Warm, humid air arrived in Maine, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone. Our Senior boys departed this morning at 5 am to go out west. They landed safely after waiting their entire camping careers for this trip of a lifetime. Our Junior campers stayed in their regular routine this morning and ventured down to the waterfront this afternoon for a game of water polo before preparing for evening socials with a neighboring girls’ camp. Our Warrior campers enjoyed playing sports with our field sprinklers running, which made the games not only fun, but also cool and refreshing.
While much of my day focuses on creating wonderful opportunities for our boys, I can’t help but focus on the individual moments that allow children to grow here at camp. It is unrealistic to think that over a seven-week period, children are not going to have a bad moment or a bad day. But, it’s during these times that we have the greatest opportunities to make a positive impact on a child. These teachable moments are more important than any victory we could ever have on a playing field or court.
Little boys, by nature, are impulsive. They will very often act before they think.
When surrounded by their peers, kids will become over-stimulated and often make choices based on how they will be perceived by those around them. Nevertheless, in my experience, when I have a chance to sit down with a boy and talk to him about his attention seeking behavior, he very often reflects and recognizes that he must be responsible for his actions to move forward.
Parents often ask me, “What are the consequences for a child who acts out in camp?”
While I believe in consequences, my first reaction is always to sit with a child and understand what he is feeling and what caused him to misbehave before I render a consequence. Very often a child acting out is expressing a sign of his own unhappiness, and it’s important to recognize that negative behavior is sometimes a form of expression from a child looking for help. While camp is a place to develop self-confidence, it is also a place that forces us to face and overcome our insecurities.