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Tigers going to Day Camp - need ideas for inspiring good behavior

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I am taking a group of 8 tigers to day camp next month. None of us have ever been before. There is one boy going who is notorious at our school for behavioral problems. Parents are oblivious/no help. Grandparents do most of the shuffling to and fro.


I know everyone will be excited and overwhelmed with all there is too see and do. Add to that dirty, hot, tired, and hungry by the end of each day.


I want to be proactive, set some ground rules for behavior, be prepared to handle what may come up, and give incentive/rewards for good behavior.


I was thinking of awarding a "Camper of the day" and "Camper of the week" for the person who listens best, follows rules, etc.


Does anyone else have other ideas/tips for keeping them under a some resemblance of control?



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Welcome to the Forums.


Tiger Cubs is a 1/1 all the time program. 1 parent, 1 child. That's the inherent design of the program. BSA does not stand for "Baby Sitters of America."


Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa need to be there. Period. If they're not going to be there, consider giving your regrets that they cannot come.


The other side of the coin is using good positive behavior reinforcers :) This is the beginning of the trail. Proper praise, Big smiles and applause (attention) for the well-behaved are motivators!


Have fun, let us know how it goes.

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Maybe I misrepresented.


These are 7 year olds, finishing up tigers and the 1st grade this month. So technically, does this make them tigers or bears?


We were told - 1 walking partner for every 4 kids. Is this wrong?


Thanks for the help

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The way it works is the day school lets out they become wolves having moved on to the mysteries of second gradeness. They will be in a wolf den for day camp working on wolf requirements. One has to draw a line somewhere and their tiger days are numbered. Most day camps have boy scouts (den chiefs) to help, this really helps getting them to the bathroom. You send two cubs and one boy scout, reserving the adults for serious stuff like taking pictures. Use the boy scouts to keep em in line they will listen a lot better and you will still have a voice at the end of the week.

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Consider having an entire arsenal ready to battle boredom and fidgeting. At our camp, the kids often had to wait a few minutes for station staff to get ready, and that's when trouble would brew


If you carry a whole list of games (quiet, rowdy, circle, word, etc.), riddles, jokes, etc., you can try to keep the boys positively occupied while waiting. If they are pretty good at crafts, you might want to bring along lanyard lacing and let them work on a lanyard throughout the day. You could make up bingo cards or scavenger hunt cards to keep them occupied.


Lots of our local camps also use beads as incentives. Reward good behavior with beads that go on the nametag string. Temporary tattoos might be fun--you can buy actual tattoos or use waterbased ink and rubber stamps.



Good luck!


--Kim near Seattle

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Is there a possibility of having a den meeting before camp? If so, have them work with you on a Den Code of Conduct. They should suggest items to include, but you can guide. In the end, you should wind up with:

Keep hands, feet and objects to themselves

Stay with their buddy at all times

No name calling, put downs or teasing

Everything they find at camp (sticks, leaves, etc.) stays at camp


If you can't have a meeting, you'll have to impose the rules, but it's better if they 'buy-in' by helping write them.


They can also help you with consequences - time outs, etc.


You can certainly award beads or other incentives like tickets. Then establish a reward - everybody earns their bead each day by following the rules, then at the end of camp you'll have a meeting and serve ice cream or pizza or take them to a skating rink. You get the idea.


Here are some tips and examples:




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Since there will be at least 2 adults with your Wolves, you will have help corralling them. You might even have more adults (and more kids) if they combine groups.


Have some silly songs to keep them occupied. Going over how a Scout should act and having a code of conduct for them should be good.


I don't know how your Day Camp is set up, but at ours, the boys don't have long to wait for the activity to begin. They are usually pretty interested in what is going on and what they will be doing next.


Remember the staff will be helping too. If boys get to rowdy at my station I will usually have them sit down. Also, I will have the quiet ones go first, if possible. The boys see this and settle down.


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I understand that one of these boys has a reputation for this kind of stuff, but remember that they are 7 year old boys. It is not in their nature to stand or sit being calm and quit while waiting for the next activity. Staying quiet for just a few minutes is painful for a seven year old.


