The Gifts of Our Camp Staff
One of the best things we do at summer camp is to help young people slow down and take stock of the gifts and talents they possess. Here is an activity that can be done during pre-camp or early in the group's time together. It encourages staff or leaders in training to share what they do well and to recognize the abilities of others. It can also incorporate the concept of growth throughout the summer.
Footprints Journey Mural
Have everyone trace one of their feet onto construction paper and cut it out. Then have them decorate it with words or symbols telling about several of the things they do well. Have participants sit in a circle with their footprints and ask them to talk to the person next to them and tell that person about the 3 things they have written on their footprint.
Talk with your group about their gifts and talents. Ask if any of them found it hard to talk about a something they do well. While this exercise may not have been hard for some, it will have been difficult for others. We often find it uncomfortable to talk about things we do well. This is a great jumping off point to discuss how campers in their care may also find it hard to recognize their own gifts and talents and what the role of the staff will be this coming summer in building self-esteem.
Throughout the summer, you can have them add to their footprints new skills they have learned. During this initial activity, create a road of paper onto which the footprints can be placed. Throughout the week of pre-camp or during your summer, move the footprints along the road to signify your journey together. As the summer progresses, have the staff place markers along the road to signify special events in your months together.