Each day at camp, campers accept and embrace new challenges. These challenges take on all forms, and are individualized to each camper.
What is the benefit of such experiences? Our hope is always that these opportunities encourage each camper to gain further confidence, build resilience, and renew her sense of self.
Embracing challenge happens in many ways at ALC. For some campers, living away from home and family is a new experience. They learn to live in a white tent with 4-5 other people - figuring out how to appreciate each other’s differences, work as a team to keep their space clean and organized, and have the courage to open up and share who they are with others. Navigating self-care is a new experience for some campers when they arrive at camp - learning how to make her bed, remembering to change her underwear each day, drink enough water, and even to stop having fun long enough to brush her hair! Each camper also learns to make good choices for herself - choosing activities for each period of the day, and even deciding at night whether she wants to read until lights out, or just fall asleep as Taps blows.
Beyond the tent flaps, each camper embraces challenge in her activities. Maybe it is as she successfully learns a new skill - the proper forehand technique in Tennis, the steps to make a basket in Art, how to express herself on stage in Drama, how to tack in Sailing. However, some of the greatest successes in camp come through NOT succeeding the first time. Campers must often learn resilience as they work through a particularly difficult challenge or lesson. Campers gain resilience by learning that it is okay to go back and try something again if you don’t succeed the first time. Most importantly, it is okay to embrace a challenge and learn that while you might not succeed right away, there are important lessons to be learned along the way.
We are fortunate that campers of all ages see each other accepting challenges each and every day at ALC. This creates a culture where it is okay - and celebrated - to dare to try something new, to have the courage to go beyond one’s comfort zone, and to support one’s friends as they do the same. We hope that our campers leave camp with the self-confidence to tackle the challenges they face during the school year, and that the resiliency gained at camp gives them the strength to take on new challenges too.
As we head in to the final week of the 2018 season, we cannot wait to see how our campers continue to embrace new challenges and build resilience as the learning and fun continues every day here at ALC!