Social and Emotional Learning at Camp

April 19, 2021
Elizabeth Belkin
Reading book by lake

Recovery from the trauma of the pandemic will be an important goal for camps this summer. It’s going to be a big lift, and we know you are ready for it! Aside from the usual, wonderful ways our campers play and dance and laugh, we should be thinking about new methods for helping campers talk about this past year and goals for the future.

For many children, understanding what they have been through in the pandemic is still hard to grasp. There has been so much isolation, fear, and loss that the process for coping will take months, if not years.

Thankfully, camp is here to play a major role in children’s healing. One of the finest ways we have seen children process difficult experiences is through books and reading. And for campers, reading a book together that features universal themes such as childhood, friendship, and independence can be a powerful tool for recovery.

Arming counselors with programming that helps their campers talk about what they have read leads to deeper, more personal discussions as well. A book chapter can be a wonderful jumping off point from reflecting on a character or a setting to thinking about how to emerge from this experience whole and safe. Social and emotional learning starts on page one.

Parents will love to know that in addition to their high-quality camp experience, their children are doing something important this summer that will go a long way in rebuilding the very serious learning loss that has occurred.

We are going to be talking about our curriculum, Inspiring Readers. on Wednesday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Here is a preview of what you will hear:

You or your counselors select the book(s) they want to read and discuss with their campers in grades 4–9. Participating campers have a copy of the book and as a group we read and then discuss using a teacher’s guide and other supporting tools to aid the counselors in leading fulfilling conversations. The program is flexible, take 20 minutes a day, or an hour twice a week. The book selection is filled with meaningful books that lend themselves to conversation and debate.

Please join us for our webinar or email Elizabeth Belkin today for a conversation about how reading belongs at camp!