Curiosity - Because of Summer Camp #6

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Camp Teaches Kids to be Curious!

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It seems to be unanimous across of our hosts and guests today that curiosity goes past just the knowledge seeking aspect that it may initially be attributed to.

We are happy to welcome Kirsten “Firefly” Otis, the modern day Ms. Frizzle to discuss how camp allows for space and time for liberty to be taken about discovery. Camp allows for everyone to be wondering and have time to learn about what they want. At camp we intentionally use teachable moments and use whatever we are currently involved in to teach whatever lessons come upon us.

I think that curiosity is an excellent way to push against apathy in our young people. Apathy is the not doing of anything, or not having the motivation to act on anything. Curiosity, when harnessed, can truly awaken a passion. With encouragement and drive within an environment where curiosity is encouraged, young people try new things and discover their likes and dislikes. Being curious is all about finding out something new or pushing to explore and discover. This is how we think that camp helps our young people develop their passions.

Just today, even as a staff member, we discovered some baby painted turtles making their way towards the swamp and we stopped to observe and learn and discover. I think that the beauty of camp is that we don’t seek to crush curiosity and we look to help young people find out who they are, and encourage them to explore their interests!

We are so glad to have had this wonderful chat with modern day Ms. Frizzle, and all of the curiosity she brings to the table.

I’ll see you next time.

Thanks for the podcast, friends!
-Arae

Tangible Take-Aways - Applying camp’s lessons to your life

Firefly - Give yourself space in your life to look around and notice things. Walk a bit slower, look up, down and all around and ask yourself why things are how they are. If you want to go a step further, try using your other senses to discover more about the things that make your curious.

Arae - Use curiosity as a tool to get to know someone better. Use visual cues like bracelets, jewelry, art in their houses or even their clothes, and ask questions about it. People love telling stories and it is one of the easiest ways to connect with people.

Iscus - Go to a crowded place where you can observe big groups of people (ex. the third floor balcony of a mall). Take a second to think about how each one of those people have a story, goals and dreams. It’s a good way to get out of your own little world once and awhile.

Please feel free to comment below on how you did with our challenges. Good luck!

Your Hosts

Kirsten Otis, Camp Staff, Educator and Outdoor Education Specialist - The Curious Firefly

Matt Honsberger, Co-Host - The Because of Summer Camp Podcast

Ian Paton, Co-Host - The Because of Summer Camp Podcast

Camaraderie - Because of Summer Camp #5

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Camp Teaches Kids About Camaraderie

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               Podcast: Subscribe in iTunes Stitcher App

“Camaraderie” was my word of the summer in 2013. In general, it is one of my most favourites. 

Incase you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a definition from Apple’s Dictionary:

camaraderie, noun
mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together: a genuine camaraderie on the hockey team.

I came to really understand Camaraderie last summer at camp. A group of us were asked to assemble and set up the canoe docks that were stacked away for the winter. I wouldn’t say that any of us were "experts" at assembling this heavy steel structure, but, we’re camp people of course, so we are adaptable, clever and if not anything else, willing.

There are a ton of factors that into getting the docks together and placed safely, as we learned that day. Another thing that we learned that day was the beauty of tackling those factors together. It wasn’t easy, and that was important; It required multiple perspectives, which was important, and most of all, it required for us to be a cohesive, and adaptable team.

I’ll never forget that afternoon at camp. It could have just been meaningless grunt-work, but it so much more. Something that camp taught me that afternoon was through camaraderie, any task can become a relationship strengthening activity.

We were thrilled to have Mieke Barette from Camp Wenonah join us on the show to dive into why the lesson of camaraderie is something that she learned at summer camp, and is something that she uses regularly in her job in the Music Faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University.

I hope that you leave this podcast with a new found love for camaraderie. I would love to chat with you about it sometime!

Happy camping,
-
Iscus

Tangible Take-Aways - Applying camp’s lessons to your life

Arae - Use a friend (perhaps the same friend from Episode 1) and get outside and share an experience together.

Iscus - Have a CRAZY camaradic experience! Use this list for inspiration: http://www.tickld.com/x/20-awesome-date-ideas-

Mieke - At least 3 times, offer people in your workplace a hand with one of their tasks. Remember that even the smallest, most “meaningless” tasks hold an opportunity for Camaraderie !

Please feel free to comment below on how you did with our challenges. Good luck!

Your Hosts

Mieke Barette, Outreach and Student Recruitment Coordinator At Wilfrid Laurier University & Camp Wenonah Staff Member

Matt Honsberger, Co-Host - The Because of Summer Camp Podcast

Ian Paton, Co-Host - The Because of Summer Camp Podcast

Community - Because of Summer Camp #3

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Camp teaches kids the value of community.

Welcome, friends, to the third episode of The Because of Summer Camp Podcast.

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This episode, we are happy to welcome Natasha “Plinko” Dunn to the show. Plinko works on a daily basis in the “real world” to build community as a elementary school teacher. Today, we discuss some of the skills and ideas that summer camp has helped develop Plinko into THE community building wizard.

At camp, staff and campers are put into a place and are required to live and function together. It’s only natural that there are challenges and difficulties that they are bound to come up against.

But worry not! Camp staff are invested in the campers, and are taking time to get to know each of the campers for who they really are. Throughout a week at camp, counsellors and leadership team members each make the conscious effort to maintain a healthy relationship with all of the people around them. With this type of support system, it only makes sense that camp is probably the strongest community I have ever been a part of. Ever since I was a wee one, just an eight year old, I remember observing how camp community functioned and made so much more sense than many of the other communities I had been a part of. The empowering proponent of emotional safety that really only does come from a healthy community is so very inspiring and I truly think that is why camp staff come back year after year to work harder than anywhere else on the planet.

We truly think that camp has the power to help inspire the community builders of tomorrow!

If you have any questions or comments or ideas please contact us and let us know!

Until next time,

-Arae

Tangible Take-Aways - Applying camp’s lessons to your life

Iscus - Draw a community mind map on a white board, write down each community you have been a part of and how each of these communities have helped you and supported you throughout your life.

Arae - Reflect on what community means to you and try to find some media that articulates your idea of community and then share it in the comments below. Look for a ted talk, a blog post, anything that speaks to your idea of community

Natasha - Create a positive culture in your workplace through praising other people, and why you are praising them. Think to Michael Brandwein’s Describe label praise concept, labeling things we appreciate is much more important than just saying “thats awesome high five!!!”

DLP - Describe the action, Label the quality that it shows, Praise the action

Please feel free to comment below on how you did with our challenges. Good luck!

Your Hosts

Natasha Dunn, Elementary School Teacher - MsDunnOnline.ca, http://therookieteacher.ca/

Matt Honsberger, Co-Host - The Because of Summer Camp Podcast

Ian Paton, Co-Host - The Because of Summer Camp Podcast