Progress Report Directions

Please use the provided Google Doc template as your base for each report. You should have one of these files for each camper. Note that there are sections other members of staff complete. Just leave these blank—or add notes as appropriate. GRAMMAR, SPELLING AND TONE ARE ALL IMPORTANT—PLEASE PROOFREAD. 

General Guidelines

  • Writing should be professional, Truthful, objective, and proofread
  • The report should tell the camper’s specific story at Sequoia
    • How did the summer start for him?
    • What kinds of things did he do while he was here?
    • What were his strengths & weaknesses?
    • What changes did you see?
    • How did those changes occur?
    • TEST: Have a division staff member (who didn’t write the report) read a de-identified copy. If they cannot guess the camper, you aren’t specific enough.
  • Change Talk (Specific, Measurable, & Observable)
    • What did the behavior look like at first? 
    • How often did this behavior occur at first?
    • How did change occur (e.g. gradual or total extinction)?
    • What did the behavior look like at the end of camp?
    • Any indication of change → point to observable evidence
      • Sam’s social skills got better this summer.
        • Jason demonstrated significant social growth this summer, as evidenced by his increased use of eye contact, more often asking questions of others’ interests, and his ability to sustain friendships with four campers.
      • Jacob got better at managing his anger.
        • Jacob’s ability to manage his temper increased significantly over the summer. Daily temper outbursts went from 4-5 per day, to 1-2. We also saw an increase in Jacob’s use of deep breathing when prompted by staff.
  • Read the Camper’s File beforehand
    • What do the parents see as the problem?
    • Discuss how you addressed their concerns


Report Outline (By Section)

Camp Sequoia
Camper Behavioral Progress Report-Outline

Name: [camper name]
Camp Dates: [session dates]
Division Head: [staff name]

First Paragraph: General Summary


(1-4 Sentences Identifying information about the Camper & Division)

  • Camper Name, number of kids in the division (session one or two), who helped in the division, and the camper’s social goals for the summer

Example: John Smith  is a 15-year old camper that was part of the Senior Division during the full session of our Summer 20xx season. The Senior Division consisted of 14 young men between the ages of 14 and 15, supervised by two general staff, a deputy division head, and a lead division head with nightly consultation from the Scaffolding Success Team. John came to camp with the goals of improving adult interactions, leadership skills, and being able to communicate effectively when he needs assistance. With all the information gathered about Phillip through previous interactions at camp, interview notes, and camper profiles, we created a plan to work with John to achieve these goals.

Second Paragraph: Specific Summary


(2-4 Sentences about Arrival & Adjustment to Camp)

Example: John’s arrival to camp was marked by initial hesitation that persisted for most of the first two days. He was often observed reading quietly during down-time and passively participating in group discussions. Counselors made concentrated efforts during mealtimes and ice-breaker activities to engage him in discussion and solicit his interests which ultimately allowed counselors to encourage contact with another camper Kevin, with whom he shared an interest in robotics with. Since John made contact with Kevin, he appeared much more comfortable and showed increased engagement in group activities.

(2-4 Sentences about Growth)

  • Note areas of developmental strength. Be honest, but realize where the camper is today versus where they started.  Use camper goals that you have identified as a starting point for this. Identify successful strategies and avenues that did not pan out. Summarize Friendships, activities attempted, interests and favorite parts of camp.  While some general DIVISION-BASED information might overlap, the personal touch is important and all camper reports should NOT be carbon copies of each other. 

Example: As suggested by his parents, one of John’s major goals this summer was increasing his ability to manage frustration in relations with peers. When frustrated by another camper’s instigation or perceived injustice towards him, John would often quickly escalate to verbal threats of violence, throwing of furniture, and attempts to attack the target of his frustration. He would typically have an outburst of this nature 1-3 times a day, and would take 20-30 minutes to get him out of this state of anger. Overall, John displayed a motivation to work through these problems unmatched by any of his peers. In collaboration with John’s parents and the Scaffolding Success team, we were able to work with John to better recognize his triggers, be able to take space when frustration (with and without being prompted), and shorten the amount of time needed for full de-escalation (7-10 minutes). By the end of the three weeks, although he experienced repeated conflict with several campers in his division, he was able to sustain friendships with three campers.

