobbyist rather than the specialist who encourages or stimulates a camper to try some new venture. So it is that when a camp has a staff that likes to "do things with their hands" and is to be found whittling or sketching or exploring a clay bank discovered on a hike, it will follow that most of the campers will also be doing things with their hands. Stimulation of good arts and crafts is a responsibility of all staff members, just as good singing or interest in nature may be. There will, however, be some staff members who are specialized in arts and crafts and who have specific responsibilities for this phase of the camp program.
Camp staffs usually have two categories of counselors: those who serve the entire camp in administrative or program capacities, and those who are counselors-for-living-groups. In the first group will be found the director; dietitian; nurse; waterfront, craft, music, nature, trip, and similar counselors. The second group consists of the counselors of tent, cabin, unit, small camp groups whose major responsibility is the minute-by-minute, day-by-day living of the campers in their specified groups. Some of the first group may also be counselors-for-living, and some of the second group may assist in various program or administrative areas. These staff members get acquainted with each other, with the camp's way of work, emphases, facilities, and so forth, through a period of pre-camp training before the camping season begins.
Because arts and crafts activities call for the help of qualified staff members, because the managing of tools, materials, and equipment requires a special storage place, and because the activities may need a special craft workshop or center, usually one or more counselors are the arts and crafts specialists or consultants.
The crafts counselor, or staff member in charge of arts and crafts activities, may have a job that encompasses such activities as these:
Has charge of the craft workshop or center, equipment, materials.
Gives general help to all staff in craft activities. Sets standards of performance, outlines progressive steps. Stimulates, motivates, introduces possibilities for activities.
Conducts activities at craft center for groups or individuals.
Supplements other staff as needed.
Correlates crafts with other program activities.
Keeps inventories of supplies, purchases equipment and supplies; signs out supplies and equipment to small groups.
Makes reports on individuals and on the craft program, as required; makes recommendations for the next year, with suggested purchasing list.
Assistants in crafts may do the following:
Help in craft workshop or center. Help in small camp groups. Help with general camp activities. May maintain a small craft center in some subsection of the camp.
May live in a living group, and act as counselor there.
All staff members may have these responsibilities in the arts and crafts areas:
Be interested, enthusiastic, with campers. Be encouraging in all camper efforts. Maintain standards set by crafts staff. Set example in own craft activities.
General qualifications of camp staff members vary with camps, and with camp responsibilities, but usually these may be expected of each camp staff member:
Enjoys working with boys and girls.
Is interested in the out-of-doors and enjoys living there.
Has ability to work with other adults.
Is emotionally mature.
Has good health and energy.
Is enthusiastic about many phases of camp activities, not just one.
Accepts the policies and ways of work of the specific camp.
Has ability to help campers '"do it themselves."
In addition, qualifications for craft counselors would include:
Experience and skill in arts and crafts fields. Adaptability to camp situation, and to wide use of crafts in camp living.