Home' Schools Directory : 2012 Contents However, taming the
negatives and encouraging
the positives isn’t that hard...
all it takes is a little forward
thinking, some fun games and
activities and lots of support.
TAMING NEGATIVE BEHAVIOUR
Ryan is the class clown. He’s generally a
sunny-natured boy, but his high-spirited
behaviour on camp is starting to seriously
annoy other students and disrupt camp
activities. Yesterday, he disrupted game
time with his silly behaviour, and today his
constant teasing is causing upset amongst
the girls. How do you handle the situation,
get Ryan’s behaviour back on track and
keep camp spirits high?
Behaviour management on camp is a
delicate balancing act. On the one hand
you want to ensure camp is a happy
and positive experience for all involved.
On the other hand, for the safety and
wellbeing of all students, you need to
ensure that camp rules are followed and
that students listen and adhere to your
The relaxed and informal atmosphere
of camp is an ideal environment for
looking at the bigger picture of student
behaviour, and helping kids to develop
improved social skills and emotional
intelligence. The key is to help children
understand their behaviour and
emotions – and their effect on others.
Teachers and caregivers can help
students understand and acknowledge
the reasons behind negative behaviors
and work with them to develop more
socially acceptable ways to interact.
Communication is key to this process.
‘Guiding’ questions such as: What
happened? What were you trying to
achieve? What are some other choices
you could have made? How can we
improve the situation in the future?’
can go a long way to helping students
understand how their behaviour is linked
to the present outcome – and how they
can create more positive outcomes in the
Once the student has accepted
their responsibility in the situation,
conversation can turn to appropriate
restitution and more positive choices in
Sarah has always been a quiet little girl,
but she’s quieter than usual on camp.
Yesterday, when all the other students
were playing a game in the camp open
room, Sarah sat on her own, hugging the
soft toy bunny she brought from home.
She tells you she’s missing her mum and
Homesickness is a common occurrence
on camp, particularly among younger
campers or ‘first-timers’. Teachers and
caregivers are the front line defence for
helping students cope through periods of
homesickness, and to help them get back
on track to enjoying the camp experience.
The following tips are designed to help
teachers get kids started on the right
foot at camp, and to recognise, support
and reassure those students who may be
experiencing pangs of homesickness.
> At the beginning of camp, run a
‘housekeeping’ session to let students
know the rules of camp. Having a
structured camp can ease anxieties kids
might have around bedtime, meals and
> A sense of belonging and familiarity is
important for any child, but particularly
on camp. If your camp involves a couple
of classes, or you have some new
children on board, play a ‘get to know
you’ game on Day 1 of camp.
> Post a schedule of day-to-day camp
activities on a general noticeboard in a
commonly used camp area, such as the
camp kitchen or get-together area. Kids
are less likely to miss home if they’re
busy – and have lots of interesting
activities to look forward to.
> Talk openly about any anxieties, fears
or concerns kids might have, including
homesickness, or worries about the
dark. It takes away any embarrassment
students might have, and gives them
reassurance they can come to you for
comfort and support.
Grace is usually a carefree little girl,
but her behaviour on camp is very out
of character. She seems anxious and
moody and has been complaining of
vague headaches and tummy aches.
She takes ages to settle at night and
seems withdrawn during the day. She
won’t confide what is bothering her, but
you suspect Grace is being bullied by a
stronger girl in her social group.
Bullying is never nice, but it can be
particularly painful for children on school
camp when they are isolated from their
Successful bullying prevention requires
education, preparation, and teamwork.
Creating positive relationships is one
of the keys to bullying prevention, and
this is where teachers and caregivers on
camp can play a key role in creating the
type of environment that discourages
> At the start of camp, or even before
you leave, get students to help you
put together some ‘camp rules’ that
promote respect and discourage
bullying. Post the rules clearly in the
kitchen, living room and sleeping areas.
> Develop a ‘buddy system’ on camp
where students ‘look out’ for each other.
> Use relaxed free time, such as sitting
around the campfire, to discuss
bullying. Teachers can give examples
of the type of behaviours that could
constitute bullying. This is also an
ideal opportunity to talk about the
importance of reporting any incidents
of bullying, and what students can do
to prevent it.
> Use role-playing activities to encourage
students to explore different forms
of bullying, and how they can be
addressed. Encourage students to
discuss each situation, and how the
victim or those around them could
have intervened in a positive way and
perhaps changed the outcome.
> If you suspect bullying behaviour, be on
extra alert during supervision of free
times, bathroom time and meal times
> Supervise the assignment of ‘teams,’
particularly sporting teams, to ensure
each team has a good cross-section of
personalities and abilities, and that less
sporty kids are not made to feel left out.
Poor behaviour, homesickness and
bullying may be a part of everyday life,
but they’re less likely to occur at camp
if students, teachers and caregivers
feel connected and responsible for
one another. By developing positive
relationships, and encouraging games
and activities that allow students to
voice any concerns they may have, camp
can play a major role in encouraging and
reinforcing positive behaviours.
Australian Directory of School Activities, Excursions and Accommodation 2012 ➔ www.schoolactivities.com.au
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