The Birth of a Philosophy-Pt 1

It’s time to share my recommendations having to do with Teachers of pre-school through 3rdgrade.  This may take a few papers and we shall see what we shall see.

A reminder: In 1948 we opened a small Day Camp in LA. Just a few young, enthusiastic adults so we probably spent most of our time together discussing logistics not a philosophy to teach and live by.  But the camp exploded far beyond our expectations so we had to employ considerably more people and with this began to develop a practical philosophy having to do with purpose. In other words, did we have certain goals in mind, beyond simply playing games and teaching non-swimmers how to swim? And, by the way, ages of children, from as young as three to and including early teens.

We held monthly meetings throughout the winter with all staff in attendance and discussed our responsibilities to each child and what best way to meet children’s, parents and our expectations. The experiences I had in Chicago with our few children and their participation in selecting activities was our starting point to building a meaningful philosophical system. This proved not only unique, but successful. 

Worth emphasizing is the participation we asked from the campers. Not only did they all talk about activities as a group (max of 8 campers, a young adult leader and a teen-age assistant), but as a group made out their own plan for the day. No higher-up created a schedule for the day’s activities. If it required scheduling (eg, horseback riding) someone was assigned the task of going to the stable and establish time for lessons and horses. Very important is that they stayed together even if someone feared horses. If one or two chose not to ride they helped out at the stable while the group went out on the trail. So what took place within a group was talk and a deep understanding and respect for each other. Each day at camp they walked, talked, learned and played together. They became a tribe, a gang, but in a most positive way. The gift of Dialogue was given to each. None were excluded, were silent and participation made easy.As Leader & Role Model the counselor blended in until and when events dictated they take charge.  Sy

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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