Getting Ready for Annual Conference 2018: CRM Staff to again provide childcare for Annual Conference
March 27, 2018 / By David Wood, Program Director, Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center
Childcare at this year’s Annual Conference will be provided by staff members of Camp & Retreat Ministries (CRM) for the seventh consecutive year. Staff involved in childcare are a combination of year-round and seasonal CRM employees who have served at least one full season at one of Upper New York’s Camp & Retreat Centers. CRM staff are trained to handle a wide variety of topics when it comes to working with children, including behavior management, social development, leading age-appropriate activities, responding to children’s needs, and procedures for emergency situations. All CRM staff involved with childcare have undergone at least two weeks of intensive training, and have six or more weeks experience in a residential camp environment, providing 24-hour custodial care to groups of 6-8 children.
Childcare sessions at Annual Conference are intentionally designed to be more than just daycare. Each day is structured in a way that provides a variety of activities for children of all ages and allows for the needs of each child to be met. Mornings are structured time that may involve group games, crafts, board games and card games, songs and riddles, and interactive play (such as Legos and blocks, or various make-believe scenarios driven by the children’s interests).
Afternoons are structured to provide children with a bit of down time, and a chance to nap for those who would like. As Annual Conference days can be quite long, this time is important to allow children a time to rest and renew themselves for the rest of the day. Children who choose not to nap during this time have the option to engage in quiet group or individual play with our staff or watch an age-appropriate movie no longer than 1.5-2 hours. After this time, an afternoon snack is served, and structured activities fill the remaining time until dinner. After dinner, the number of children can vary greatly and thus staff will either play some group games or give the kids time playing active games on the Wii like Just Dance or Wii Sports.
Childcare this year will be offered Wednesday, May 30 in the evening for clergy and laity sessions. Childcare will be available all day on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1. It will open approximately 20 minutes prior to the start of each session, and parents will need to pick up their children for all meals. Childcare is also available on Saturday, June 2 until the end of the Ordination Service.
Parents must sign their children in and out, and photo ID and prior written approval will be needed to sign a child out from childcare. Parents are encouraged to take time to talk with our staff prior to signing their children in, and are welcome to leave us with anything their children may need throughout the day.