Camp is more than just a place to play: Camp Builds Skills for Life!
3 Ways Camp Teaches Us to Celebrate Diversity!
Have you ever been out with your family and encountered someone with a different ethnic background, orientation, religion, culture, or ability level? How did your child react to or interact with this person? Celebrating diversity, more than adhering to a list of dos and donts, is about learning to approach new people with the right attitude.
I read a great article today from Child Development Institute about ways children learn tolerance and acceptance and I realized: Camp is one of the best and most fun ways kids can do this!
Here are 3 Ways Camp Teaches Us to Celebrate Diversity:
Respecting Others is Part of Camp Rules
When building a tolerant, inclusive environment, fostering respect is the cornerstone. At Leadership Academy, we aim to be ACORNS:
Active – Be active in your group. Participate and try new things.
Curious – Ask questions & try and find out answers. Explore your environment.
Observant – Pay attention to the world around you. Listen. Notice small things.
Respectful – Respect all things; people, animals, plants and our environment.
in Nature – Being outside makes us mentally and physically healthier! Unplug & enjoy!
Safe – Make good decisions. Be careful with ourselves, others and our words.
Our campers and staff know that respecting each other is key. We understand that people have a lot of things in common (even when we are very different from one another)! One of the things we all share is a need to be treated with respect, kindness, and dignity.
Campers & Staff Come from a Variety of Backgrounds
One of my favorite things about Nashville is the variety of cultures, beliefs and backgrounds our communities represent. [The street I live on is lined with restaurants and bakeries that take my tastebuds around the world!] Since our campers and staff reflect those communities, coming together to have fun at Camp is a natural way for campers to associate diversity with joy and positivity. When we’re not afraid of our differences, prejudice has no chance to take root and grow.
Counselors Model Kindness, Tolerance, & Acceptance
When I went to Camp as a child, my counselors were some of the first grownups I met outside my family. I got to know people from all over the world. I knew counselors who had a variety of beliefs, orientations, and cultures, and all of them treated me with respect (no matter how different we were). I have no doubt that part of the reason I learned to celebrate others was because they set a good example for me, and I still see this every summer at Leadership Academy.
Camp is one of the best places for kids to learn that diversity is nothing to be afraid of, and that their differences are something to be celebrated and appreciated!