AUTONOMY. From early September until mid June, a kid’s every single move is predetermined. Wake up. Wear this. Eat breakfast. Sit straight. Play now. No talking. Read that. Play more (hopefully). Line up. Do homework. Eat dinner. Shower up. Bed time.
Obviously, kids need a considerable amount of governance to establish a sense of accountability, develop a routine, and set boundaries, i.e. when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play. But, arguably more vital than those traits is the development of the kid’s voice. Enter, Champ Camp…
Our weeks begin by empowering campers with the notion that they literally get to do whatever they want. After throwing options out to them, we sit back and let the kids paint their day. Now, for a camper who’s spent the previous ten months (or perhaps ten years) following a relatively stringent itinerary, what happens when she’s given the keys to her own city? Let us save you the research-- what we see is the enchanting merger of freedom and authenticity, which leads our campers to the realization that they each have a voice that matters.
It’s an odd and often fleeting notion that kids are just soon-to-be adults with less birthdays under their belts. As adults, we’re required to craft our weeks, months, and lives with some sense of foresighted acuity. However, if things are mostly pre-arranged for our kids until they finish high school, and maybe even college, how can we expect them to successfully navigate the ambiguity of life thereafter? Newsflash: we can’t. But, by peppering autonomy into the foundation of our program, we begin to awaken our campers to the existence of their voices, and embolden them to speak up and start to make some decisions for themselves on the regs.