Example: Camper Joe began this session working on personal space issues and interpersonal interactions. Throughout the session, he made friends with Pete and Bob and especially enjoyed Cheese Appreciation Night. He had a gouda time. We found that using positive reinforcement and proxemics were good strategies to achieve these results. However, we noted that he was more successful if these were presented in a structured, rather than an open-ended format.

(2-4 Sentences about Accomplishments)

  • Summarize activity accolades, including highlights of trips, awards achieved, moments for which he was recognized by his peers in a positive light or leadership opportunities that he availed himself of during the session.  
  • Use notes from activity area specialists (especially from their major)

Example: Joe really showed leadership in sportsmanship in the underwater basket weaving class by helping others wet their reeds before dying them red, white and blue.  He enjoyed interacting with the glassblower at the Kutztown folk festival. I smiled when I saw him tell a story by the campfire at the rustic retreat and noted how flexible he was during the fireworks at Waltz Golf Farm. 

Example: Throughout John’s stay at camp he joined the camp on many field trips such as the The Iron Pigs baseball game, Dorney Park, and Roundtop Ski Resort. John participated eagerly at each field trip, especially during the Roundtop Ski Resort where he got to try several zip-lines. The major John chose for his stay at camp was STEM. I was very pleased to hear John’s contagious enthusiasm continued outside of the division and into other activities. In STEM, John was able to create objects from a 3D printer, launch rockets, and participate in an egg drop event. Other activities John succeeded at were BB guns, Fishing, and Chess. John became quite skillful at the BB range. He was often excited to race off the BB range to show everyone how many times he hit the targets, especially on days involving Zombie Targets!

Third Paragraph: Pool Summary


(2-4 Sentences about pool achievements)

Example-Improved at swimming: At camp, the [division here] participated in two swimming sessions per program activity day. The first session involved instructional swim lessons which focused on strokes and endurance. The second swim period was a free swimming period of the camper’s choice to decide what kind of swimming activities they wanted to do at the pool. John enjoyed going to instructional swim and free swim. John practiced several strokes with the lifeguards, such as the side stroke, freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke. He also helped build his swimming endurance by gradually increasing the amount of laps completed during a session or by treading water. John had fun playing instructional games at the pool, such as relay games and diving for rings. At free swim, he always loved hanging out with his friends, playing water basketball, and doing different jumps into the pool. In addition to swim instruction, the [division here] also participated in daily social skills activities.

Example-Never got in the pool: At camp, the [division here] participated in two swimming sessions per program activity day. The first session involved instructional swim lessons, which focused on strokes and endurance. The second swim period was a free-swimming period of the camper’s choice where they could select what swimming activities they wanted to do. John was not interested in the pool. It was a daily struggle to get him in and this behavior continued throughout the summer. Although it was rare, when John did go into the pool he seemed to have a wonderful time connecting with the division. He enjoyed activities such as water basketball and jumping off the diving board. In addition to swim instruction, the [division here] also participated in daily social skills activities.

Fourth Paragraph: Social Skills Summary for the Division


(1-3 Paragraphs-Generic Overview for each division)

Example:The Seniors Social Skills Group centered around two primary social development goals this summer: initiating friendships, and acquiring the tools and strategies to sustain them. The curriculum began with ice-breakers to model the process of gathering information about others when we meet them to find similar interests, and with team-building activities to provide superordinate goals as a means of forming these new relationships. From there we progressed with our primary goals in direct and indirect ways.

Directly, we held discussions on ways to begin conversations and strategies to keep the conversation moving. A major focus on these discussions were about the importance of asking questions about the other person as a way of showing interest, gathering information, and reducing some of the anxiety of the interaction by putting the focus on the other person. One of our final activities reinforced this concept in the form of a “friend file” where campers had the opportunity to get contact information from their friends while also taking notes on things their friend is interested in, and thus something they could talk to them about during the off-season.

Indirectly, we worked on emotional regulation and social cognition skills that affect overall social functioning. A major portion of these sessions were spent working on the campers’ perceptions of the conflicts they experience and the perceptions of others’ behaviors. All problems fall on a continuum of a Little Problem to a Big Problem, and the reaction should be appropriate to the size of the problem. Reframing the size of the problem can prevent over-reactions that significantly affect social interactions. In addition, we discussed how we should take the time to consider not just what someone is saying, but the tone, non-verbal cues, and contextual details surrounding the message. This allows for a better understanding of others’ intentions, a key component to perspective taking.

