Have any of you read Mind in the Making by Ellen Galinsky? This is another fascinating read.

Are you not both challenged and validated by any number of frameworks currently being promoted that all resonate with the value of the camp experience? Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner, 21st century skills, Mind in the Making, teen brain research, and others all are converging around similar concepts of innovation, creativity, global respect and understanding, ethical communication, critical thinking and problem solving, synthesizing, assimilating, and adaptation — to name a few.

This same convergence of research and thought leaders took place 20 years ago around the field of early childhood development. As a result, parents today sign up their children for preschool often immediately following birth, if not before. They do so because they now understand the value of early stimulation and that “play” is not frivolous.

We are talking about the human journey and the essential role we play in that development. How do we (the entire community of practice) provide children and youth the passport from one learning platform to the next to ensure safe and productive travels?

How are you talking to parents about the importance of what you do and enabling children to learn and manage self-control? Adele Diamond from the University of British Columbia says that more and more evidence is revealing that executive function skills including self-control “actually predict success better than IQ tests.”

How are you explaining to parents that physical games and experiences are a better use of time than sitting for long hours? Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang, authors of Welcome to Your Child’s Brain, write: “Though parents often worry that physical education takes time away from the classroom, an analysis of multiple studies instead found strong evidence that physical activity improved academic performance.”

Visit ACA’s research Web page, and you will find a plethora of evidence informed value that supports the importance of the camp experience. If a parent desires their child to be healthy and productive in the 21st century, there is a significant case to be made for the camp experience as an essential component in that journey.

What is your message?

Image courtesy of Camp Eagle Ridge in Mellen, Wisconsin.