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Sharpen Yourself at Camp in Mind, Body, and Soul

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Hey, Camp Aficionados!

Last Tuesday I talked about a series I’m posting on this Blog throughout the month of May. The series is about the Five Goals of Summer Camp. Last week I disclosed the first goal, which is by far the easiest to accomplish at summer camp: Have Fun! The next goal isn’t too difficult either, and that goal is:

Goal #2: Improving athletic, intellectual, and artistic skills. 

As Dr. Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski point out in their excellent summer camp guide, ‘The Summer Camp Handbook,’ they explain the five goals of summer camp. And from their explanation, we can glean that for the same reason Goal #1 is so easy to achieve, Goal #2 is nearly as easy. And why is that?

Because camps are fun manufacturers—experts at it, in fact! They can make anything fun and they have countless fun things to do. That’s why you’re sure to have so MUCH fun at camp!

And that’s why you’re sure to mature in athleticism, intellectualism, and artistry (or, to put it another way, your body, mind, and soul).

Parent Pointers:

-    Most cabin staffers have a knack for teaching. But you’ll want to make sure of this yourself. Watch for specific qualities in cabin leaders—do they set a good example or do they start swearing when they lose their temper? Do they encourage the personal improvements of campers or do they use competition as a means of motivation?

-    Overnight camps offer something that day camps can’t: immersion. The improvements of Goal #2 take some time. Kids need every second of the day to work on these things. They get that at overnight camp. There, they eat, breathe, and sleep camp. However, at day camps, the camp day ends at a specific time every day. The learning process is interrupted and never given enough time to really bloom.

-    Lots of kids can have a tendency to stick with the things they know. If they have a preexisting passion for archery, it’s likely that their first instinct will be to head off to the archery targets. Before camp, it’s good to encourage your children to challenge themselves with something new during their camp stay.

Goal #2 will certainly be reached at any good summer camp! Tune in next week, Tuesday, to hear about Goal #3—Gain Independence. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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