How We Work
The Scottie’s Place community is characterized by warm, caring adults who foster a supportive, family-like environment in which the children can thrive. A snapshot of the children at Scottie’s Place would reveal the following family issues: generational poverty, single parenthood, foster care, drug and alcohol abuse, illiteracy, unemployment, mental illness, domestic violence, lack of health care, poor nutrition and hunger. All volunteers and staff must be sensitive to the needs of children who are homeless and at-risk and work to create an atmosphere that promotes healing, respite, adventure and learning.
The quality of our staff is the most important factor in determining the success of our programs and their impact on the children. Counselors, teachers and volunteers must be responsive to the nature and needs of the children, emphasize the development of sustaining relationships, and concentrate on the children’s strengths and interests rather than their deficiencies. Through daily mentoring the children learn to focus on the task at hand, communicate effectively, manage anger productively, and behave appropriately in unfamiliar or difficult situations. Children experience the goodness of the world, the generosity of caring adults and a loving community in which each member is valued.
A child to staff ratio of 3:1 is necessary to give the children the support they so desperately need as well as to provide adult supervision in perceived high-risk situations. At Scottie’s Place, children experience new challenges and opportunities, discover unknown talents and resources within themselves. Staff and volunteers provide hands-on education in a supportive, trusting and safe environment with an emphasis on developing life skills that will remain with the children long after they have left camp.
All staff and volunteers at Scottie’s Place possess the following characteristics:
- belief that one can make a difference in the life of a child
- ability to work well with children of all ages and interests
- ability to take charge and motivate others
- ability to see the opportunity for change that is inherent in crisis and conflict
- ability to work well in high stress situations and in close proximity with others
- enthusiasm for simple living and an appreciation and respect for all races, cultures, religions and abilities.