25 January 2017

Use Space Effectively
From outdoor areas to odd-sized and multi-use rooms, addressing challenges and adapting to what you are trying to accomplish is the key to effective space usage. Opportunities range from having campers work in teams to making the space smaller for a more intimate experience.

Consider the following when setting up programming space:

  • Know where the campers will be entering from and how they will enter.
  • Set focal points away from distractions, like doors, windows, and mirrors.
  • Contain open space with cones or place markers.
  • Plan out transitions (the movement from one part of the space to another) so they are quick and efficient.
  • Consider changing the lighting to be less harsh on the eyes, which helps establish a focal point.
  • Hang visuals where they can easily be viewed.
  • Decide early on if you will have campers in lines, a circle, or audience position.
  • Remove objects in the space that can create barriers or become distractions.

What to avoid:

  • Too much space during an activity can turn into a behavioral issue. Set boundaries that better fit the ideal space you need.
  • Having too many visual aids will require campers to focus on too many places. Aim for signage that evokes a sense of space without over inundating the senses.
  • De-clutter the room so campers can focus where you need them to.

Creating a theme that anchors a program to the overall camp mission, establishing rituals that help make a program a familiar part of tradition, setting realistic expectations based on a schedule, and building program space effectively will help ensure that a new program area at camp is built on a solid foundation for success. Remember to keep your perspective, make the most of every moment, and do the best you can!