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Stinky Cabin

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October 9, 2012 by admin

By Arwen McGilvra- My very first run in with the need for Clear Expectations with children came during my first week as a summer camp counselor. Not only was I a new camp counselor, I also had a cabin full of 7 year old first time campers. In fact for most of them it was the first time away from family.

They were independent, and ready for the week of their lives. Camp is a great place; kids get to be out in the great outdoors, learning and doing and playing. My campers were staying busy, loving every minute of it. There were so many fun things to do, friends to make, and experiences to be had.

After a couple days it became apparent that they were spending so much time having fun that they were forgetting some important things like showering… I had a stinky cabin!

Arwen, back row middle, with a later group of campers.

I had expected that they would naturally find time every day to take a shower. They were used to things like showers and baths being adult directed. It didn’t even occur to them to shower at camp until I had to have a “shower talk” with my cabin. In fact, no one had even shown them where the camp showers were or how to work them. It was a classic miscommunication, and an example of how clear expectations work.

Eventually we did get a cabin shower routine down, and I no longer had to live with the smelliest cabin designation.

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