Teamwork is defined as the “cooperation between a group of people in order to achieve a common goal.”    Research indicates that teamwork promotes an environment that fosters unity, friendship, trust and loyalty. It also indicates that being able to work as part of a team is vital for success in today’s world.  Though solitary screen time has significantly increased over the years, it will never replace the importance and value of collaborating with others toward a common goal…teamwork.

Places like camp, school, sports, clubs, home, and work, all require people to collaborate with one another. They require us to communicate and listen to ideas, work through differences, and use our creativity. Teams that work together cooperatively and support one another also develop greater empathy and a sense of belonging.

So how do you improve your teamwork skills? Simple… Be part of a team! Take part in something where you have to share ideas, listen to different views, come up with a plan, problem solve, and learn from others to achieve a desired goal. One of the most important lessons kids can learn from an early age, and one that will benefit them throughout their lives, is how to work with others and be part of a team.

One of the best environments to teach kids teamwork skills is at summer camp.  The power of teamwork is evident throughout the camp day as team-based activities help campers develop skills in communication, cooperation, problem solving, listening and leadership. Working together is a natural and fun part of the camp day, and is incorporated not only in group activities and events, but living together as a family.  Trained counselor’s model face-to-face communication (thank goodness for the no electronics policy), experienced coaches teach the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship, and thoughtful programming offers team building experiences to help campers develop the leadership and social skills that will benefit them throughout life.

Teamwork at camp is so much more than a group of athletes playing together to defeat another camp during an intercamp basketball tournament, or working together at the Tug of War event during College Days.  Teamwork at camp is practiced in everyday moments. It’s when campers each do their part to clean up the bunk so the group can get to breakfast on time, it’s when campers brainstorm ideas on how to successfully get everyone over the wall at Outdoor Adventure, and it’s when the entire camp works together for the Apache Relay. Camp is a place where working together creates greater success and spirit than going it alone.  No matter what the task or event, campers are learning each and every day to communicate, cooperate, and join together to make each moment more challenging, meaningful, and enjoyable.

Working as a team may not always be easy, as conflicts can arise, but working through these moments and finding success helps kids develop important life skills.  There is no better sound than hearing the cheers and excitement as a group of campers achieve a common goal, knowing that every team member played a role in the group’s overall success.  The value of being part of the group’s achievement and contributing to a greater good is what camp is all about.  Even if the outcome isn’t always a win, the act of pulling together as a group is still celebrated.  Camp encourages a team mindset and gives kids a foundation of all the benefits teamwork brings, including friendships that lasts a lifetime.  The essential teamwork skills learned at camp can be applied to all areas of life, giving kids a greater self-confidence, and developing individuals that everyone will want on their team.