Michael: Hello, my name is Michael Stairs. I’m talking today about Tulsa summer camps, specifically about Camp Loughridge. I am the Summer Camp Director at Camp Loughridge. Camp Loughridge is a day camp here in Tulsa, just a few miles west of Tulsa Hills on West 41st. I’m sorry, West 71st, up on top of the hill, past the Oaks Country Club. Summer Day Camps go for kids six years old, all the way up to 12 years old. Wedding Venues Tulsa
Kids who are interested in being on staff; we begin hiring kids who are as young as 16, all the way up through the twenties, for our summer staff position. As you can see, we have a gap for the years 13, 14 and 15, where in the past we haven’t offered any programming for those kids.
We are starting something new this summer that I want to tell you about. I think that most or a lot of Tulsa Summer Camps have leadership programs for some young teenagers and sometimes older teenagers and that’s what we’ve done at Camp Loughridge. We’ve set up a leadership training program for these gap years of 13 through 15 years old. Wedding Venues Tulsa
This is an important part; any Tulsa Summer Camp is a great place for kids to try on leadership, in much the same way as they would try on a shirt or a pair of pants. They can try on leadership and see what it feels like, as you know some kids are born leaders, they will always rise to the top. But leadership is also an acquired skill. Some people find themselves in leadership positions and have had to learn how to lead.
We want to take these kids who are 13, 14 and 15 years old and give them a leg up and what it means to be a strong leader. It’s called Loughridge CREW and if you think of a crew that’s not just a group of people but actually a group of people in a rowboat. Not just a rowboat but a racing skiff, actually all pulling on their own or with the combined goal of winning a race. I think that’s a great mental image of leadership and of what Camp Loughridge is all about.
I will have to say that, of all the Tulsa Summer Camps, Camps Loughridge does the finest job at this kind of leadership training. Of course I know I’m biased but that’s the way I believe. The CREW program at Camp Loughridge really focuses on the four key ingredients or what I feel like are the four key ingredients to quality leadership. It follows the letters C-R-E-W for crew. The C of course stands for Character. Who are you when no one else is around? Character is critical in strong leadership. Wedding Venues Tulsa
The next, a letter R is for responsibilities. Are you going to do what you said you’re going to do? This is a critical part of leadership and a critical part of growing up. There comes a time when you’re going to be evaluated by-did you follow through? Did you do the things you were asked to do? That’s what being responsible is all about. It’s much more than “I told you to take out the trash” and “I need you to do that” but it actually goes much deeper than all of these leadership traits.
Then E, E stands for you have to be equipped. I believe that you have to be equipped with; not just information. Information is important because we can’t make quality decisions unless we’re armed and equipped with the right kind of information. But we also have to be equipped with the skills that it takes to lead. Some of these skills are born in, there are born leaders. Wedding Venues Tulsa
But there are also great leaders in this world who have had to learn those skills. That takes practice and that’s what this is all about. Camp is a great laboratory for leadership. It’s a great place for kids to try on leadership. Part of this CREW program is counseling and evaluation, trial-and-error, giving it a shot, seeing what happens and then evaluating on the back end whether it worked or not. Wedding Venues Tulsa
The W is for wisdom. Wisdom is applied knowledge. It’s not so much having the information or having the knowledge but what do you do with that? How do you apply that to the situation that you’re in? These are the four key ingredients that we really try to drive home with these 13, 14 and 15 year olds. The CREW program is really set up to be one of the finest of any Tulsa Summer Camp. It’s set up with equal parts, camp experience, service and leadership training. Let me tell you what I mean by that.
They’ll have their opportunity to be in a tribe, with a counselor and with campers. They’ll have an opportunity to be a camper. Just to hang out with the tribe and be a part of camp. They’ll get the opportunity to do some of the activities, to be with a counselor. The counselor will actually be trained on how to manage their crew, things that it’s appropriate to delegate to the crew and things that it’s not. So that the crew members in each tribe get to feel what it’s like to be a counselor.
They’ll also have service opportunities. At every day, we serve lunch at Camp. Nutritious lunch and so there are setup chores that have to happen every day. There’s cleanup chores that have to happen every day. A lot of the service will rotate around lunch for the crew members. The kingdom of God — Jesus said that if you want to be great in the kingdom, you have to learn to be servant of all.
We are strong believers in servant leadership. As leaders we don’t delegate stuff we don’t want to do but rather we lead into the stuff that needs to be done. We lead by example, we’re going to teach the importance of humility and going low and being willing to do whatever it takes.
Finally, we’re going to have at least one class a day, which actually is going to be like a classroom sitting at a table, taking notes on leadership training. We are making plans right now to do everything from some personality testing, through working with strengths finder to develop or to determine strengths and personality type. Wedding Venues Tulsa
We’ll explore what kind of personalities tend to rub on each other? Which ones tend to get along better and why that is? These kids, 13, 14 and 15 year olds will all be exposed to that level of training. The unexpected or the benefit of this is it’s like a farm system where we are kind of raising up our own counselor. When a young person does turn 16, they will be eligible to apply for summer staff position.
We have four sessions for two weeks session for the Loughridge CREW. Each session is two weeks long. This is probably similar to other Tulsa Summer Camps but ours is unique because it is a day camp program. Kids can participate, they can work at camp but they get to come home every night and spend the night in their own bed.
The cost is a $150 per camper or per crew member and that’s for a two-week session. Registration is going to begin in just a few days, in the first part of December. If you’re listening to this, after that you can register now. You can go to camploughridge.org for more information or you can call (918)446-4194 and talk to Linda for more information, that’s (918)446-4194.
Leadership opportunity for young teenagers to gain confidence, to gain knowledge and wisdom, and to learn how to be leaders. What a great step up, as they begin their high school career. This has been Michael Stairs on the Summer Camp Director at Camp Loughridge one of Tulsa Summer Camps. Thank you very much.