Make New Friends
Our Approach to Friendship
Friendship is the heart and soul of JCC’s J Camps. For many of our campers, camp is the first time they are developing friendships without parent involvement. Our camp philosophy is to balance the opportunity to meet new friends with the comfort of being with familiar ones. Friendship making is fundamental to social and emotional development in children. Learning how to be a friend, make a friend and keep a friend are important camp values and life skills.
The skills of friendship are as easy to learn as running, jumping and playing. The more practice children get using these skills, the easier time they will have making friends. The ability to make friends is refined through trial and error. Camp increases kids’ exposure to forming and maintaining friends, which leads to a greater likelihood they will be socially comfortable and confident.
We recognize that fostering the development of social skills is an extremely important activity at camp. When relating to other kids in their group, children will experience how to compromise and negotiate. They will also understand how to recognize shared interests, gracefully jump into play, pay attention to non-verbal communication cues, identify common goals, and listen to and respect the feelings of others. Learning and practicing social skills in all of these areas will help your children understand how to make and keep friends.
The best part of all of this? Campers don’t even realize what they are learning. They know that they are having the time of their lives, meeting new people and doing cool things. As adults, we have the benefit of seeing so much more.
The 9 J Camps – Apachi and Neighborhood Camps – are places where campers can discover new experiences in a safe environment, giving them the freedom to explore who they really are, play in a bully-free zone and find out what it means to be a friend. Spaces are still available for the upcoming summer. www.jccchicago.org/daycamp