Kelly's Winter Update
Hello Camp Family!
I noticed that it has been quite a while since we have made an entry in our Talooli blog, so I thought that I would give you an update on what has been happening lately…
Jan and I just recently returned from Dallas, TX, where we spent an exciting week at the American Camp Association National Conference. This is an annual event that brings camping professionals together from all over the country (and from some international camps, too!). The ACA conference is a great opportunity for us to share ideas with other camps, learn from experts, and continue to grow as leaders in our field. We attended many interesting sessions and keynote addresses with topics ranging from preventing and preparing for crises at camp to new ideas for staff training and development. Two of my favorite speakers were Dr. Madeline Levine and Paul Tough, who spoke about the challenges children face today and how we, as educators, can help to foster resilience.
Dr. Madeline Levine is a psychologist and bestselling author of the books The Price of Privilege, and Teach Your Children Well. Dr. Levine spoke about how children today are growing up in an increasingly pressured environment that stresses academics and achievement, with a rigid view about the path to success. She noted that this type of pressure and restricted lifestyle has led to an increased number of youth that develop anxiety and other emotional problems, not to mention the fact that children are unique and learn and excel in different ways. Dr. Levine described how the camp environment camp serve to ease the current pressures of youth by providing safe spaces where all children feel free to be themselves, express creativity, and find successes outside of the classroom environment.
Paul Tough, author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, challenged us to think about the ever present role of intelligence and testing in our education system. As generally the sole indicator of value in school systems, test scores and intelligence do not necessarily predict a child’s potential or future success. Rather, Tough argues that non-cognitive skills—or, character—have been shown to be better indicators of long-term success. Such skills include curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control, and grit, all of which are taught and valued in the camp setting.
In other news, we have a crew of kids at camp this week for Winter Day Camp. The kids are enjoying sledding, baking, arts & crafts, building snow men, winter hikes, etc. We are also looking forward to Spring Break Day Camp from April 1-5.
Talk to you soon,
Assistant Camp Director