Camp is more than just a place to play: Camp Builds Skills for Life!
Camp Is Where We Visualize (And Set) Our Goals!
When life gets busy, two things help me stay on track: visualizing where I want to be, and setting goals to get there. Being able to picture the end result (and make a plan to reach it) are invaluable for our creative pursuits, in higher education, and in the workforce. Camp is a great place for children and youth to practice goal setting and visualization.
Clear Destinations, Specific Outcomes
Camp is full of activities that have clear destinations and specific outcomes, making it much easier for campers to visualize their success. Here are a few of my favorite activities that Leadership Academy uses to help build these skills.
- Hiking/Walking/Exploration: Since these are destination-oriented, campers can easily visualize the outcome: reaching the end of the trail. Getting there is literally a step-by-step process, so goals along the way (such as reaching a certain distance) are easily set and measured.
- Fishing: The desired outcome of fishing is clear right away: catch a fish! Campers know what to expect, and have plenty of opportunities to try to reach their goal. (There are lots of places to cast your line, and plenty of fish in the creek!)
- Archery: When our campers are learning to use the bow and arrow, they are excited to try and hit the bullseye. They can see results of each of the adjustments they make during every attempt. Their ideal result is right in front of them, encouraging them to keep trying until they hit the target.
Many of our activities at camp encourage step-by-step thinking, which is a great way for campers to practice setting goals. Before you can hit the bullseye, you have to select an arrow, put it in the bow, and aim carefully. Before you catch a fish, you have to put bait on the hook, find a place to stand, and wait patiently. Before you get to the end of the trail, you have to decide which route to take and the pace to set. Learning this approach can help our campers at school and at home. Instead of being overwhelmed by a project or report, they can think about how it will look when it’s done, and list the steps to complete it.
Encouragement & Support
When I’m reassured that I’ll be successful in a project, I’m more motivated to go after it (and more likely to get it done). Our counselors and staff are trained to help our campers through an activity with positive attitude that says “You can do it! Here’s how!” until they’ve followed through and reached their goals. We strive for camp to be a place where everyone thinks positively and believes they can accomplish what they set out to do. By giving them encouragement, motivation, and the strategies to make it happen, we help set every camper up to succeed!