Developing Real Relationships At Camp

Camp Impacts Children's Friendships

One of the most important things about a summer camp experience is the opportunity to develop real relationships.


Here is an exercise that can be used with L.I.T.s, staff or older campers.

Don't forget to choose the right setting...a private place without distractions that will allow the participants to be able to focus on the task at hand.

True Friends Are A Priceless Gift

Explain to your participants that there are very few things in life as important or as wonderful as true friendship.  A good friend is a real treasure. Have them take a moment to reflect on their friendships.  Ask them to list 3 people they consider to be true friends. Now have them briefly write down reasons why these people are their true friends. Next, have them list the names of 3 to 5 people with whom they would like to become better friends.

For this next part of the exercise, have your participants answer the following questions in their journals or on a piece of paper as you read them.  Explain that these answers will not be shared with anyone.

  • How many friends do you have?
  • Do you have friends of both sexes?
  • Do you have friends who are five years younger than you?
  • Do you have friends who are five years older than you?
  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve done with friends?
  • Who would consider you one of their friends?
  • List 3 qualities you have that make you a good friend.
  • What qualities does your best friend have?
  • Are your family members your friends? Why or why not?
  • Do you have more or fewer friends than you had one year ago?
  • Are you a good friend? Why?

A True Friend

Bring them together in a circle and ask what qualities they feel make a good friend.

Make a list on a white board or sheet of newsprint.  Let them know you will be asking several questions now to which you do not wish any verbal answers.  These are simply for them to think about on their own.

  • which of these qualities are your greatest strengths in a friendship?
  • In which areas do you need improvement?

Conclude your time together by asking them why you did this exercise and what they have learned from it. Brainstorm together ways in which you can put to use at camp some of what you discussed today.