At Gold Arrow Camp, we strive to not only provide our campers with memorable, happy, and life-changing camp experiences during the summer, but also to provide resources to our camp families that enhance our campers’ lives year-round. On Target, our Magazine for Camp Families, is an annual resource we provide for that purpose.
In each edition, we feature articles from parenting experts, best-selling authors passionate about positive youth development, and long-time staff members.
Our newest On Target features articles and excerpts on several topics that directly impact our children’s (and our own) happiness. In “10 Tips for Discovering Your Child’s Strengths,” Jenifer Fox shares her insights on how to focus on our kids’ strengths rather than their weaknesses. An excerpt from Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book, The Myths of Happiness, offers research-based wisdom about what really makes us happy. And our favorite happiness expert, Christine Carter, shares with us “How to Raise Truly Kind Kids.” From Sunshine Parenting (Camp Director Audrey “Sunshine” Monke’s blog), we share a few of the most popular posts from 2015, including “5 Steps to Help Kids Resolve Conflicts” and “10 Parenting Tips from Camp Counselors.”
In addition to authors and experts, the 2016 On Target features articles by long-time staff members, directors, a pediatrician, and artwork from one of our very own campers!
You can read previous On Target issues here.
At one time in their lives, many of the parents I know were camp counselors. Those same people have told me that their time spent as counselors was great training ground for parenting. Among other things, they learned to comfort, encourage, set goals, and resolve disputes — all things we experience daily in our lives as moms and dads.
However, not every parent has had the benefit of camp counselor training. In fact, most parents have had NO training at all. Perhaps they took a Lamaze class or two, but we all know that having the kid is not the hardest part!
I’ve often lamented that all parents should be required to go through some training, at least the same training camp counselors do (a minimum of one week at most camps). Unfortunately, that is not the case, nor is it realistic. So the best we can do for those who were never camp counselors is offer a few tried and true tips from a few outstanding folks who were:
2. Check in with each child one-on-one every day.
4. Sing and dance together A LOT.
5. Smile and stay positive. Apologize for any crabbiness.
6. Address difficult issues privately and by focusing on the ISSUE not the child.
7. Do team-building activities like sharing goals and dreams.
8. Get unplugged and focus on face-to-face communication.
9. Get outside and get dirty.
10. Follow a predictable schedule and enforce rules consistently.