Once upon a time, lonely campers could only rely on a weekly mail call and the occasional long-distance phone call to break the solitude. Parents and campers alike had to communicate through the Camp Director - a nice, traditional command and control communication system.
Obviously, times have changed. There are fewer filters influencing communication among staff, counselors, campers, parents and alumni.
Phone trees, bulletin boards and mimeographed newsletters have been replaced by sophisticated web sites, e-newsletters, voice mail broadcasts and alumni affinity programs.
This means transparency and the rapid flow of information are essential if a Camp Director and camp staff are to deal effectively with campers, parents and alumni in times of calm and crisis.
After all, why should the campers, kitchen staff and Head Counsellor's drug dealer be the only ones to know that Cabin B has a wasp's nest, the Assistant Director is sleeping with the crafts teacher, and the school bus failed its last safety check?
That's why the advent of electronic communication has proved to be a boon for small businesses like camps:
But some communications activities need to be styled old-school: there are influential members of the community who need their hands held, voices heard, palms greased, and, sometimes, their skull cracked.