Lessons learned in camp will last a lifetime


Lessons learned in summer camp can be valuable to people of all ages and stages of life.

On the American Camp Association’s website, acacamps.org, three lessons learned in camp were noted in a sponsored blog: building resilience, fostering independence and improving problem-solving skills.

These are such important life skills!

Resilience is a key ingredient for dealing with life’s changes. How do we find solutions that help us overcome obstacles? And how can we model resilience for our children? Having resilience can make the difference between good mental health and having mental-health conditions.

There is a great quiz on resiliency at resiliencyquiz.com. It’s worth taking, and you can see where you are on a continuum.

The second life lesson in the blog, which is sponsored by ACTIVE Network, is fostering independence. The earlier we learn how to make decisions, and to learn from our mistakes, the more confident and independent we become.

How often do we let our children make decisions, even very small ones? Do we allow our children to take responsibility for those decisions, or do we rescue them? Fostering independence teaches life lessons that help us cope and handle disappointments better.

The third life lesson is improving problem-solving skills.  Communication and resourcefulness are also strong parts of this skill, especially in presenting and defending the solution.

How often do we ask our children to think critically, and identify problems? How often do we encourage our children to ask questions and identify the best solutions? The earlier children learn these skills, the easier it will be to learn, grow and create solutions.

In digging deeper, specifically into the benefits of Jewish camp, I found answers at the Foundation for Jewish Camp, jewishcamp.org:

“By attending Jewish camp:

“1. Jewish youth feel a deep, personal, and lifelong commitment to their Jewish identity, ownership of their Judaism, and connection to Israel.

“2. Jewish adults prioritize Jewish experiences and incorporate Jewish values and knowledge into their family life.

“3. The next generation of Jewish leaders is equipped with a greater sense of community, connectedness, competency, and resilience.”

So, in addition to all the fundamental life skills that camp offers, Jewish camps honor our Judaism and help our future leaders apply their Jewish values and identity.

PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is an award-winning radio producer, business owner and leader.  She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence, and is a recipient of the Providence Business News 2020 Leaders and Achievers award. Her “Positive Aging with Patricia Raskin” podcast is broadcast on the Rhode Island PBS website, ripbs.org/positiveaging.

camp, healthy living