Help Guide for Those Annoying Disagreements
It is common knowledge that if you spend a lot of time with someone arguments might happen. Let’s be honest, we have all been there; like a dynamic between siblings or university housemates. Being at summer camp is no different. You are living and working in the same space with your peers all whilst being in an intense, high energy environment where emotions are on full display.
Here are my tips to help you guide your way through a disagreement/argument whilst at summer camp.
Do not gossip about the conflict
This one could be hard, as I have found that summer camps are like reality TV. Because you are confined to the property, everybody knows everything about everyone. All I would suggest is, do not add fuel to the fire. If you hear anything shut it down and let the people involved hash it out.
Address the conflict sooner rather than later
This tip is self-explanatory but do not let the situation simmer. I find it is best to get ahead of the disagreement rather than letting it build steam.
Know if/when you need a mediator
Not every argument will need a mediator. I like to do the ‘try once and see if you can make any headway’. If not, go to your unit head/supervisor and ask them for their support. Always know who you can go to in times like these.
Be comfortable in conversation
Find a meeting spot for the conversation. It could be in a quiet area to sit face-to-face, down by the lake watching the sunset, or even during a stroll. Whatever you decide, make sure everyone involved is comfortable.
Keep an open mind and listen
This is definitely where my top tip comes in. Listen to understand, do not listen to respond. Listen to how and why they are feeling the way they feel. Have an open mind about their side of the story. You might not necessarily agree with them, but it might help you understand where they are coming from.
Stay calm when it is your turn to speak
If you get emotional or overwhelmed during discussions of this nature (like me), it is very important to focus on staying calm and keeping your cool. I like to bring some notes in with me so I do not get sidetracked and I cover what I want to say.
Try not to blame anyone
When you imply blame, it discourages anyone from wanting to cooperate or come to a reasonable solution. There are ways to ask questions without any blame like: ‘How did it happen?’ or ‘Help me to understand’ perhaps try forming questions in this way to open up perspective.
If you need them (and fingers crossed you don’t), I hope these steps help you through that little hiccup on your exciting adventure.