Okay, if you don’t know what chalkboard paint and whiteboard paint are, you really need to. They are awesome. And available pretty easily. Walmart even carries chalkboard paint. They have a ton of great uses, and are pretty cheap as well. Here are a few ways camps can use them to be more effective. One note: you probably shouldn’t try to implement all of these ideas. Just one or two. Maybe 3.
- Graffiti walls for campers. Campers graffiti. It’s just what happens. They want to leave their mark on camp, and there is probably no way to completely eliminate that (nor should we want really want to get rid of it all together). But having some spaces for campers to write and draw will reduce the overall graffiti on your campsite. And it’s fun.
- Labels for bins. Simple, but effective. Just paint a rectangle at the front of the bin. Keep chalk or a wet-erase marker nearby.
- Kitchen cupboards. Paint the whole thing, and use the space to either write what’s inside, or keep lists of what’s need, or to-do lists for summer kitchen workers. This should be whiteboard paint, because chalk will be too messy for your sanitary kitchen.
- Tabletops. Similar to the graffiti wall, this gives campers a place to write and draw. This is especially helpful if you have campers sitting at tables before or after meals ‘waiting’.
- Sign-up walls. Camps do sign ups for a lot of different things, and usually sign-up sheets are just pieces of paper attached to a clipboard. Boring. Boring! Do you have a wall at your camp that can be painted and used as the sign-up wall? You can easily create new sign-ups, get rid of old ones, and campers can see from a distance what’s there and how full things are. Solves many problems at once. And yes, campers can erase previous names, etc…but they can do that with plain-ol’ pen and paper, too.
- Cabin doors. This is a great place for your counselors to put a greeting to campers, along with their own name and camper names. It is one more chance for campers to feel like they belong without having to really make much of an effort.
- Carafes and coolers. Have lemonade and water, and campers are always asking which is which? They’re labelled, but the labels are old and incorrect now. Or someone put the lemonade in the water jug. Chalkboard paint on a cooler rids you of this problem. Just label the cooler after you put the beverage in. Easy, peasy.
- Outdoor rotating/changing activity signs. Does your camp do a lot of transition? Have some activities available one day, others the next? Or you have people rotate by cabin groups and people ask a hundred times if they’re in the right place? Consider putting up some whiteboard signs. The signs themselves can be basically whether proof, but you can easily change what activity they indicate or which group.
- Cabin rule walls. Many camps allow campers to help create cabin expectations together. Putting the expectations up on the wall in big letters can help campers to remember them and make the task of creating them more fun.
- Labelling canteen goods. Camp stores vary greatly, but the have a few things in common. They all have products that need to be priced, and change their layout too often. Try using whiteboard paint to mark prices on products. Then, if you change the layout of your store, or add a new product in place of an old one, you can easily change things.