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Staff Training
Staff Training is an integral part of preparing the staff to create the safe and caring atmosphere that makes Sandy Hill such a special place. There are two sessions of staff training. Many staff attend one of the "Specialty Training" sessions (Waterfront, Ropes, Equestrian) depending on your specific skills and staff position. All staff must attend the "All-Staff Training" week from June 13-20.
Waterfront Training
For staff members with skills in boating, the intense 8-day Waterfront Training is held here at camp from June 8th to 15th and is divided into three sections:
  • Introduction to the Sandy Hill Waterfront
  • Red Cross Lifeguard Training
  • Certification in either sailing, canoeing, or waterskiing/boat-driving
  • Waterfront Training begins by exposing the staff to all aspects of the Sandy Hill waterfront. By familiarizing all staff with the basics of each part of the waterfront, you will learn how to assist with activities, emergencies, and care of the equipment and facilities. Staff typically rotate through stations that involve proper technique and safety for canoeing, sailing, basic boat driving, boat maintenance, rescue skills, knot-tying, and more.

    Part 2 of the Waterfront Training week is lifeguard training by the American Red Cross. The pre-requisites to become a lifeguard include a 500 meter swim (200m freestyle, 200m breaststroke, 100m freestyle or breaststroke) and retrieving a weighted object from the bottom of the deep end. Some staff only do the lifeguard portion of the Waterfront Training week, while most continue on to the remaining section.

    Finally, staff members earn their certification in one of three tracks - canoeing, sailing, or waterski/boat-driving. Canoers are certified as Instructors by the American Canoe Association. Sailors are certified by the US Sailing Association. And waterski folks are certified as Level 1 Instructors by WaterskiWorks.

    Before your arrival at camp, all sailors and boat-drivers must complete the 3.5 hour online Maryland Boat Operator's course. The course and practice exams are free. You will take the actual exam when you arrive to camp, and Sandy Hill will cover the fee when you pass. To learn more about and begin this online certification, go to www.boat-ed.com/Maryland.

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    Ropes Training
    Sandy Hill has an outstanding high and low challenge course. From June 8th to 15th, staff attending Ropes Training will learn about safety, setup, equipment care, emergency procedures, rescues, climbing techniques, knots, and more. You'll also get to practice both as a participant and a facilitator on each other and on some camp-age kids under the supervision of trained Ropes Staff. Staff who successfully complete the final written and hands-on exams will be certified to operate all or portions of the ropes course. We have a lot of fun getting to know each other through it all too!

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    Equestrian Training
    Equestrian trained staff are expected to already be very familiar with riding and horse care. Equestrian Training week offers the chance to get familiar with Sandy Hill horses, procedures, equipment, and facilities. Our 23 horses are leased for the summer (approximately 2/3 of our horses will be returning from last summer) and they arrive on the first full day of the week of training. Much time is devoted to riding the newly arrived horses and getting them ready for camp.

    Equestrian training is from June 8th to 15th and includes instructor certification by CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association).

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    International Cooking and Crafts Training
    Counselors not already in waterfront, ropes, or equestrian training may be invited to participate in the International Cooking (aka "iCook") and Crafts training session from June 14th to 16th. In addition to safety training, counselors prepare all of the menus for International Cooking class and Sweet Tooth elective, and they create many of the sample crafts made in Crafts class and Free Time crafts. It is also a great way to get to know some of your fellow staff members before All-Staff training begins.

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    Kitchen and Support Staff Training
    For all Assistant Counselors, Kitchen Counselors and Support Staff, Pre-Training provides an opportunity for staff members to begin to get to know one another and get familiar with the Sandy Hill campus before the formal All-Staff Training week begins. This 24-hour training is chock full of "get-to-know-you" activities, as well as some specific training sessions. Assistant Counselor's and Kitchen Counselors will receive basic food-service training at this time and an orientation to the camp kitchen equipment and procedures.

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    All-Staff Training
    This is the week of required staff training that covers a variety of topics. Learn about issues including emergency procedures, first aid, behavior management, effective teaching methods, learning disabilities, the camp schedule, and camper health and hygiene. Staff training is also a lot of fun as you meet and begin relationships with the rest of our great staff. For those interested, archery certification is also available during this week. All-Staff Training week from June 15-23 is mandatory for all Counselors, Support, and Leadership Staff.

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