A new youth development webinar series will discuss the core developmental stages of children over time and explore strategies for building meaningful, supportive connections with them every step of the way.

The three-part series, presented by Rachel Schwartz and Jennifer Streicher of JCC Chicago, starts on April 6 and concludes on April 20.

1. Diving into Development

April 6, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. eastern

This workshop will take a deeper look into children’s development across various domains including cognitive, physical, communication, and social-emotional. Together, we will discuss each age group (four years old through high school) and refer to specific case examples, so counselors, specialists, and camp leadership can get a better sense of what is happening for children at each stage, and how they can be prepared to respond in an emotionally supportive way.

2. Building Trust and Security

April 13, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. eastern

This workshop will address ways to care for ourselves so that we are able to be present and attuned to the needs of our campers. We will also focus on three primary strategies for building trust and secure relationships in the camp environment: Creating a welcoming and inclusive setting, consistency and predictability, and presence and authentic connection. Here we will discuss ways to interact with and respond to children that will develop a sense of safety, so they will feel compelled to take risks, try new activities, and make new friends at camp.

3. Playing Detective 

April 20, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. eastern

In this workshop we will learn how to better uncover the meaning behind children’s challenging behaviors. We will focus on understanding behavior as children’s form of communication, and how discovering the WHY behind it allows us to tailor our responses and expectations to meet the unique needs of each camper. We will look at examples of difficult behaviors and strategize ways to respond that will decrease anxiety and power struggles, ultimately leading to more positive pro-social behaviors.

Learn more and register for the series.

Photo courtesy of Tom Sawyer Camps in Atladena, California