How Campers Become Leaders
n: Leadership | the actions of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.
Developing leaderships skills starts early and can happen when we least expect it. The relaxed, fun-filled days of summer camp in Chicago become environments ripe for new friendship to be made and relationship skills to be developed.
At JCC Chicago, we understand the importance of kids growing critical 21 century skills for success. Children of all ages, whether they are with us for a partial week or have been attending summer camps for years, will learn about what it means to be a leader when they come to camp. Here’s why.
They get inspired.
Counselors teach campers about the activities within the camp, encourage skill development, and model values day in and day out. Children learn what a true leader looks like when observing their counselors, how they interact with kids and adults and how they communicate.
They help others.
Every member of the camp has responsibility to help others, whether that means comforting a fellow camper, or working together as a team in an exercise. This opportunity allows children to see themselves as a valuable part of a community and encourages them to step up and help when they can. They soon take on the role of a leader, taking the initiative to step in and meet the needs of others.
They are challenged.
Many (if not most) camp activities are designed to teach and foster leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. When the group is on a challenge course, campers will learn about listening to everyone’s voices and ideas, sharing the workload, and supporting members who are struggling. For every activity completed, campers are actively taught how to take initiative, ask questions, work with others, and gain confidence in their own abilities.
They grow organically.
Children in camp are learning their way through a new environment with new friends and activities.
There are a multitude of facets of camp that inspire leadership in the children. Perhaps this is why so many campers grow up to be leaders in their workplaces and communities. While having fun is a large part of camp (they’re kids after all!), camp also harvests and integrates empathic traits and valuable skills.
Additional Benefits of Attending Camp
Camp is so much more than swimming, cookouts and fun. Our day camp environments nurture a child’s natural curiosity and helps children untap new interests and new potential.
- Camp is action-packed! Much of a child’s time spent at school is sat behind a desk. As we all know, there are countless benefits to physical exercise, from mental to long-term physical health. Activity at camp helps children to stay active through running, swimming, hiking, and playing sports.
- Experience success Camp helps children build their personality and self-confidence by removing the academic, athletic, and social competition the can be present during the school year. Instead, children can focus on their own abilities without judgment from surrounding groups.
- Unplug from technology Many children come home from school and head straight to the TV, their phone, or game console. Take that all away, and children are left to play games, communicate with others, learn, and have fun! Camp encourages children to rediscover their creative powers and engage with the real world.
- Connect with nature The narrow experience of modern indoor life can hinder children later on. Being outside in nature enriches the perception of the world and returns to basics. With a deeper understanding and respect for the outdoors, wildlife, and the environment, children can become better advocates.
- Develop life-long skills As well as building the necessary skills to become a leader, camps provide the right instruction and encouragement for kids to enhance their sports abilities, artistic talents, and communication skills, while discovering talents and interests they didn’t know they had.
Ready to get started? How to Choose the Right Camp for Your Kid
As a parent, you want to ensure that you select the day camp in Chicago that suits your child’s age, ability, and interests. Start by visiting jccchicago.org to learn about our nine daycamps across the city and suburbs, each offering the traditional fun and friends of camp paired with specialty programs and experiences.