#whatcampshastooffer #researchatcamp #stafftraining
Camps are certainly places that offer lots of opportunities for learning. Children attend camps and return home with a set of skills that might endure for life. How deep those skills are, depends on the camp and the staff’s training. The learning process at camp requires willingness, trust, and commitment from both counselor and camper. It is, in other words, a matter of creating a positive learning environment. Positive learning takes place when meaning is added to our experiences in life. It takes into consideration that learning is personal and social, intellectual and emotional. A positive learning environment is where campers feel safe, comfortable, engaged and self-motivated.
Good counselors are totally aware that the basis of their relationship with campers is trust. Building a positive relationship is crucial. Campers must feel part of a community that accepts and encourages different ways to participate. Counselors must know that there are different ways of learning. As a result, positive learning begins with making the effort to find out who the campers are, their backgrounds, what they like and don’t like, and their concerns about camp activities. Learning, to be effective, must begin where the learner is. Counselors must be also aware that the neural pathways for learning in the brain are deeper when actions and experiences are connected to the words and images. With this insight, good counselors use a variety of learning techniques, personalize activities, expectations and goals, provide choices that fit each camper’s development, and finally provide a trustful and safe relationship. These traits in a counselor increase the self-confidence of a camper. The child will no doubt be courageous enough to learn something new.
Camps that train their counselors with this insight are the best. They make sure that campers thrive as learners.
Dr Oliver J. Montero
Read it in facebook
Read it in g+