Skill building at Greenwood Trails: How 21st century skills grow here each summer

Every year, new innovations change the way we live, work, and experience the world around us. As our children grow up in a world of constant growth and technological advances, it’s more important than ever that they learn skills that will help them adapt to change. In fact, many colleges and employers are now naming soft, adaptable skills like grit, creativity, communication, and collaboration as their top choices for successful leaders.

At Greenwood Trails, we know how important it is to give each child a meaningful summer camp experience. One where they can unplug, make face-to-face connections, and learn skills they wouldn’t normally gain from sitting in a classroom.  Here are a few of the ways we are helping campers gain 21st Century Skills every summer.

Choose Your Own Trail

At the core of our fun summer program is the ability to choose. Every camper is encouraged to make their own choices on what they would like to focus on during the summer, whether that is something in athletics, arts, adventure, or aquatics activities. This helps us instill a deep sense of individuality and personal growth in each camper as they dive into passions that inspire them.

Each camper is given the choice of two weekly majors where they can really learn and grow in something that interests them. Our focused program allows campers to explore their interests in a way that they may not normally have the time for during the school year. This encourages campers to think seriously about their passions and strengths on their own terms while at summer camp.

Building Resilience

Our dynamic program is accentuated by our Trails Program, which gives campers the option to reach specific goals during the summer. This program helps campers actualize their potential and be rewarded for all their hard work at camp. In our technological world, many children are being taught that they should receive immediate satisfaction from every task. Video games, social media, and other forms of technology encourage this behavior even though it does not translate in college or the workplace.

Our Trails Program instead rewards campers for working hard and building up the courage to complete their goals. Within each of our four trails – athletics, adventure, arts, and aquatics – there are a series of benchmarks for campers to achieve. For example, to complete the adventure trail, they need to climb all sides of the climbing tower; build and light a campfire without assistance; and successfully navigate three elements of the low ropes course, among other things. When campers fully complete a trail, they are recognized in front of the entire camp for their hard work.

Becoming Great Communicators

In every career path and goal, we know one thing to be true: communication is key! Communication skills can help children excel in a variety of areas in school and beyond, but researchers are noticing that these skills are being stunted by the very technology that is driving progress in other areas. At camp, children are challenged to unplug and build face-to-face connections with one another. Not only does this foster great friendships, it also helps children overcome feelings of shyness and stage fright. Breaking down these barriers can help children learn how to present ideas and find the confidence to be great leaders and innovators.

Resolving Issues

As our campers possess all types of colorful personalities, it’s normal for disagreements to happen every once and awhile. However, these moments quickly become learning experiences for campers as they use their camp values and communications skills to resolve issues themselves. Our counselors act as great role models and meditators, teaching campers how to find solutions to disagreements and establish respect for one another. This helps us build a rich family community at Greenwood Trails that inspires so many of our new campers to return for many more summers.

No matter what activity your child chooses, all trails lead to an uplifting summer of growth and exploration! The unique experiences at Greenwood Trails help campers stand out among their peers and build their futures in a meaningful way. While they are having the time of their lives, they are also growing into the best versions of themselves every day at Greenwood Trails.

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