Many times I've sat in camp toward the end of the day of day camp listening to inexperienced cub leaders yelling at the top of their lungs. I never had too much problem because if I saw the scouts loosing control, I changed the environment. Sometimes that meant skipping a day camp activity to go over and play in the stream of just run through the woods. Kim Near Seattle has some excellent suggestions.


I love this scouting stuff.



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Definitly come prepared! Kim's ideas are great.

I would add a pocket full of wrapped penny candy, suitable for a quick good deed reward or correct answer to a pop quiz.


Here in Pheonix, we caried misting bottles (no water guns were allowed) to cool off the cubs, and supplied water balloons for in den-site water battles.


I think the temporary tatoos would be really popular for an end-of-the-day "well done". Imagine the whole lot of them with a tat for each day at the end of camp. :D


IMHO the incentives will work best if:

- there are several opportunities during the day to earn one.

- they reward different kinds of behavior/performance.

- you have carefully thought out your standards in advance and make them clear to the boys.

- you yourself are cheerful and positive towards them, even the challenging boys.

- use logical consequences, not shame and anger, when correction is needed,


(This message has been edited by Cheerful Eagle)

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You might try having a package of Skittles and reward them with a single Skittle. It's so much that you couldn't reward them several times a day and you are the only one with a wrapper to deal with. My tiger son's teachers the past two years have used them and he is always excited to get them.



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OK, new Wolves. Yes, indeed, 1:4 is the MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE ratio.


Depending on ages and stages of your charges, you may want a higher ratio. If Mikey needs 1/1 with parents to stay in line, do not be afraid to expect their help.


Make sure your walking leaders understand they don't just work with their Billy, they help all 4 kids in their line of supervision! (I've seen Robby and Jack and Jimmy get left out more than once).


Den Chiefs are indeed a great thing. Asking your Troop for extra Den Chiefs is a boon idea. You might consider feeding them (instead of them bringing their own brown-bags... makes the week special for them).


Have all manner of active songs ready to keep them busy while staff is setting up... Head sHoulders knees and toes comes to mind, as does Froggy.

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I just re-read your original post. Are you these boys regular den leader, or are you a parent coming along to help? You speak of one boy as being notorious. How can a 7 year old have a repuatation? He's only been in school for two years.


I would urge you to go into this with no preconceptions about any boy, including your own son. You may find they behave very differently at camp than they do at school or at den meetings. I *try* not to pre-judge any boy - you will interact with each of them differently than their parents, teachers and any other individual. Be positive about the experience, go into it prepared, but with anticipation. You will find your attitude will transmit itself to the boys and they will respond to you.

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No, I am not the Den leader. Our Den leader is quitting when this school year is over (He lasted 1 year). Myself and another mother volunteered to take the boys so that they would be able to go at all.


As for the "problem child," He lives in my neighborhood. At age 4 I found him wandering the streets, no parent in sight. We have been at school 3 years now. In pre-K, he had his own "time-out" chair. Every morning, outside the school, He and his sister are the first dropped off before the door even opens and they scream and fight over who will walk in first, Every morning! The teachers do their best to manage the situation. In Kindergarten, the teachers said that the boy is basically not being parented. His parents sign him up for everything so grandma and grandpa can dump him off on the rest of us. Most of us parents in our school/community have had it, but we don't want to blame the boy for the parents, so we tolerate him as best we can. It has gotten to the point where none of the other children will even play with him. I could go on and on, so after 3 years, I think its safe to say that I am not pre-judging, and am giving him the benefit of the doubt by even agreeing to let him in my car. I too, feel for this child and want to help him as much as I can, but I am not going to let him ruin the week for all the other boys.


I want to set up incentives for good behavior. I like the bead idea and the songs. I plan to have a cooler of drinks and snacks for the ride home. I think I am going to give all parents a copy of the camper code of conduct and require that they go over it with the child before the first day, both parent and child signing. I also have all of their cell phone numbers and I will let them know that I will not hesitate to call to have any trouble makers picked up -- ASAP!


When I was a girl scout, we had hat swaps and we made these leather keychain things with strips of leather. Do you think a 7 year old is too young to make one of those? I can buy the strips and help them get it started, but I don't want to be untangling knots all week long.


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