#Changingtoevolve #Campscorevaluesremain #CampsinCanada
Every child is unique. Every camp should try to be unique. Back in the 70’s, I really enjoyed my summers at camp. As I look back, I realize that camp was the ideal environment for inner growth. By means of exploring and having fun, it gave me a safe place to learn from experiences. Most of camp activities were relevant to me; therefore, I put my heart and soul into them. Yet I am aware that today’s children are different. What was popular in 1977 may not be popular with campers in 2017. Are summer camps evolving? Do they regard the needs and interests of today’s youth? Are they still worth it?
As an educator and parent, I consider that good camps are still an excellent place for nurturing children. I mean by “good camps” those that are open to change. Camps that make a child thrive are flexible and offer a wide variety of possibilities that meet the needs and desires of today’s families and campers. They are also capable of keeping certain important traditions and programs while changing and adapting their offerings to modern campers. Embracing change means that camp’s directors and staff are willing to be better every year. They make sure they are running not only the best camp possible, but one that is relevant to today’s campers. In order to do so they make constant assessments on activities, they constantly evaluate and train their staff, and they analyze the expectations of campers and parents. They also take very seriously all the feedback they receive.
Change, however, does not mean compromising the core values and mission of a camp. It should not be only about enjoyment. It must be an experience that plays a major role in youth development. Summer camp must make a deep impact on a child’s life.
Antonio Rafols, PhD.