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Course Description: The Center for Disease Control reports that 64% of individuals experience one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) before reaching 18 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). When ACA reaches their goal of serving 20 million campers in 2020, they’ll be providing care for 12.8 million children impacted by trauma. This course will explore how trauma-informed care can be approached within a camping context, and offer practical solutions, techniques, and approaches for youth development and camping professionals. These tools will empower leaders at camp to care for youth who have faced adversity and to adequately equip and train their staff to do the same.

Course Objectives: By the end of this course, participants will:

1.     Understand the ways trauma impacts the children they serve;
2.     Learn how trauma-informed care in a camp setting is a distinct approach that can benefit all camps;
3.     Gain practical solutions, techniques, and approaches – including stories and tangible takeaways – to care for campers who have faced adversity;
4.     Take away important considerations for camp leadership and staff when creating and implementing schedules, activities, and camp traditions – all from the lens of trauma-informed care in a camp setting.

Training Length: Approximately 75 minutes

Your Instructor:

John Hamilton is the Director of Camp HOPE America. He collaborates with the Camp HOPE America team, human services organizations, and camps or conference centers to bring a Hope-filled experience to campers around the country. John works with experts in several industries, learning from their perspectives, and working to bridge the gap between the camp industry and social work field to incorporate trauma-informed care in the camp setting. John holds a master’s degree from Western Seminary, where he focused on leadership, social justice, and hospitality. He specializes in forging unlikely partnerships, developing unified teams, and moving people from theory into practice. John and his wife, Lana, live in San Diego with their four daughters, Sadie, Kallan, Eleanor, and Wren.

Course Curriculum: 

Lesson 1: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care in a Camp Setting (20-25 minutes)

Lesson Overview:

1. Pre-Course Self-Inventory
2. Introduction
3. Adverse Childhood Experiences and Childhood Trauma
4. Trauma-Informed Care in a Camp Setting
5. Schedule and Overall Considerations

Lesson 2: Morning Schedule (13 minutes)

Lesson Overview:

1. Rise and Shine
2. Breakfast
3. Challenge by Choice Activities and Rotations
4. Trauma Responses and Types of Stress

Lesson 3: Case Scenario Learning Check (10-15 minutes)

Lesson Overview:

1. Case Scenario Video
2. Quiz on Case Scenario

Lesson 4: Afternoon Schedule (5 minutes)

Lesson Overview:

1. Lunch Time
2. Waterfront and Free Time

Lesson 5: Shower Time and Case Scenario Learning Check (10-15 minutes)

Lesson Overview:

1. Video
2. Case Scenario Video
3. Quiz on Case Scenario

Lesson 6: Evening Schedule (9 minutes)

Lesson Overview:

1. Dinner
2. All Camp Games
3. Night Time Routine and Lights Out

Lesson 7: Conclusion and Self-Inventory (5-10 minutes)

Lesson Overview:

1. Moving Forward and Setting Goals
2. Post-Course Self Inventory