By Steve Bloom – Part of summer camp is about campers trying new activities and briefly leaving their comfort zone. Sometimes, this new experience will be really exhilarating! Other times, a camper will be nervous to try something new. A camper may be afraid to swim in the deep swimming pool or nervous to go on a zip-line for the first time. A camper might also be hesitant in social situations, thinking, “I don’t know anyone here and am not good at making new friends.” In her Ted Talk, Carol Dweck discusses the power of believing you can improve! “Children are often full of concerns about their ability, and this can lead, in the face of challenges and setbacks, to destructive thoughts (e.g., “I failed because I’m dumb”), feelings (such as humiliation), and behavior (giving up).”
It is our job as camp professionals to give children confidence. With practice and guidance from our nurturing and experienced counselors, a camper will soon know they have the ability to do it all! Watching a camper overcome a fear or try something new is what makes camp an extra special place.