Sunscreen? Check! Socks? Check! Flashlight? Check! But what if my child wants to bring his or her own tennis racquet or lacrosse stick?
Campers are allowed to bring their tennis racquets and lacrosse sticks from home if they choose. Campers can use their lacrosse sticks from home during class and then store them in the Bike Barn. However, we do ask that campers leave their soccer and football cleats at home, for safety reasons.
This allows campers to use the equipment they are most comfortable with. But more importantly, bringing their own equipment allows campers to practice personal responsibility. (Of course, we also have available equipment for campers who take lacrosse or tennis and don’t bring their own.)
When children practice acting responsibly, they develop positive values. The Search Institute’s* research shows that allowing children to practice responsibility and decision-making increases both their motivation and their performance. Campers make decisions and evaluate the outcome of their decisions every day.
You, as a parent, have prepared your child with the resources they need to make the best decision with the best possible outcome. At camp, your child has the freedom to apply the resources and lessons you have given to see on their own how decisions work. This can be something as small as a child making sure not to misplace a toothbrush in the mornings, or as big as a child making sure to take proper care of personal equipment at the end of an activity. By making these decisions on their own, campers apply life skills to the upkeep of the resources around them.
Camp is a great way for campers to practice decision making and become more responsible youth.
*For more than 20 years, the Search Institute has been researching and identifying what it takes to help kids succeed. They have developed a framework of 40 external and internal developmental assets that “identifies a set of skills, experiences, relationships, and behaviors that enable young people to develop into successful and contributing adults”. We incorporate these assets throughout our programming and train our counselors extensively on the benefits of assets and how to use them in activities, cabins and around camp. For more information on assets and the benefits they provide, visit the Search Institute website.