Trying new things builds character, self-esteem and confidence. It allows you to be vulnerable, allows you to trust yourself and others, and allows you to grow as an individual. Trying new things, like spending the entire summer away from your bed, your dog, and your parents may seem like a scary endeavor, but thousands of kids do it every year, and thousands of kids are so glad that they did. When you try something new, you tell that little voice in your head that says “you can’t, you shouldn’t, you’re too scared” to pack up and get outta here. It then makes the other voice in your head that says “you’re a rock star, you’ve got this, you can, you should, you will” louder, and helps you become the best version of yourself.
When you get to camp, you’re not all done trying new things. Every day you will have the opportunity to broaden your horizons and experience something new. Some days it will be little things like trying a new food at lunch, and other times it will be bigger like getting up and talking to a group of people, or meeting new friends, or trying a sport that gives you an adrenaline rush, like mountain biking or water skiing. Every time you decide to try something that makes you a little unsure or apprehensive, you are opening up thousands of pathways in your brain that make you smarter, stronger and more confident.
Another benefit of trying something new is the opportunity to find a new skill that you love. Who knows, there may be a professional golfer tucked way deep down inside of you that is just waiting for the chance to get on the green and swing a club! Or the movie star in you could be bursting at the seams, just waiting to make a debut in many of the acting and theatre activities at camp. Trying a new sport or activity is a great opportunity to discover more about your interests, strengths and passions. And, worst-case scenario, you try something and don’t like it. You still learned a valuable lesson and can walk away from the experience proud that you gave it a shot.
Most people find comfort and security in their normal, every day routine. Taking that comfortable routine and completely shaking it up by being in a new place, with new people, trying new things, can sound scary, but it is actually healthy and important to do so. When you keep your brain guessing and continue to push the limits and boundaries you set for yourself, you become a more critical thinker, and foster your creative side at the same time. The ability to think critically while also utilizing creativity is a valuable life skill that will transfer to all areas of your life.
So first of all, get to camp. Then, while you’re here, try a new food at breakfast, go up and initiate conversation with a camper during free time, and make a commitment to try a new sport or activity every day. You will be amazed at how much fun you can have just outside of your comfort zone.