Posts Tagged ‘learning critical skills at camp’

Teaching 21st Century Skills in a Camp Setting

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Camp Starlight knows that the weeks we get to spend with campers each summer is precious. It is an opportunity to do character building and confidence boosting. We have the opportunity to be the backdrop for millions of memories and connect people who can grow to be lifelong friends. The work we do here, although disguised as fun, is serious. We use the limited time we have with our campers and use it to instill 21st-century principles that promote strong character, morals, and ideals in every camper.


When campers are guided on how to solve their differences through careful and respectful mediation, they are learning how to disagree with others without being mean or hurtful. When they can identify their feelings and communicate it with others, they are learning conflict management skills and maturing in their emotional development. These tools are vital in navigating the “real world” whether it’s their school campus, their first job or their first relationship. At camp, kids learn to respect each other, listen without interrupting, compromise, communicate, and be patient and considerate and honest. These principles will make it easier for them to maintain healthy relationships as they grow.


Each camper has a responsibility to keep the campus as beautiful as it was when he or she arrived. Our zero tolerance policy for littering and our emphasis on taking care of the environment helps campers realize how they impact the environment and how important it is to keep the world around them clean. Campers spend most of their days outside, connecting with nature and learning to appreciate the beauty around them. Exploring and enjoying Mother Nature doesn’t come naturally to all campers, and spending time at camp helps develop an appreciation for the environment.


At camp, each camper has a story to tell. Each child arrives at camp with a history, a background, baggage (no pun intended) fears, strengths, and perceptions. As campers begin to integrate with each other, they quickly see how different they are all, but how those differences don’t need to divide them. They learn to help each other; to recognize a need in other campers and address it. There is no “us” and “them” at camp. Camp Starlight is intentional about fostering a generation of helpers, includers, and givers. We know that if we want a world full of people who care about each other, who don’t judge each other and who seek out opportunities to make others feel good, we have to start with the kids.


Campers go home with more friends, better skills and a lot to talk about. But our goal is that each camper leaves a bit better than they came. And that we can instill basic morals and ideals into them that will help them become better students, siblings, friends, and eventually, adults. Camp is safe, camp is fun, and camp is designed to better the lives of campers and their families every year.

Don’t Yuck Someone Else’s Yum

Monday, March 6th, 2017

As an adult, there is nothing more annoying that coming across someone who feels that their opinion is the only opinion and that everyone who doesn’t agree with them is wrong. It’s hard to form and keep friendships with people who don’t appreciate or respect the difference of other people. This is why at Camp Starlight, we implement the “Don’t’ Yuck Someone Else’s Yum” guidelines, which helps campers appreciate and respect the likes and dislikes of other campers.


Teaching campers to be respectful of the opinions of others, even when they don’t agree, is just another way going to camp builds character and teaches valuable social skills. Campers are bound to come in contact with people who have different opinions and preferences from them around camp, and counselors encourage campers to embrace the difference and learn to disagree is a respectful way.  This helps prepare campers for the real world and sets them up to be tolerant and accepting members of society.


Campers learn that everyone has different likes and dislikes, but that is not helpful or necessary to make others feel bad for their opinions or preferences. Campers who are made to feel bad or embarrassed about their personal preferences are less likely to speak up or say what is on their mind, which is not something that we want to happen at camp, ever. We want to create a safe place where every camper can express himself or herself and have their voices heard without the fear of rejection or judgment. The “Don’t Yuck Someone Else’s Yum,” rule at camp helps to create this safe environment, and teaches campers the value of diversity in the people around them.


Teaching campers not to be negative or judgmental about the preferences of others is also helping them learn proper etiquette and manners. Whether it’s at mealtime or any other time around camp when opinions and preferences are expressed, campers are practicing how to be polite and well-rounded individuals, which will undoubtedly transfer over to their world at home.


If your child gets home and you turns their nose up to the delicious broccoli and Brussels sprout dinner you’ve prepared, you can kindly remind me of what they learned at camp, and say “Hey, Don’t Yuck My Yum!” We can’t guarantee they’ll eat the veggies, but it will help them be respectful of the different opinions and tastes of the people around them.

Can Camp Prepare Your Child For College?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

As your child grows, the time for college comes closer, and when the moment finally comes by, there are several questions that begin to pour through a parent’s mind. Questions like will they make friends? Will they work hard? And, where are they going to be heading after this? The thing is that it’s natural to worry as a parent. However, these fears and doubts can be lessened, and all you need to do is send your child to camp. Believe it or not, a good summer camp can really prepare your child for college. Not convinced? Read on as we further elaborate.

The Challenges of Going to College

There are several challenges that going to college presents to your child, but there are three which stand out:

  • Academic rigor increases.
  • There is considerable uncertainty (will I be able to fit in socially? Can I adjust with this roommate?)
  • Being away from home, friends, and family.

How Camp Prepares Children for College?

Kids Learn New Skills

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.56.17 AMUndoubtedly, camp covers a little when it comes to the first challenge, but it does quite a lot in preparing your child for it. How? Well, your child learns a lot in camp. They develop different skills in the process, as it pushes them out of their comfort zone, so that they can try things they haven’t before. The scenario is pretty much the same in college. Coping up with the difficult studies, working hard to maintain it, can be difficult, but if your child has already been to camp, they will work hard and out of their comfort zone to achieve the results they desire.

Kids Learn Who They Really Are at Camp

Camp allows kids to try new and exciting activities, as well as meet new people. This can prove to be quite conductive for the growth of your child. They are given the opportunity to be comfortable in their own skin, which is essential in college.

Kids Learn to Face Competition

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 10.54.30 AMCompetition is everywhere and same is the case when it comes to college. Kids learn to both succeed and fail at camp, which is a crucial part of their growth process. There is a lot at stake in college and fearing the competition can be harmful for the progress of your child. Sending your child to a good camp can help them to learn a healthy level of competition.

Kids Learn to Take Care of Themselves

In camp, there are no parents or family around to do stuff for them, and kids have more time to do things for themselves. They take care of their own things, make their own bed, and so on. This along the way helps them to learn to take care of themselves, and that too, in an extremely fun way. Since your child will be spending more time in college than at home, this is something that will certainly help them in college.

So, find a good camp and send your child to it now, as it would help them to develop the essential shock-absorbers for the bumps of college life.