Emotional & Social Skill Set
The school year is in full swing, and students are busy learning their core subjects along with all the classes that fill their academic schedule. Students are getting a solid education in math, science, languages, reading, writing, and so much more. The set of skills learned in the classroom are a vital part of a young person’s future accomplishments, but academics are not the only skills that determine a person’s success in life. Social and emotional skills that take place outside of the classroom, are also essential for determining future success. In addition to having strong academic skills, kids need to possess the confidence and motivation to face problems, work well with others, communicate their thoughts and feelings, and have the resilience to keep going when things get tough.
We hear a lot about helicopter parents, who are known for keeping a close eye on their kids every move and swooping in whenever a problem arises. Now there are lawnmower parents, who clear the way of any obstacles or problems before they even arise, in hopes of keeping their child from ever experiencing discomfort or having to struggle. These parents rush ahead to intervene, saving the child from any potential inconvenience, problem or discomfort. What may seem helpful in the moment can have devastating effects down the road. By taking care of everything for them, these children begin to believe that they are not good enough or trusted to do things on their own.
As hard as it may be to watch a child struggle or experience failure, kids need to learn how to deal with life’s ups and downs in order to gain the emotional skills necessary to become well rounded and successful adults. Kids need to learn how to deal with conflict and anxiety, and develop a personal motivation to make decisions on their own. Disappointment and failure are not only a part of life, these experiences help kids build self-confidence and the ability to problem solve independently. Giving kids this autonomy lets them know we believe in them to handle tough situations.
Summer camp is an out of the classroom environment that teaches kids the life skills they need to find success and happiness in the future. Camp allows kids to be independent and practice both social and emotional skills that build confidence and resilience. Campers own the outcome, good or bad, and build their emotional strength. Camp helps develop skills in…
Problem solving – Camp teaches critical thinking that requires thought and explanation. Campers become confident problem solvers by setting goals and facing challenges. Learning from both their successes and failures is invaluable.
Teamwork – Campers work together toward a common goal. Teamwork takes place on the ball field as well as working through an activity in the bunk. Campers learn to respect each other’s ideas and abilities, and develop a greater sense of self-control, empathy, kindness and compassion.
Communication – Campers learn to assert their thoughts, advocate for themselves, become good listeners, and look people in the eye when speaking. Campers even learn to interpret non-verbal communication skills by living together and being present.
Becoming a self-starter – When given autonomy, kids feel a sense of self-esteem and the motivation to tackle problems. Kids learn to push through challenges and stay focused, even when things get difficult.
Camp prepares kids for life’s challenges by giving them the autonomy to learn from every new experience. Life is hard sometimes, but with practice and the space to make their own decisions, kids come out stronger, more confident and resilient. Camp and its many challenges, both socially and emotionally, allows kids to step outside of their comfort zone and do their best. The camp family is there to help and support, but certainly not pave the way. Camp gives kids the tools to put in the effort, learn from their mistakes, own the experience, and become successful and happy adults.