Jay Frankel, the President and Founder of “True to Life Training,” is a highly regarded consultant in staff and leadership training. Jay only works with a select group of institutions each year, and we are honored that he chooses to lend his expertise to Coleman Country. Jay consults with our staff prior to each summer, sharing his vast expertise regarding people management skills. With two children of his own, and an uncanny knack for impersonating children as well as staff, he leads his team of actors in role-playing scenarios. He then debriefs the realistic situations with counselors and supervisors, who gain insight into the thinking of kids, plus positive motivational techniques for use with adults.
Jay’s troupe grew out of a vision inspired by his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in theater from Syracuse University, along with his passion and knowledge in people development. He is a member of the American Society for Training and Development, and, besides Coleman Country, has worked with Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, the Gap, and Viacom to name just a few of his corporate clients. He is a regular workshop presenter at American Camp Association conferences, where he consistently plays to standing room only gatherings of camp professionals.
by Jay Frankel, True To Life Training
A Turning Point is any interaction a staff member has with a camper that has a positive or negative affect on that child's behavior and self-esteem. In other words, what WE do as staff, is going to affect what THEY do (or feel), as a camper.
Turning Points are cumulative. They add up - positive TP's go in the right pocket and negative TP's in the left. The heavier that left pocket is, the worse our campers will behave, because THAT is how they communicate the Turning Point to us. The adult’s behavior affects their feelings, which influences their actions.
As parents, we experience the same exact role model continuum in our household. We create positive and negative turning points for our kids, as they do for us. When my 16 year old smirks at his mother when she's trying to deliver a serious point, it infuriates her. (Negative Turning Point) The smirk triggers a new feeling in my wife, anger and frustration. I then step in, because I can't stand seeing my wife upset. (Negative turning point for me.) So I begin to lecture my son and tell him that he needs to respect his mother. (Negative turning point for my son) He, in turn, takes all of this with the appropriate amount of teenage attitude and storms off. 30-minutes later we hear our 13-year old son getting yelled at over something trivial by his older brother. Our oldest won't yell too freely at us, but he will take all of his frustration out on the easier target, his little bro. Not a very positive example of the role model continuum, but a realistic one, nonetheless.
By paying closer attention to the quality of the interactions we are having with each other, we can more easily see our impact. We see the joy when we give a sincere compliment (positive turning point), and the confidence in our kids when we spend time actually listening to them.