Sunday Snippet: Camp – A Wise Investment Indeed!
A couple of recent articles caught our eye as they addressed issues that have been an integral part of the Camp WeHaKee experience for decades. The first article, Raising a Moral Child (Adam Grant, New York Times, April 11, 2014) explores recent research related to moral development in our children. Grant points outs that “surveys reveal that in the United States, parents from European, Asian, Hispanic and African ethnic groups all place far greater importance on caring than achievement.” This seems to diminish the popular belief that parents are achievement driven at all costs.
Grant continues by exploring that a recent study suggests that “children were much more generous after their character had been praised than after their actions had been.” This is an interesting and important distinction and one that isn’t uniformly accepted or practiced. But in the camp world, character building and encouragement have long been an accepted approach to their brand of youth development!
“If a child spends the summer growing their social network,
building resilience, developing a positive sense of self
which helps them be who they really are,
then the money spent on summer camp
is a priceless investment in your kid’s future.”
Clinical social worker and writer, Morris Cohen, recently penned an article entitled The Social and Emotional Long-Term Benefits of Summer Camp (DNAinfo New York, April 8, 2014). He directly explores how the camp experience significantly impacts social intelligence and emotional growth of campers. He describes the elements of social intelligence as social awareness (“the ability to monitor our inner world.”) and social facility (“how we use our social awareness to interact successfully.”).
“Camp is a key opportunity for kids to develop both sides
of their social intelligence by offering them a way
to practice becoming adept at socializing
by offering them access to many new people and environments.
The more children can practice their social intelligence,
the more smoothly they can incorporate the skills
for the rest of their lives.”
Cohen continues as he describes the emotional challenges that the camp experience offers, emotional challenges that can help build resilience by overcoming these challenges. Of particular importance is the emotional challenge of “not being able to lean on a parent’s intervention, thereby learning to ‘smooth’ things out on one’s own.” From a parent’s perspective this can be hard to swallow, but it is important to know that it is a critical resiliency and character building experience every child needs!
As Cohen points out, camp is an investment and sometimes appears initially as an expensive one. “If a child spends the summer growing their social network, building resilience,developing a positive sense of self which helps them be who they really are, then the money spent on summer camp is a priceless investment in your kid’s future.” But when considering the cost benefit ratio, the investment will have an exceptionally high return in helping a child grow more socially intelligent, more resilient, more independent along with a strong sense of moral character!
WeHaKee Camp for Girls has been helping build socially intelligent, emotionally skilled and morally strong girls and young women for over 90 years. Thanks for reading and have a great week!