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A Bully Free Summer

Many of us think that bullying only happens in school or during recess, when actually bullying happens anytime and anywhere.  It can happen at bible camp, sports camp, scouting events and even in your own backyard. This is why as parents, neighbors, volunteers and camp counselors we should keep an eye out and speak up when a child is demonstrating aggressive, bullying behavior.

All camp counselors and volunteers should be properly trained to not only recognize bullying behavior but also understand the rules and policies.  They need to all be committed to reminding the campers and their parents what is expected and the discipline that will be enforced if they demonstrate aggressive bullying behavior.   (Richard Paul offers extensive bully prevention training for camp counselors and volunteers.)

Just like at school  there should be a set of rules  at camp that your child understands and that he and his friends know will be enforced if they  start bullying behavior.

“We are not doing children any favors when we rationalize their behavior as “just part of growing up”; when we “give them a break” on honestly-earned consequences we deprive them of the opportunity to learn effective and respectful ways of achieving their goals and meeting their needs.”  Taken from Bully Free Schools Resource Guide

 What constitutes bullying?

1)      Constant one sided teasing

2)      One sided pushing and punching

3)      A child trying to isolate another child from the group

4)      Texting mean things and fibs about another child

5)      Degrading and racist remarks

This also is true for camp counselors and volunteers, who like to joke around with the campers. They need to understand what appropriate playful fun is and what is bullying.

It’s no secret kids love summer vacation and we as adults want them to experience the same childhood memories we all hold dear to our hearts.  So this summer if you see a child being bullied speak up, enforce the camp or household rules.  Let the children know we’ve  got their back.

Copyright Richard Paul 2013

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