Caring for our Campers in 2024

Big Messy Feelings: Practical Tools to Help Your Campers Regulate Emotions 

With Kathleen Hilchey
Tuesday, November 21, 7- 8:30pm 
Free for SCA Member Camps – $35 for Non-Members

Register (via Zoom) in Advance for this Workshop

There has been a surge of huge feelings in the last few years: homesickness, loneliness, grief, and anger.  Sometimes campers show big rage, and others just stay weepy for days on end.  Staff are often at a loss as to what to do with them – especially if these big feelings don’t seem to resolve themselves in a day or two.  We know from research on Emotional Validation and Co-Regulation that allowing humans to feel their feelings decreases the amount of time it takes to resolve issues and decreases outbursts.

In this session, we will specifically go over:

  • Why we are seeing a huge uptick in emotions.
  • Kleenex Box-Toolbox model to help staff find a way to handle those feelings more effectively.
  • Emotional Validation and co-regulation tools.
  • Participants will have a chance to fill in a stress-management toolkit to manage their own stress at camp.

This workshop will be interactive and best attended live. If you are unable to attend, a recording will be available. 


Kathleen Hilchey spent 10 summers working in camping and outdoor education and then over 10 years teaching in the secondary public system.  She is now a conflict specialist in Ontario, Canada.  She works primarily with camp staff to help them find the tools needed to meet our campers’ mental health and relationship challenges.  Kathleen also works directly with clients and trains professionals (including camp staff!) on her conflict management strategies for complex conflict.   She has an M.Ed. in Peacebuilding Techniques from Brock University and is a Qualified Mediator.  If you want to learn more about Kathleen you can go to: