Managing Communications

Principles for the Camp Guide:
Questions and Answers

Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Clarity with few words is a practiced art. Your body language will be telling on-lookers your feelings. Use all manner of tools to put across your intentions: verbal, written, illustrated, authorized and endorsed by another. You are being interpreted by minds that may not have a clue as to what you are intending to communicate. Be persistent and patient. Take the effort to utilize repetition and review, always with the other in mind. Say it with a smile and a tone of empathy.

Managing Communications 1)

Q: How do your greet your explorer?

A: Wholeheartedly!

As a musician would tune an instrument before a concert, so you as guide must create the tone of relationship expected at camp.

Seven’s: The first seven steps toward your explorer; The first seconds with your explorer; The first seven words spoken in greeting to your explorer… maybe the most important acts of the entire camp to communicate your willingness to build great camaraderie.  

Go beyond a general, normal greeting. Stand up. Smile. Give eye contact. Move with the intent of openness, not forced, but caring. Use first names. Do, with the highest etiquette, whatever is appropriate for the setting. Give such a greeting that the explorer feels accepted, acknowledged, recognized, unique, special, because your explorer is, in fact, all of those things. If you believe that, your explorer will too.

    Like apples of gold in settings of silver
Is a word spoken at the right time.

    A Proverb of Solomon (Proverbs 25:11 Amp)

Managing Communications 2)

Q: How are we to encourage?

A: Encourage character.

With a bit of thought we say thank you. “Thank you.” With more consideration we recognize a benefit of a task. “Thank you for the glass of water.” More engaged, we might say thank you and why. “Thank you for the glass of water. I was very thirsty.” Yet with even more cognitive energy we can separate the task done from a character trait that could have been the cause of the act. “Thank you for the glass of water. I was very thirsty. That was very observant and thoughtful of you.”

In the last act of praise we are lifting up the skill (observant) and suggesting the motivating character piece (thoughtfulness). Of course we don’t know for sure the actual motivation but we have for sure praised the individual in that direction.

When we encourage the development of character, the outflow of that attribute can express itself in infinite and rich ways. We don’t want only water carriers when there is potential for a civil engineer that builds dams to control flood waters and creates irrigation supply for growing food that will feed multitudes. Thoughtfulness is powerful. Recognizing thoughtfulness is powerful.

Managing Communications 3)

Q: Can “truth” be boring?

A: Yes. But never let it be because of you!

It is the personality that the truth is dressed in that people are looking at. If you are boring, the truth will likely be perceived as boring.

What makes the situation boring, trite, dull, uncreative, common or repetitive? Two thoughts: 1) Not knowing your audience, and 2) Not investing in the process to communicate in the very best possible manner.

What makes a situation interesting, noteworthy, exciting, compelling? A need is being met. The timing is correct.

Speaking truth and being (behaving) truthful is your responsibility. So is the manner in which you communicate your responsibility. Speak smart.

Students are in classes they didn’t ask to attend. People are in church listening to sermons they didn’t request. Kids are at camp who didn’t want to come. It is your job and your responsibility to learn who the people are who have to listen to you. And it is your job and your responsibility to make the effort to earn the attention and respect worthy of a message of truth.

Apply yourself to daily study. Discipline yourself in the pursuit of godly fear and godly wisdom. Give time to getting to know your explorers. You can ask God, in prayer, to reveal heart felt needs. Plead with God to give you favor in your presentations, both formal and informal.

In 1998, when speaking to a philosophically hostel audience of rich and powerful people, a world famous preacher, a guest there, took a significant part of his allotted time, humbly, to get the crowd to laugh with him and at him by telling humorous stories that poked fun at himself. The result was that the people listened and heard the gospel. The genius presentation based on meticulous preparation and a firm understanding of his audience gave him the one opportunity to communicate truth to the more than two million people who have viewed the conference.

Managing Communications 4)

Q: What self-benefiting emotion is explorer-contagious?

A: Enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm can make or break an activity. The explorers will not, on their own judgement, want to do all activities at camp. However, activities the explorers want to do are often determined by how the guide portrays each activity.

Note: Consider it your job to display enthusiasm, even if you don’t feel enthusiastic. Why? Because it is about the explorers, not you.

PS: Actually most emotions (and values, morals…) of the guide are going to be mirrored to some degree by explorers.
Enthusiasm is fueled by an all-in, risk aside, committed posture. Expressing enthusiasm is expressing endorsement, passion, and commitment. Enthusiasm is audacious and outrageous. Enthusiasm is inviting and commanding because it is naked belief.

...but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:22b-24 New American Standard Bible

Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,
Amplified Bible

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men,
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people,
NET Bible

Enthusiasm tramples over prejudice and opposition, spurns inaction, storms the citadel of its object and, like an avalanche, overwhelms and engulfs all obstacles.
— Og Mandino

Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Enthusiasm signifies 'God in us.'
— Madame de Stael

If you can give your child only one gift, let it be enthusiasm.
— Bruce Barton

If you want to be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic.
— Dale Carnegie

There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
— Nelson Mandela

Your enthusiasm will be infectious, stimulating and attractive to others. They will love you for it. They will go for you and with you.
— Norman Vincent Peale

Every man is enthusiastic at times. One man has enthusiasm for thirty minutes - another for thirty days, but it is the man who has it for thirty years who makes a success of his life.
— Edward B. Butler

Managing Communications 5)

Q: What is an important tool we all possess for developing relationships?

A: The tool of listening.

Use listening to learn about the other person. Use listening to show you care. Two ears, one mouth. Do more listening.

Listening to others. Provide others lots of opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and inner conflicts. It can be very healing for the other, especially if the listener is “listening in prayer”.  

It is important that the listener seek to set aside their inner conversation and focus on the precious person in front of them who is often ready to pour out their heart in a safe, loving environment.

A useful manner to listen is to...... “stop talking.”  Give eye contact if the other person is comfortable with eye contact. Provide a silent space and time for the person to open their mouth and open their heart. Don't interrupt. Listen.

Before commenting, ask the person if they have more to say. And, listen some more. When the person is ready for loving feedback.... and/or prayer, they will signal you or say so.

Listening makes way for healing: Respectful listening with "no pressure" is freeing for the speaker and gives God a chance to enter in. Often during this process, listeners have sensed the touch of the Holy Spirit in these special moments. We just have to get out of the way and let the healing take place.
– Anonymous


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