Responding to Tragic Events
I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, but I wasn’t really sure how to express my feelings until now. Unfortunately, there has been so much tragedy, sadness and even hatred. And although camps are a safe space for children, often we have to respond to unsafe things going on around us in our community and around the world.
This is where your communication is crucial.
Remember, you are often one of the very first brands that children and teens trust. They look up to you, they listen to you, they are influenced by you, but more importantly, they want to be represented by you! They see camp as a reflection of themselves.
So how do you articulate your feelings about such awful atrocities while keeping your campers and staff well-being in mind? Here are a few steps you can take to express yourself:
Take pause! Think things through before making a statement. It’s important for you to have a clear understanding of the situation before you react.
Determine how the events align with your camp's core values and mission. Your response should be consistent with your camp culture and established messaging.
Decide if you will remain neutral or take a specific stance on the events, and realize the potential risks and benefits of each approach.
Before making any external statements, talk to your staff. Ensure that your team understands your position and how it relates to your camp. Listen to their concerns and have a discussion.
When you are ready to speak up, be transparent. Explain your viewpoint and how it relates to your camp values. Standby your stance and remain consistent with your communication across all platforms.
This is an emotional time for us all and especially for children. It’s ok to share your feelings when it’s appropriate, but it’s also ok to remain silent.
Sometimes we forget the impact camps have on our youth beyond the summer. Don’t forget to consider their feelings and as camps always do - remain respectful and inclusive in your communication.