MSU Extension Teton County hosted Babysitter Boot Camp on June 8, 2021 at the Choteau Baptist Church. There were twenty-seven participants who attended the event.

Bethany Heinen, Ella Fryberger, Addi Christensen, Claire Long, and Ava Gunderson warm up with name game icebreaker activities at MSU Extension’s Babysitter Boot Camp. (Photo Credit: MSU Extension - Teton Co)

Participants came from Teton, Pondera, Lewis and Clark counties and surrounding areas. Jo Lynn Miller, RN, and Rachel Christensen, EMT, spoke about first aid and safety measures to take while babysitting. Each participant received a first-aid kit for their babysitting business. Next, Rhonda Schwenke, Child Care Licensing Program Manager at Early Childhood Services Bureau MT DPHHS, presented on the period of PURPLE crying, Shaken Baby Syndrome, and Back to Sleep information. Stacy Aaberg, Family Consumer Science teacher, instructed a Food & Nutrition lesson during lunch time. She explained how to serve colorful and nutritious plates for young ones and how to make bite sizes appropriate for various ages.

After lunch, MSU Extension Agent and Intern, Jane Wolery and Hayley Ries demonstrated entertainment activities that sitters could deploy in the future.

Hayley Ries, MSU Extension Intern, facilitates storytelling at Babysitter Boot Camp. (Photo Credit: MSU Extension - Teton Co)

This segment included making play dough, fingerpaints, balloon animals and more! In small groups, participants practiced reading children’s books in story-telling voices. Hayley Ries discussed Babysitter Etiquette – actions babysitters can take to set themselves apart. Jane Wolery closed with the Business of Babysitting which explained how to be the best business owners possible. To finish they day, participants were invited outside to complete outdoor activities. Participants learned how to make chalk ice, chalk paint, puffy paint sidewalk paint, and more.

Those who attended Babysitter Boot Camp include: Reagan Aaberg, Cali Armstrong, Lucy Armstrong, Lucy Armstrong, Annie Baliko, Elisabeth Brown, Addi Christensen, Ayden DeBruycker, Halli DeShaw, Annie Diekhans, Ella Fryberger, Ava Gunderson, Bethany Heinen, Avery Heinen, Natalia Hodgkiss, Atha Johns, Bethany Lane, Claire Long, Leila Marquette, Leah Paulson, Natalia Samson, MacKenzie Steiner, Danni Thomasson, Peighton Wakkinen, Aubrie Waltner, and two other participants who preferred not to be identified.

Halli DeShaw practices reading children’s books to others at Babysitter Boot Camp. (Photo Credit: MSU Extension- Teton Co)

The Babysitter Boot Camp has been offered several times throughout the years by MSU Extension in Teton County. This year, the planning and preparing of the event was managed by Hayley Ries, MSU Extension Intern. MSU Extension was pleased to have a part in addressing the need for trained youth to provide high quality childcare. Each recipient received several resources, including the book Babysitter’s Survival Guide. They viewed a few segments of Babysitter Boss, which includes more than 20 online video segments geared to train babysitters.

- By Hayley Ries, MSU Extension Intern -