Self Care at Camp

Zones of Regulation at Camp

As you may or may not know, I helped out at a day camp for three weeks this summer.

It was awesome!

I was so impressed with their programming. The camp director, Megan, did an exceptional job of putting together the workshops, creating a sensible flow for the day, and being flexible with camper needs & interests.

One of the coolest things I saw was a “Zones of Regulation” area for campers and staff.

We were each given a popsicle stick to write our name on, and we were encouraged to put our popsicle stick in the container that most closely reflected how we were feeling.

We did it first thing in the morning and then changed it as needed as the day went on.

And do you know what was the coolest part? The campers used it!!

They made their way over every morning, then would check in with it throughout the day.

We could use it in our conversations with them too, to help us and them identify their feelings where they may not have been able to otherwise, instead of saying, “I’m feeling anxious” they could say, “I’m feeling in the yellow zone”.


There were even a few mornings where I popped my popsicle stick into the blue cup because I was feeling TIRED… and you know what? It was nice to be able to acknowledge that.

Many classrooms have adopted this system, and I think it would be an excellent addition to any camp or recreation program as a way of helping children and youth (and adults!) learn the concept of self-regulation & emotional control.


The zones of regulation were created by Occupational Therapist Leah Kuypers in 2011. You can visit her website for more information. (I recommend it!!)


Were there any cool programs, activities, or moments at your camp this summer?
Tell me all about it in the comment section below.

Until next week.


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