Halfway through his first summer as a camp counselor, Todd Kestin was asked the question: What is it you want your campers to have at the end of the summer that they don’t have now?
For Todd, now a Life Skills Mentor and author of a great article on the importance of summer camp (see link below), this question was life-changing. It enabled him to think about helping the kids in his charge reach their goals, and, in the process, become more focused, more invested, more determined and more likely to achieve success.
At camp, we help staff and campers focus on small successes every day: getting on a horse for the first time, learning to hold a lacrosse stick, scoring a goal in ultra-leagues, making one new friend, sleeping in a tent, learning to swing from a rope. Each step toward these goals helps campers overcome fears, teaches patience, and encourages perseverance – all skills a summer at camp can build in every camper.
But what if we ask that question about our everyday lives? What do your kids want to achieve by the end of the school year? What do you want in your life that you don’t have now? How can you reach that goal in the next few months?
I, for one, hope to take that summer approach to learning into the winter months. Rather than simply expect my kids to excel at school, I plan to take the time to ask: what is you want to have at the of the year that you don’t have now? Focusing on actions you can take now to reach goals can help you and your kids stay more motivated – to study, to write more, to practice their 3-point shot, to learn the A minor scale on the piano, to be a better friend – and hopefully thinking this way will help each of us look at achievement from a different perspective.
My hope is to have the fearlessness, patience and perseverance to encourage my kids to strive for their goals, whatever they may be.
For a great article about why camp matters to your child’s future, CLICK HERE.