The opposite of chance is purpose and intention. Camp professionals can purposefully assist campers in their journey of self-discovery at camp through intentional planning. The underlying foundation of camp is the notion that everyone can master increasingly complex tasks, achieve self-direction and self-confidence, and become independent individuals.

Researchers suggest that 75% of all learning occurs outside of the classroom. It thus behooves camp professionals to create an intentional environment that encourages and steers that growth.

Some Assumptions:

  • Human development is a continuous and cumulative process.
  • Growth is most likely to occur in an environment where change is anticipated.
  • Skills that facilitate development can be learned.

Campers are constantly placed in situations that require new responses. Children learn from their responses that some responses are better suited than others. By understanding what unique challenges and struggles each child faces allows camp professionals to plan programs and strategies for promoting the personal growth of the children in their charge. Camp is wrought with teachable moments that will inform a camper’s growth and development. Staff must be trained to see them and react.

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Campers need to be involved in creating their unique and personal goals. Campers can be challenged to question their current beliefs, and camp staff can provide the necessary support to them as they navigate successes and failures on this path of self-discovery.

Personal growth comes in many forms, each informed by the individual camper’s goals. Through a creative blend of athletic, artistic, and community-minded programing, campers unleash their passions. Camps must partner with parents and campers to determine what each child’s “intentional roadmap” toward becoming their best-self will look like for them. Intentional planning is the rudder that steers a child’s personal growth journey at camp. Each plan is tailored to the unique talents, goals, and skills of that individual camper.

How do you know where you are going unless you have a plan to get there? Intentional planning by camp professionals will create, facilitate, and critique each step of the way for campers. The result will be a “win-win” for everyone, changing the life of a child one child at a time, thus making camp one of the most important investments any parent can make for their child.