Being Resilient

Recent events, like Hurricane Harvey’s historic floods and Hurricane Irma’s & Hurricane Maria’s damaging winds and rainfall, have been at the forefront of the news and our minds. Our thoughts and well wishes are extended to our friends and families whose lives have been affected by these catastrophic storms. We hope that everyone gets back on their feet and back in their homes as quickly as possible. Recovering from these storms will be a process and one that will involve great support and resilience.

Be there recovery from natural disasters, trauma, personal stress, or everyday set-backs, having the emotional strength to pull through in the face of life’s obstacles requires resilience. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. It’s the toughness we have through challenging times to power through.

Resilience is not a trait we are born with, but something we can learn through the support and guidance of caring loving role models. We can teach children to bounce back. Teaching resiliency is helping a child see their strengths and abilities to problem solve and handle emotions when faced with misfortune or change. Resiliency involves having a positive view of yourself and confidence in your abilities, but just as important is having a supportive parent, teacher, camp counselor, or other mentor to guide the way.
Children with parents who are overly involved and try to save them from any type of discomfort or failure, will have a harder time managing their stress and overcoming obstacles. Children need to overcome challenges to build resilience. They need to take risks, make mistakes, learn to problem solve and become more confident capable individuals. Obstacles are a critical part of success. Learning from adversity or failure is essential to becoming a resilient individual. We will all experience stress and obstacles in life, but the ability to thrive despite these challenges arises from the skills of resilience.

Camp kids have a great start in learning skills of resiliency from the moment they arrive at camp. We teach children to cope positively and grow from challenges. Camp encourages the behaviors, thoughts and actions of resiliency that create stronger more adaptive individuals.
At camp, we……
– make connections. Campers have strong social support of bunkmates and counselors to help them through any disappointments. Camp gives kids supportive relationships.
– show empathy and understanding of what others may be going through.
– teach campers to set realistic goals, and help them achieve these goals one step at a time. We celebrate accomplishments and cope with disappointments along the way.
– help children problem solve and strive to make appropriate decisions.
– encourage healthy risk taking to step outside of one’s comfort zone and build self-confidence.
– provide the freedom and opportunity to make choices and become independent thinkers.
– teach kids to communicate and manage their emotions.
– role model resiliency. Camp staff demonstrates setting goals, facing challenges, showing optimism, practicing coping skills, and working through disappointment.

We may not be able to control the challenges and adversity our children face along their life journey, but we can give them the skills to bounce back from these challenges and find personal success. We can build their resilience.

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed”. Booker T. Washington