Blog  Helping Staff Be the Best They Can Be

Helping Staff Be the Best They Can Be

by Solly Kane, OSRUI Director

In the weeks before camp there’s lots of activity … tents are going up, boats are coming out of storage, gardens are being planted, trees are being trimmed. And our summer staff members are going through intensive training to help them be the best madrichim (counselors), moomchim (specialists) and rashei eidot (unit heads) that they can be.

Our rashei eidot are responsible for leading one of the units at camp – Kallah, Tzofim, Moshavah, etc. They oversee the staff, programming, activities, and campers in each session in their unit. This week, in addition to learning about their campers, they are setting goals and learning how to be effective leaders with help from The Group Forward. They are also meeting with Rabbi Isaac Saposnik, a former OSRUI camper and staff member, who is currently executive director of Camp Havaya and Havaya Arts.

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik meets with the rashei eidot and senior staff.

In addition to lots of learning this week, our rashei eidot are planning for Staff Week when the tables will be turned, and they’ll be doing some of the teaching. Next week, we will welcome more than 200 staff members for a week of staff training – everything from managing homesickness to safety and CPR. In addition to learning from senior staff, our counselors and specialists will have the opportunity to hear from Pam Schuller, internationally known disability and mental health advocate, and to work with True to Life Training, which specializes in coaching camp staff members.

Our goal during these two weeks of training is to ensure that our staff is the best they can be, ready to help every camper have a wonderful experience at OSRUI.

Here’s more information on our guest speakers:

The Group Forward helps organizations build positive team dynamics, engaged learners, and caring communities. They believe strongly in inclusive participation, creating opportunities where everyone feels empowered and heard.

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik grew up at OSRUI, as a camper and staff member, and also served as NFTY-CAR advisor. He is currently executive director of Camp Havaya and Havaya Arts, which are affiliated with the Reconstructionist movement. He has a passion for creative and engaging Judaism.




Pamela Schuller is an internationally known disability and mental health advocate and professional stand-up comedian. She has spoken and performed for more than 25,000 kids, teens and adults. She teaches kids and teens to be proud of who they are, communities to be deeply inclusive, and teams to be innovative. She gets audiences of every age comfortable, laughing, and learning together through storytelling and humor.

The team from True to Life Training engages camp counselors, specialists, and supervisors in situations drawn from the day-to-day challenges of caring for campers or leading staff. These workshops use the talents of the True to Life actors and team leaders to create the most memorable learning and leadership training.