FRIDAYS WITH FRANKY: The Socially Skilled Camper!
But there’s hope! Through fun (and subsequent covert learning), camp provides one of the best places for children to acquire and build a great set of social skills. And in the camp community, they are absolutely necessary! But the beauty of the camp environment is that there are endless opportunties to observe excellent role modelling of all sorts of positive social skills! Now campers may not directly acknowledge “I really enjoyed observing that social skill Jill just used in asking for the ball”. Instead, they will see Jill display an effective social skill as she asks nicely to use the ball. And it will be affirmed when they see just how warmly she is acknowledged and obliged! The whole event will become internalized increasing the likelihood that they will try the same approach when they are in a similar situation. And if they see this scenario repeated in other areas of camp, all the better in imprinting the positive social skill!
The Sunshine Parenting blog recently shared a list of 10 Social Skills Kids Learn at Camp. This certainly are not a complete list as campers have endless opportunities to observe, practice and expand their social skill set each summer. Camp is the ultimate community experience for campers and thus the ultimate ‘laboratory’ for them to practice these skills in real life settings. And this comes without parental ‘guidance’ which can often end up interfering more than helping, interrupting the natural learning needed for social skill development. Anyway, here is the list of the 10 social skills learned at camp as shared by Sunshine Parenting:
- Living with people outside of the family
- Taking turns talking
- Sharing appropriate stories & information
- Teamwork: Learning when to lead and when to follow
- Table Manners: Chewing with your mouth closed
- Inviting kids, extending invitations
- Questioning/Showing interest in others
- Empathy/Emotional intelligence
- Managing Anger
- Conflict resolution