Fridays with Franky: Camp, Your First Chance to Network!
Hi there, it’s Franky the camp dog back with some more camp wisdom on how to network! 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, this Bob, Maggie, and Thatch attend and benefit from networking events run by ACA local chapters. From national conferences to local breakfast clubs, the leadership team seeks the best knowledge and practices from professionals around them and the research conducted for the camp world!
There is one theme that pops up in a lot of 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 in a previous blog post?
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 2019, or reminiscing on summer 1959, 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!