Mental Health & Behavior

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” — James Baldwin

Workshops on Mental Health & Behavior

This category offers a range of sessions focused on nurturing youth to become their best selves. To search for a keyword on this page, press Ctrl + F on your keyboard. To search the entire CampSpirit website, use the search bar in the upper right corner of this page. To discuss workshop customization, propose new content or book an event, please contact Dr. Thurber directly or call (603) 557-8100.

Workshops on Mental Health & Behavior

Title Description
All Over the Place: Helping Campers with ADD/ADHD Diagnosis or not, the symptoms of impulsivity and distractibility are so prevalent in children that every youth development professional needs these tools. This workshop dispels the myths about attention deficits and provides clear behavior management strategies that staff can use immediately.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Camper Mental Health Camp professionals deserve practical information about youth mental health. To complement workshops on specific illnesses and injuries, this revealing workshop provides guidelines for boosting campers’ resiliency, gathering information from parents, managing mental health crises, assessing a camper’s mental health, and consulting with a professional. By frontloading coping skills, liaising with adults, fine-tuning your program, and defining its limits, you can maximize camper mental health.
Classic Problem Solving: Using Options and Evaluation to Promote Group Consensus Classic problem solving is a powerful way to use the group’s wisdom to find a solution that works for everyone. In this insightful workshop, staff will learn the step-by-step approach successful leaders use to solve all sorts of common problems. None of your staff should be without this fundamental conflict resolution toolkit. Far superior to blaming and shaming.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Collaborative Problem Solving Extend your skills beyond the old-fashioned problem-solving rubric of identification, brainstorming, and trial-and-error. Because this outdated method neglects genuine empathy and identification of needs, it can backfire or escalate conflict. This workshop draws on new research that gives staff powerful tools to identify needs, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts durably.
Coping with the Death of a Camper This individualized crisis management workshop for directors is an off-season must. Chris will work with you one-on-one to be sure that you know how to support families, campers, and staff should a tragedy occur at camp. The workshop also includes free information from media relations and insurance professionals.
Homesickness Treatment I: Evidence-Based Practices for Campers and Staff Homesick feelings are normal, but did you know that one in five campers is so bothered by homesickness that it interferes with their enjoyment of camp? Let it go and it can wreak havoc on a whole bunk. Create a confident staff by arming them with treatment strategies that work so that every camper gets the most out of camp.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Homesickness Treatment II: The Ethics and Logistics of Shortened Stays Occasionally a case of homesickness is so severe and so chronic that the only ethical thing to do is arrange a shortened stay for a child. Exercising this option, after thoroughly exploring all other treatment plans, is complex. Learn a systematic approach that leaves campers confident and eager to return next summer.
I’ll Knock Your Teeth Out: Understanding and Preventing Bullying Bullying behavior is both prevalent and misunderstood. Did you know that most bullies actually have high self-esteem? Or that most bullies are themselves also targets? Using contemporary data and original documentary footage shot at camps, this workshop will enlighten your staff and help bully-proof your camp.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Listening to the Bright Red Scream: Understanding and Preventing Cutting Self-mutilatory behavior is provocative, taboo, and on the rise at camps and schools across the country. Learn how this disturbing behavior develops, how to assess its dangers, and how to respond sensitively. Instead of having staff panic when they witness cutting for the first time, prepare them for the inevitable.
No More S’mores: Understanding and Preventing Disordered Eating Symptoms of disordered eating often emerge in boys and girls who are away from home for the first time. The symptoms can even become socially contagious. Sadly, any feelings of order, control, and self-reliance are overshadowed by malnutrition, depression, and anxiety. This workshop focuses on the prevention and recognition of disordered eating.
Out of the Shell: Helping the Anxious or Hypersensitive Child Too timid to try? Sheltered, shaking, or shy? Here are the best strategies for engaging cooperation, coaxing participation, and moving the anxious or hypersensitive child out of their comfort zone a gentle step at a time. No more tears and fears…just lots of smiles, laughs, and newfound confidence.
Mental Health Crises in Context If a young person in your program felt suicidal, engaged in cutting, became psychotic or appeared to be in psychological crisis, would you know what to do? This advanced workshop guides you through the ethical and clinical decisions behind handling mental health crises in setting of camp or summer school.
Psychotropic Medications: Drug Holidays, Side Effects, and Other Pharmacological Nightmares Psychiatric medication management presents unique challenges at camp. Participants in this intriguing workshop will get facts about how common psych meds work, what their side effects are, how to effectively communicate with parents and prescribers, and which policies work for medication administration. A must-see session for anyone with campers on psychotropic medications, such as stimulants, anti-depressants, and mood stabilizers.
Skillful Discipline, Part I: Creative Behavior Management and Alternatives to Punishment The biggest concern that every new camp staff has is that the children won’t listen and follow directions. No wonder! If the campers aren’t compliant, their job gets pretty tough. This innovative workshop teaches staff the six prevention strategies they can use to promote good behavior. Then, they’ll learn six easy behavior management strategies to use for any misbehavior.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Skillful Discipline, Part II: Even More Creative Ways to Manage Behavior Seven more prevention strategies and seven more intervention strategies make this hugely helpful workshop the perfect companion to “Skillful Discipline, Part I.” Give your staff the tools they need to succeed with even the most obstinate children. The better prepared they are, the less likely they are to burn out mid-season.
Stop Yelling: Get the HINT If you’re not careful, some of your campers’ minor, annoying misbehaviors can get under your skin and turn you into a world-class grouch. This inventive workshop provides easy alternatives to yelling and other energy-draining reactions. HINT stands for High Impact Nominally Taxing leadership. Here are seven effortless approaches to shaping children’s positive behavior.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Suicidality: Guidelines for Assessment Suicidal thoughts, emotions and behaviors can be difficult to predict and uncomfortable to discuss. However, because completed suicides are permanent and devastating, educators and youth leaders share a responsibility to assess youth who may be at risk. Learn four sensitive practices that could save a life.
The Power of Positive Psychology: Authentic Happiness for Campers and Staff News Flash! Psychologists no longer focus narrowly on pathology and problems…and neither should your staff. Instead, the focus is on positive psychology, which emphasizes personal strengths and optimal experiences. “Problem” children and staff evolve into model campers and leaders when they tap into their signature strengths and engage in truly gratifying activities.

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