(1 Paragraph-Individual Summary Of Camper’s Experience in Social Group)

Example: Bubba was reluctant to engage with his peers at the beginning of the summer and overall showed poor impulse control and ability to read social cues. We worked extensively on role-playing, modeling and generalization to lessons learned in a specific situation. We were quite pleased that he developed the ability to stop and take four breaths before deciding how to best react to a situation. We found that a reminder phrase didn’t work as well with him as he was nervous that his peers might tease him for that strategy back at school. Overall, throughout the course of the summer, Bubba was able to better gauge personal space boundaries, acceptable conversation topics and to dynamically engage in bi-directional meaningful conversation on topics that both parties were interested in discussing. Additionally, we found that he began well suited to routines of personal hygiene and self-care. He took particular care in grooming his nascent facial hair. Once boundaries and assigned spaces for clothes and personal belongings were established, he did well with cleaning his room, managing his laundry and making his bed. We recommend that he be given some opportunity to continue similar routines at home. In instructional situations, Bubba does well when placed proximal to an adult. We notice that environmental distractions (air conditioning, clocks ticking) can be problematic. He does well as a visual-spatial learner, but less so kinesthetically.

Fifth Section: Recommendations


  • Every camper should have AT LEAST 2-3 recommendations. For guidelines on camper recommendations, you can look at this document on Camper Recommendation Examples.


Utilizing a Behavioral Contract Implementing Positive Reward Systems

    • Creating a behavior contract marked a pivotal point in the summer for John, and might be a useful strategy to try at home and/or school. The contract we utilized began with his objective which was to better manage his frustration so he could remain at Sequoia for the rest of the session. This objective was mutually agreed upon and appeared effective since he had a genuine desire to accomplish these goals. The next section outlined some strategies he could use and what he could expect from the counselors. 


Emotional Regulation Use Zones of Regulation Vocabulary and Calming Techniques

    • As John became frustrated, we utilized a few strategies to aid in his de-escalation. Upon recognizing him getting frustrated, we would quickly point out that he was frustrated and asked him to take space. If he would do so in these moments, we would immediately praise him for making a mature decision. If he would not, we would try to redirect him to tell us what happened, and aim to do so in another location. For example, “Hey John, I really want to know what happened so I can help fix it. Can you step outside and tell me what happened?” We utilized a lot of validation, seeing that it helped him feel heard and respected. Recognizing that his reactions were typically over-the-top and likely due to a misperception, we utilized language to reflect that. For example, “I’d be frustrated too, if I thought [camper] was trying to instigate me”. In this example, it’s validating the root emotion (anger) without approving of the intensity, and subtly suggesting that it’s a result of his perception of the situation (thinking he was trying to instigate) rather than a proven fact—something of particular focus during the debrief. During his de-escalation, we would thank him for calming down, and framed that as a sign of maturity and progress towards his goals. If he was particularly resistant, we might insist on writing down his account. This forced him to pace the story to the speed at which we could write, which allowed for an indirect way to slow him down. Other times, we’d emphasize that the verbal aggression made us feel unsafe, and this often made him remorseful if it was a counselor he particularly liked. Once calmed down and could better tolerate a discussion, we’d address the intensity of his anger and how his perception of the situation affected how he reacted. We’d aim to include some component of “making things right” so he could get practice repairing relationships and being more accountable. These strategies seemed to help reduce the time needed for de-escalation. After calmly discussing what had happened and how he’d make it up, we would try to praise him for his maturity, and come up with a plan if it happens again.


  •  Perceptual Injustice Accepting Consequences for Actions
    • John sometimes did not understand when he was in the wrong. As we approached him with the reasoning behind his part of the grievance, he would often react by shutting down instead of communicating. To help John with this skill, we encourage John to fill in the following sentence (and other perspective-building examples as the adult in question sees fit) to help him with his perception of a situation: “When I did/do _____ they probably felt _____. If they did [action] to me, I would feel ____.” Encouraging John to perceive the repercussions of his actions will help him develop his social regulation in the future.