Thursday, March 24, 2011

21st Century Competencies... Found at CAMP!

The epicenter of the Camp Industry off-season is the Tri-State Camp Conference (preceded by the National Camp Conference in San Diego this year).  Put together by volunteers of the American Camp Association (including Andy, Jason and Brandi), these conferences offer tremendous professional development opportunities, hundreds of exhibitors with new products, and opportunities to meet and learn from hundreds of other Camp Directors from across the country.

I was fortunate to be a part of facilitating seven sessions this year, and attended over a dozen others.  Many of these workshops had a common thread that will become a big part of Camping in the future, and a big part of Liberty Lake Day Camp immediately- There is lots of data from studies showing the "21st Century Competencies" that Fortune 500 employers and colleges are seeking from their applicants and new hires- These are not the 3-R's that they teach in school, but "applied skills" such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication collaboration and creativity... All things that kids learn from being outside and playing with others at Camp.  Another study glaringly shows that the #1 Deficiency is LEADERSHIP- something we take so seriously at LLDC, that we have dedicated our entire 9th/10th grade program to it.

So starting this summer, Liberty Lake is going to be much more "intentional" about things.  We will constantly ask the question "Why are we here?" - and it's not just to "have fun".  It's to help children be better thinkers, problem solvers, communicators, collaborators- and to teach them what it means to be a "good friend".  We will strive to make this happen EVERYWHERE- from the soccer fields to the changing rooms, to the high ropes to the boating docks.  It will be in our Parent Guide, our Team Handbook, our Team Evaluations, and our marketing materials.  Our goal is to make children into successful adults, good people and contributing citizens to society- and while "the Magic of Camp" is an awesome thing, we plan on going about it very seriously and intentionally!

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