That should really say what are you going to do at camp WHEN it rains. Because it’s America, and it’s summer, so you are going to have some of the craziest (and most awesome) storms you’ve ever seen.
So while the majority of your days at camp will be spent outside in the sunshine, teaching tennis or swimming, or whatever else you’ve been employed to do, there will be times when the clouds will descend and your entire camp will essentially turn into one massive puddle (or river, if your camp is on a hill, like mine).
And what are you going to do when you can no longer teach your activity that can really only run in an outdoor setting? You are going to put your thinking cap on and get inventive, that’s what. If working at summer camp teaches you nothing else, you will learn that you need to always have a back up plan tucked away up your sleeve for those rainy days when you suddenly can’t do what you’d planned to do.
This is where your rainy-day plans come in. If you’re going to be teaching something that is always held inside, then you’re one of the lucky ones that this probably doesn’t apply to (although it never hurts to have some extra ideas), but if you are going to be teaching sports, or swimming, or water-skiing, or any of the multitude of outdoor activities that go on at summer camps, then it’s time to start planning for lessons that you can do inside.
The main thing about rainy-day plans is that they need to actually still have something to do with your original lesson plan – it’s not just about finding something random for the kids to do for an hour, it’s about still giving them the same experience that they would have had if it wasn’t raining, just in a different way.
For example, you’re teaching golf but it’s bucketing down outside, so you go to the pavilion instead and set up a mini golf course using benches and cones and whatever else you can find. This way, the kids are still engaged in the activity they signed up for and are still working on their skills, but aren’t getting totally soaked doing it.
Or your tennis lesson gets rained out but you want the kids to practice actually hitting a ball back and forth so you go to the dining hall, push some tables together, get a net, and play ping pong instead…tennis, but on a smaller scale!
Another good example is if you are teaching horse-riding, but the ring is totally sodden and muddy – take the kids into the barn and teach them some barn management. Get them to practice mucking out, grooming the horses, or putting on the saddles. You could even get some horse nail polish and add a bit of sparkle to their horsey lives.
So you see, the fun doesn’t stop just because of a little bit of rain – it’s up to you to come up with new and exciting ways to get your lesson plan across in a different (dry-er) setting.
What other awesome ideas have you had for rainy days at summer camp?