The Power of Kindness

The Joy of Kindness

It’s the holiday season once again, and the perfect time to focus on friends, family and kindness.  During what can be a stressful time of year, kindness matters.  From the simple act of holding a door open for someone, to volunteering at a local shelter, being good to others is good for you.   Kindness has a substantial impact on both our physical and mental health that leaves a lasting impression on the giver as well as the receiver.  Kindness has the power to change people’s lives by increasing happiness, health, and overall wellbeing.

Research shows that being kind slows down the aging process, improves relationships and connections, and improves emotional resilience. It strengthens our sense of community and belongingness.  Kindness can lower blood pressure and reduce susceptibility to depression and anxiety.   And it’s not only the grand gestures that are meaningful, kindness can come from a warm smile, a positive remark, or being a good listener.  Kindness is all about showing empathy, acceptance and tolerance.  

The camp community is one of the best places to teach kids about kindness and empathy. Counselors model behaviors of support, encouragement and patience, and create an environment where kindness is celebrated. The Iroquois Springs family regularly incorporates small acts of kindness in everyday camp life, and sees the ripple effect it has throughout the community.  Campers show kindness by sharing a smile, helping a friend, cheering up a bunkmate, and giving back to others.  Each action creates a chain reaction of kindness.  Proof of this ripple effect can be seen each night at line-up when we celebrate campers who have been thoughtful, kind and brave. There will never be enough fuzzies to fully capture the spirit of kindness at camp.  

Rosie is always reminding girls side to “Be Nice.”  As she so wonderfully expressed in the 2019 Fall Edition of The Iroquois Springs Times, “This summer we chose to focus on the word KIND and everything it stands for.  We celebrated Camp Kindness Day and we all committed to making a difference not only in camp but in the real world. Continue to give back every chance you get.  Whether it’s smiling at someone, standing up for something you believe in, supporting a friend, contributing to society, fundraising and more.  Continue to be the best that you can be!” 

Kindness is stressed at camp because it creates a safe community where campers and staff feel connected. Without the distraction of social media or pressures of the school year, campers can focus on building strong meaningful friendships.  Campers are present and there for one another.  Living in a camp community that emphasizes and values kindness and empathy allows campers to feel cared for, secure, and happy.  So, spread some kindness this holiday season and enjoy the benefits it brings!!! 

“Three things in human life are important; the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.’ – Henry James