I was rereading an article that was in the Boston Globe earlier this month titled “How Kids Make Friends — And Why It Matters.” Of course when I first read the article, I was reminded of ACA’s outcomes research and the power of the camp experience as it relates to “making friends.”
However, as I reread the article, I found myself considering deeper thoughts: The article does not just talk about making friends but honing “friendship skills.” Are we simply creating opportunities for kids to “make” friends, or are we teaching and facilitating “friendship skills?” And what does that look like?
The article also recognized our recent societal concentration on the prevention of bullying (which is very important). But the article questions whether we should be putting equal focus on helping kids build friendship skills. Once again, I recognize the camp community as an excellent environment for this kind of skill building. Do we talk about it enough as an antidote to bullying?
What are your thoughts?
Photo courtesy of Tom Sawyer Camps, Altadena, California