As parents, we want our kids to grow up to become kind, compassionate, caring adults, right? Of course we want them to lead happy, successful lives, but we also want them to be considerate of others and their needs. At KidzToPros’ (KTP’s) best camps for kids, we focus on building character traits – as well as academics – by guiding kids at camp through important skills like learning, understanding, conflict-resolution and compromise.
To further explore character-building at KidzToPros’ camps, consider these best practices that help students shine their light on the world around them and become the best version of themselves.
Hiring Quality Staff Members
Who better to model high-quality character than our instructors and staff members, who work hard to treat everyone with respect and kindness? Values like these, taught and seasoned by camp leaders, shape and mold youngsters’ lives each year at camp.
As strong role models, professional staff members, teachers and coaches also forge friendships with campers, mentoring kids by being available to talk, listen or coach them through difficult situations with compassion and understanding. As this bond grows stronger – and students learn to count on adults other than family members – they respond more appropriately to peers in times of uncertainty or conflict, becoming less self-focused and stronger in character.
Encouraging Empathy and Understanding
Some of the most profound moments at the best camps for kids happen outside the planned curriculum, when kids connect and learn something new about each other – or themselves.
Some campers feel like they belong for the very first time when they contribute to a group project, and that’s a powerful moment for any youngster. Others just need a friend to encourage them and help build up their self-confidence. Either way, a little empathy and understanding goes a long way at camp. As students receive this kind of support from one another, they become better at offering it to others later in life.
These experiences, early in children’s lives, form their moral code for years to come. Yes, they master programming, sports and other academic skills at KTP camps. But they also absorb emotional intelligence, craft a moral identity, and cultivate the courage to live by their values. They learn to feel what others feel. That never goes away.
Equipping Kids with Different Points of View
Diverse camps, like KidzToPros’, open children’s eyes and hearts to peers from different backgrounds and lifestyles. After all, differences can be quirky, interesting – and fun. Kids learn to watch, listen and understand friends’ expressions and viewpoints, and they become more accepting because of it. This kind of experience extends beyond camp, engraining different points of view into students’ lives as they grow older.
KTP creates a supportive environment that welcomes all kinds of children. This encourages campers to support others, reduce judgment and increase resilience.
Inspiring Appreciation for Others
Campers want to be valued and accepted, both for who they are and what they do. Kids feel motivated to keep going and do their best when peers and instructors notice them and praise their work.
At KidzToPros’ camps, our instructors understand this need for approval and use direct praise with campers daily. Friends see and hear teachers using positive talk and often follow suit, becoming Appreciation Officers by complimenting peers and their contributions. Deeds like this make kids shine, as peers catch them doing the right thing.
Building character by inspiring appreciation impacts our community as a whole. As kids become better people and spread positivity throughout their neighborhoods, it builds a positive environment we all want to be part of. And to think, it all starts with summer camp!
Teaching Kids to Serve
Kids at camp learn to care for others through their actions. Instructors discourage selfish tendencies, demonstrate to youngsters the consequences of their actions, and teach kids to serve others before self. They encourage kids to hold themselves responsible and accountable, and to consider how their thoughts and actions might have an impact, both as a group and as individuals.
Serving others gives campers a sense of compassion truly needed in the world today. Service leads to a grateful heart – and the understanding that we’re all interconnected. Therefore, serving others benefits everyone, including self.
Consequences, both good and bad, result from action. When we catch campers doing something good, we recognize them with praise and positive reinforcement. When they do something that may have negative results, we discuss the consequences of that action right away.
For example, if someone makes a mess, they clean it up. This might be spilling toys or hurting a fellow camper’s feelings. If someone goes out of their way to help a friend, they’re rewarded for their efforts. Either way, KTP instructors guide students through situations and what lessons they might learn from them. Helping children tie their actions to results motivates them to do the right thing.
Kids need to know that they’re going to make mistakes. It’s part of growing up! However, they must learn from those mistakes, make meaningful amends and experience the consequences of their actions to build lasting character.
Emphasizing Good Sportsmanship
KTP sports programs help boost self-confidence in kids who may not have the faith in themselves to try out for teams at school. In our loving and close-knit environment, vulnerable kids are more willing to take a risk. In fact, many parents react with amazement when they hear their kids talk excitedly about games and tournaments for the first time.
We encourage our campers to get out there and play. It doesn’t matter how old they are or if they’ve never hit a ball or birdie before. Learning good sportsmanship allows both athletic and non-athletic campers to win and lose gracefully. This kind of supportive environment also leads kids to encourage one another and help each other along.
After all, why are we at camp? To have fun! All we expect from kids is that they seek after new knowledge, take responsibility for their actions, and treat others with kindness and respect. That’s what being a good sport is all about.
The Best Camps for Kids: They’re Not Just Academic
KidzToPros’ camps build character by teaching kids to persevere, take responsibility, treat others as they would like to be treated, and demonstrate compassion every day. In return, we promote recognition and reward.
Enroll your kids in KTP’s best camps for kids. We’ll help you help them become kind and caring adults who will change the world!