Impact of Arts Counselors at Camp
July 10, 2018
This cue focuses on the importance of camp for you as well as the camper. With the summer heat, the ever changing schedules and roles, it is nice to be reminded of the 'end game', 'the reason for the season' and 'why we’re doing this'!
Check out these three articles that will remind you how very precious and important your role at camp is this summer!
People have no idea the impact and the learning a counselor can offer that effects a kid for the rest of their life. To the outsider, camp may seem like all fun and no work, but there is always a deeper level of skill building and growing happening that should be appreciated and respected in its own right.
In this article authors talk specifically about the independence and skill building campers gain through attending summer camp. They suggest breaking free from over-concerned or over-worried parents is the key to discovering a sense of self (autonomy) because the camper doesn’t have to fear what their parent might think or say. With this, I would encourage you all to take a third party approach to the camper-camp experience. Let them fail and succeed at their own pace. Allow them to discover on their own and define for themselves what social interaction or achievement is. Your third party interaction is listening to them share their experience and guiding them on how to do it better or differently next time.
Finally, it is important to know and understand that the content of your work is so important. While camp is an escape from the real world, camp still presents a number of real world issues that are tough to deal with at any age. Things like bullying, cultural differences, jealousy, loss, emotional and physical growth are things that are experienced 'safely' at camp (I say safely, as they are usually dealt with quickly by a nearby counselor/staff). We all know that theater is a safe place to not only talk about these things, but play them out and change them in a fun and creative way. As the article states, when young people have arts related experiences, “their awareness of different people, places, and ideas through the arts helps them appreciate and accept the differences they find in the broader world.”
Before we close, it is important to say Thank YOU! The work you do this summer is so important. Keep up the great work and remember that even though you may not hear 'thank you' very often, one day a child will think back fondly on the experiences they had with you this summer and be so very grateful.