Introducing yourself (Can you approach people on your own and meet them?) and introducing others (Can you help people meet one another?) are very basic and useful social skills. It’s a friendship skill we teach campers and encourage them to practice all year!
We use the acronym WESTI to remind us of some simple steps to introducing ourselves.
Smile at the person you want to meet and make eye contact.
“Hi, I’m Sunshine. I’m so excited you’re here!”
“Have you met Joe?”
“Sam, this is Joe. He goes to my school.”
While these steps may sound simple to adults, sometimes we forget to actually explain the process of introducing ourselves and others to our kids. Like most skills, with a bit of gentle coaching, our kids can improve tremendously in these areas!
This summer, we reviewed these steps with staff and campers.
When I ask campers how they think their time at camp has changed or influenced them, campers often say that they’ve learned better skills at meeting new people and making new friends. Campers say that because of camp they are much more confident about meeting new people and making new friends. Some mention that they are more confident about starting at a new school or joining a new team or club because they know how to meet people and have learned to be more open and approach others with a smile and simple introduction.
Introducing themselves and introducing others is an important and useful social skill that we can easily coach our kids to master using these simple steps.