Monday, September 14, 2009

Learning Responsibility at Camp

“I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. Every single one of you has something that you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is.” -From the remarks by The President in a national address to America’s schoolchildren

In conjunction with President Barack Obama’s remarks, the US Department of Education is launching an “I Am What I Learn” video contest later this month where students will respond to the president's challenge by creating videos, up to two minutes in length, describing the steps they will take to improve their education and the role education will play in fulfilling their dreams. As the following images demonstrate, many of our campers began taking those steps long before they stepped foot in their classrooms this fall.

“You become good at things through hard work.

“Being successful is hard.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

“You can't let your failures define you -- you have to let your failures teach you.”

“But whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.”

Each of our campers discovers something he or she is good at while at camp. From leading a group to the summit of a mountain, to comforting a friend, to overcoming fears, to pointing out the beauty of a sunset, our campers build on personal strengths and take pride in their unique gifts. A summer at camp brings out the best in each child, and allows each individual to flourish in a safe, supportive, nurturing environment where questions are welcomed, successes are celebrated and failures are opportunities for growth.

The SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Leadership Experience) and the CORE (Community OutReach Experience) are two programs designed to specifically teach leadership and backcountry skills to our oldest campers. Through these programs we see a dramatic increase in our campers’ sense of personal responsibility, in their understanding and commitment to service, a new-found confidence in their abilities and strength, and the knowledge (and desire) to be truly successful.

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