Teaching Campers Resiliency – It Happens Every Day At Camp!

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ResilieTeaching Campers Resiliency - It Happens Every Day At Camp!nt. I love this word. Merriam Webster defines it: “able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.” And, “able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” Wow. If that word doesn’t best describe one of the main outcomes of camp we want for our campers I’m not sure what other word does.

At North Shore Country Day School Summer Programs we strive to help our campers build resiliency every day. Our activities challenge campers in a variety of ways. For example, our rock-climbing wall stands a shade under 20 feet high. Before attempting to climb the wall, our seven-to-ten year old campers learn about their safety gear (helmets, harnesses, ropes and carabiners). They learn about safety words and phrases. They learn about hand and foot positions. Then they look up, take one step, reach for one hold and away they go. All campers start by having the goal to reach the top and ring the bell. Not everyone reaches the bell the first time, or in the first class or even for an entire summer. But we ask them to try and to keep trying. With the support of their counselors and friends, campers work to try to achieve the goal. The same is true in other activities like swimming, archery, gymnastics, and even sailing.

Our campers gain resiliency as we ask them to try new things (sometimes a little frightening). We teach them to endure setbacks. We help them conquer fears. Each camper’s success allows him or her to become more self-aware; develop self-confidence (this can be learned), and changes his or her outlook. Those are remarkable outcomes of spending a summer at camp.


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