10 Skills campers will learn at camp–unless you teach them first!
I remember when a former camper picked up her six-year-old daughter from her first four-week camp experience and exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! I just realized that I had never taught her to shower!” Here are 10 skills campers will learn at camp–unless you teach them first (and believe me, there will be a good 10 more after that)!
- How to tie your shoes
- How to shower and wash your own hair
- How to address a letter–for “snail mail,” complete with where to put the stamp. Extra credit for showing her how many stamps!
- How to make your bed. Bonus points for square corners.
- How to hang out wet swim suit and towel on the clothesline (we go solar here).
- How to brush your own teeth and hair. Not a bad idea to explain why we use our own brushes, too!
- Now it gets more complicated:
- How to sleep in your own bed, and stay in bed until it’s time for everyone to get up in the morning.
- How to remember to turn off the lights and close the door when you leave.
- How to say please and thank you.
- How to follow a schedule and get places on time
While not always easy, those are pretty basic, and we hope that by the time they come home, they will also have mastered a few additional lessons:
- How to taste new dishes before deciding whether or not you like something, and other table manners.
- How to take turns (for example, with the bathroom and shower).
- How to put your things away and tidy up after yourself right away as you make the mess (and pray for retention)!
- How to use courage to try new things.
As the campers get older and more mature, the lessons become more complex; they involve practicing such things as
- working through differences of opinion and sometimes agreeing to disagree
- brainstorming to come up with best solutions to challenges
- working with all members of a group to achieve the strongest team result
- mastering conversation and articulation of ideas
- a comfort with trying new things and
- accepting failure as a part of the learning process.
One of my longtime camp friends and I were talking about how all future teachers should be required to spend time in camp. Then we decided that really, all future parents should have to take part in camp. After reflecting on this for a white, we agreed that camp should be a prerequisite for life for everyone!