The camp experience gives kids the opportunity to make new friends and discover new interests. Interactive activities and hands-on challenges are planned to help kids grow into responsible and caring individuals. Leadership-camp fees are usually paid by a student’s school, family members or can be earned through community donations. Programs are designed not only to be educational, but also to be motivational. Key concepts generally focus on collaborative teamwork, leadership, empathy and diversity.
What Camp Offers
Day camp programs offer many activities that provide both outdoor educational and recreational experiences. Leadership camp experiences give young people the opportunity to participate in fun activities at the same time they are learning valuable life skills. According to the American Camp Association, camp offers kids the opportunity to develop their communication and leadership skills. Youths learn to become responsible and resourceful. They learn how to contribute, commit and care about others. Kids learn what it takes to be a good citizen of the community. Summer adventure and wilderness programs often include swimming, backpacking, horseback riding and river rafting. Winter programs may include recreational activities, such as skiing and snowboarding.
How Kids Benefit from Camp
Students can benefit from the mentoring relationships with camp counselors as they develop a broader social awareness. Challenging activities are designed to motivate self-discovery, increase self-confidence and foster an appreciation for the wonders of nature. By interacting with their peers, adolescents and teens learn to develop the communication and social skills they will need to be contributing members of their communities.
The camp experience can help prepare a youth for the real world as some children have difficulty relating to their peers on a social level. Signs that a youth may need to develop better social skills include a lack of assertion and self-confidence, talking too much, acting impulsively, isolating herself from others her own age or trying too hard to make friends. Some children annoy others just to get attention while other young people appear to be interested only in themselves.
Requirements for Leadership Camp
Camp experiences are usually designed for specific age categories. While some camps enroll children as young as age 6, leadership camps are usually geared toward teens. Program activities are planned within a social-educational environment that is designed to help a youth develop personal autonomy. Leadership camps normally require that participants be in good academic standing in school and show signs of leadership potential. Some leadership camps enroll students from all over the nation and world. The application process is usually intended to help determine the level of a student’s interest in enhancing his skills as a future community leader.
How Leadership Camp Works
Young people attending camp are typically divided by age groups. Leadership camp programs encourage interaction with peers as students work together to solve challenges. In addition to developing respect for others, focus is placed on teamwork and learning to face individual fears. Activities are designed to help a youth learn to trust others, build character and develop effective coping skills. Anger management, conflict resolution and responding appropriately to bullying may be other areas of focus. Participants learn to recognize their own talents and abilities so that they can set personal goals and develop a plan for achieving them. Leadership training is intended to help students identify their strengths so that they can overcome obstacles that may get in the way of accomplishing positive results.
Preparing Students for Future Careers
Youth leadership programs like that sponsored by the National Student Leadership Conference give outstanding high school students the opportunity to experience the day-in-the-life of a future career. The conferences are interactive, offering students the chance to develop their leadership potential by learning from adult leaders respected in various professional fields. Students also get to experience what life is like on a college campus.