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The Power of Practice at Summer Camp

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With bow and arrow in hand, the weight of anticipation hangs heavy in the air at the archery range. A camper draws back the bowstring, their eyes locked on the distant target. After a moment to focus and releasing a deep breath, they release the arrow—piercing the air with sudden movement and swift speed. Its speed, however, carries on past the target, missing its mark.

While frustration sets in, this camper refuses to give up, returning to the range day after day to hone their skills. And in the coming weeks, something remarkable happens! They find they can hit bullseyes with precision! As the age-old saying goes, ‘Practice makes perfect.’

But how did this phrase come about and become so popular?

Roots of this saying date back hundreds of years, at least to the mid-1500s. That’s when an older variation of the phrase was first written down, but it was likely spoken for a long time before that. Instead of the familiar ‘Practice makes perfect,’ back then people said ‘Use makes mastery’ or sometimes ‘Use makes perfectness’.

As for the current form, ‘Practice makes perfect’, it seems to have come about 300 years later in the 1850s, found in the Diary and Autobiography of John Adams. The phrase was only cemented further into popular vernacular when a Swiss educational reformer J.H. Pestalozzi used it as a slogan in his teaching methods. The saying has since become a common idiom in English and is often used to encourage someone to keep practicing to improve their skills.

The concept of practice is woven into the very fabric summer camp. From mastering new sports and arts to acquiring valuable life skills, campers are encouraged to practice, practice, practice. Whether it's perfecting a dive, refining a painting technique, or nailing those bullseyes, the transformative power of dedication is at play.

Through practice, campers learn the importance of discipline, dedication, and continuous improvement and learn to unlock their potential in ways they never knew they could! Encourage your child to keep at their interests and practice them. After all, practice makes perfect! Thanks for reading and, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

Posted in Adage Origin


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