Staff Training 2015
This week, our full staff came on board for a week of pre-season training. For Anthony, our most-senior staff member who has been on staff for 8 summer seasons(!), it was an opportunity to reacquaint himself to the property, to share his experience with the visiting campers with his fellow staff, and his snake wrangling skills. Our three new senior staff, Emily, Rebeca and Marisol, immediately took to their roles as mentors for the younger staff as well. Emily brings a wealth of experience in environmental education from all over the country, and Rebeca and Marisol transitioned this year to senior counselors, bringing their practice both last summer and throughout the school year with Farrington to the role. They took the opportunity to connect with the new staff, and practice their public speaking skills, in addition to creating and learning brand new activities.
Meanwhile, our new junior staff, Samuelle, Jasper, Hajin, Lucretia, Maya, Jennifer, and Van spent the week trying to take in all the activities we lead throughout the summer.
Maya took to the animals right away. On their first day with a group, Maya commented on how amazed she was watching the younger campers with the animals. “They start off very scared, and then they get tentative, and then eventually, with a chicken in their lap, it’s like they melt and get comfortable.” This experience is not so far off what some of our new staff have experienced throughout this first week.
Not only is staff training an opportunity for all staff to get comfortable with the animals and the woods (including those dreaded bugs!), it’s also an opportunity to get those creative juices flowing. We dusted off equipment that hasn’t been used in the last year or two, including a full-sized parachute (doesn’t it look like a jellyfish like this?). We practiced contour drawing and scientific sketching. We pulled out children’s books and explored how we could connect them to an activity.
Perhaps most importantly, we got to know the 12 people we will see day in and day out over the next 7 weeks. The goof balls. The cheerful ones. The serious ones. The whole lot. It was a great start to what will hopefully be a great summer.