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Every summer that kids come to camp, it’s an opportunity to start fresh, to reinvent themselves, just as so many of us do at the start of a new year. Kids spend three seasons out of the year committing to activities in and out of school, but the summer brings a break in that momentum and a chance for exciting, refreshing experiences. Likewise, as adults, we take the new year as an opportunity to break new ground in which our resolutions can take root. This year, invite your kids into this tradition by guiding them into greater awareness of their own strengths, their passions, and their incredible potential.
At camp, we recognize kids for the everyday contributions they make to the camp community: going out of their way to make a new camper feel welcome, taking the initiative in helping their counselors, scaling a new level on our ropes course, or making something creative during the ceramics activity. When we call them up to celebrate these kinds of efforts in front of everyone at the campfire, it takes them by surprise; they get so excited, and they can’t help but take pride in their actions. We want them to be performing for their own heartfelt purposes rather than for rewards and recognition, so we don’t create expectations for kids to meet up front.
Kids have a great capacity for self-knowledge, and a guided process of goal setting is the perfect way for them to explore that capacity and build intentions that are authentically aligned.
As the new year kicks off, you’ll likely be making resolutions of your own, and that’s an energy kids are familiar with from camp. Some of our campers spend the whole year thinking about the things they’re going to do once they get to camp again—maybe even things they were too young or too nervous to do the summer before. Kids are capable of building up remarkable amounts of enthusiasm and momentum, and with direction, they can channel that energy in meaningful ways. The new year is a great time for kids to take a step back and set goals with renewed purpose, especially because you’ll be doing it, too, and setting a great example of what it means to approach new challenges from a place of passion and honesty.
To help you get started, I’ve put together a worksheet that you and your kids can use to guide you in coming up with some resolutions together. Click here to download the file. The first page encourages kids to identify accomplishments (big and small) that they are truly proud of: the perfect fuel for new goals born out of self-knowledge. The second page asks them to think about things they’re really passionate about, as well as the challenges that feel closest to them right now. From there, they’re ready to decide on a few goals. Encourage them to challenge themselves in ways that are kind and realistic, in ways that they’ll be able to stay excited about throughout the year. Then, they’ll focus in on one of those goals and begin to think critically about how that growth process will happen in stages, each of which they can be proud of along the way.
Growth happens year round for kids, but camp is a particularly special time for them to stretch beyond their comfort zones and try new things. Get in touch with us to find out more about how summer camp at Kennolyn can put your kids in the way of opportunities to learn and grow.