Fridays with Franky: The Benefits of Camp Connections!
Hi there, it’s Franky the camp dog back with some more camp wisdom!
During the winter when there are no WeHaKee campers around to keep them company, the WeHaKee Leadership Team seek out opportunities to collaborate with other camp professionals. That’s right, there are more people out there who run camps as their full-time job!
They might meet out on the road at camp fairs with all of you, but sometimes camp professionals want to brainstorm together. So since WeHaKee is an accredited American Camp Association camp, the team went down to the National Conference in Albuquerque to see what the best and brightest people in camping are up to!
There seemed to be a common theme among the keynote speakers and breakout sessions: we know that camp has some of the best tools to help kids develop 21st century skills, but how do we make sure those tools reach beyond camp? How do we make sure that we are developing skills intentionally, like the ones Bob talked about last Sunday?
Camp is all fun and games, but with a purpose! Don’t believe me that camp professionals go that deep in thinking about their programs? Here, I’ll have a doctor say it! This is from an article titled “Sustaining Lifelong Joy: Camp Is a Key Connector” by Edward Hallowell, M.D., originally published on the American Camp Association website:
“[Children] feel connected in their relationships with friends, teachers, extended family, camp counselors, and other mentors. Connection begins as a lifeline and becomes an unshakable foundation on which kids can build an entire life. Connection breeds a sense of security and safety and empowers children to courageously take risks and approach even difficult situations with optimism, a natural armor against times of turmoil or sadness.”
So at camp you can learn to take care of yourself, resolve conflict, be mindful… the list goes on and on!
What is going to help you carry those skills away from camp are the connections, the relationships. So the easy thing for me to do here would be to tell you to stay in touch. Write letters. Connect through social media. Call your camp friends.
But I want to do more! What can WeHaKee do to help you stay connected? Whether you are already signed up for summer 2017, or reminiscing on summer 1957, we want to hear from you! We have lots of great relationships forming at WeHaKee every summer, and we want you to always have those bungee cords connecting you to camp, and to each other.
Send your connection-building ideas to us on Facebook, or comment below!
See you at camp!