We’ve had a wonderful first half of our 2014 Summer. We spend all year planning for these glorious eight weeks of camp. Of course much of the planning involves upgrades to our facility, adding exciting new activities, creating interesting and unique programs and whipping up surprising special events. We would like to tell you something different we did this offseason and why.
Life Skills For Success: We’ve been following some new research on what our kids are learning in school. More important though are the skills our kids are not learning. Findings show that children are leaving school with a deficit in many skills that are critical for success. These skills, however, are not the academic ones we hear so much about. Instead, leading educators, researchers and employers are all focusing on “non-cognitive skills” like critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and teamwork, and creativity. In fact, many of the world’s largest organizations have joined together to form The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, www.P21.org, because they worry about our future.
Schools are doing their best to teach the technical and academic skills that our children will need in order to compete in a global economy. We are fortunate to have some great schools in our neighborhoods, but the world has changed. Our children grow up in a world of structured activities and play dates, where we are plugged in to some piece of technology most of the time, and in which fear (whether right or wrong) sometimes prevents us from allowing our kids to have the freedom to play and explore without being under constant parental supervision.
More than Fun & Games – Crestwood’s Super 6: For the most part, we are doing what we have always done. We use fun activities, events and staff as the tools to develop essential life skills. Those of us who have worked at Crestwood or have gone to camps ourselves already know that we learn these “non-cognitive” life skills as a natural result of being in the camp environment. We developed a new program this off-season with our Leadership Team focused around a new mission statement and core set of values that we call the “Super 6”.
“Super 6” set of Values –
• ACCEPTANCE – Kindness and compassion for others is a critical part of a young child’s development
• SPORTSMANSHIP – Learning to win and lose with humility and class
• INDIVIDUALITY – Encouraging campers to be themselves and be proud of who they are
• INDEPENDENCE – Sense of freedom; Taking safe risks; Practicing how to handle failure and stress
• PRAISE THE EFFORT OVER THE ACCOMPLISHMENT – Every child deserves praise; Getting campers to focus on their performance rather than looking good
• RESPECT – Honoring other people and treating them with care and courtesy
Crestwood is uniquely positioned to fill in the gaps being seen in these skills. As you know, we have mature adults and teachers serving as Group Leaders for each group. We only hire college students and older as staff. Our specialists are top teachers, coaches and professionals. We believe that a mature staff filled with professionals is best suited to teach these skills while keeping camp fun. We will continue to make Crestwood better each summer with new facilities, programs and staff so that your kids keep saying how much fun it is at Crestwood. But our ultimate goal and mission will always be to teach children the SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL SKILLS that need to be learned at a young age in order to ultimately become a successful and happy adult.
Our warmest regards,
Mark H., Mark T., Jeff