Taking Children back to Nature
Do you know that children spend half the amount of time in nature as their parents did when they were young? And in contrast, research has also highlighted the many benefits that spending time outdoors in a natural environment can provide for kids.
Explorer Camps help its international campers to step away from computers, iPhones etc. for the whole stay on camp and get back in touch with nature in Slovenia by:
#1 Taking ALL children outdoor camping for 1 night.
#2 Providing 50+ outdoor activities and sports.
#3 Spending a majority of the day in nature.
#4 Creating a device free environment ALL camp!
#5Having daily campfire and star spotting.
The future of education – Emotional Intelligence
One day on camp, 9 year old Angie started an impromptu game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with a shy Hungarian girl. She had noticed that the girl couldn’t speak English well, nor make friends easily. Angie’s plan worked. The game helped relax the small Hungarian and she began to connect a lot more with those around her.
The story illustrates Angie’s high EQ, or better known as emotional intelligence. It’s a skill set that’s being talked about more and more, with many experts and educators saying it matters more than IQ.
Study after study has proven EQ’s importance: it predicts future success in relationships, health and quality of life. It’s been shown that children with high EQs earn better grades, stay in school longer and make healthier choices overall (for example, they are less likely to smoke). Teachers also report that high-EQ students are more co-operative and make better leaders in the classroom. Basically … emotional intelligence has become a defining skill set to have.
Luckily enough for Angie, Explorer Camps actively encourages and teach crucial skills connected to emotional intelligence such as collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication. She made a diffference to another camper’s life, and we know many more will follow in her footsteps and build EQ too.
Getting children ready for camp
Camps are a learning experience as they offer both parents and their children practice in “letting go” – which can contribute to the development of healthy independence.
Not only this, it’s important to go in with realistic expectations. Camp, like the rest of life, has high points and low ones. Not every moment will be filled with wonder and excitement. At times, children will feel great while at other times they may feel unhappy or bored. And kids may not always get along well with each other.
However, remember that opportunities for problem solving, negotiating, developing greater self-awareness and increased sensitivity to the needs of others can help children cope with successes and failures in everyday life. It’s a crucial learning experience for them … and for the parent!
Some of the wonderful ways Explorer Camps supports families are:
- Staff and Senior Camper letters to young campers welcoming them to camp.
- Opportunities for campers to share personal needs and desires before camps.
- Big Brother / Sister Program where older campers help younger ones.
- Parents can send letters to camp via email which are printed and given to campers. Videos are possible too!
- Daily updates via social media and possible communication with staff.
Healthy Risk Taking
Are you aware that young people who take positive risks are less likely to take negative ones? That youngsters who take healthy risks may not make destructive choices when it comes to personal behavior and are more likely to feel good about themselves?
This is based on research done by Teens Today who conclude that youngsters who take positive risks (Risk Seekers) are 20 percent more likely than youngsters who don’t take positive risks (Risk Avoiders) to avoid alcohol and other drugs (see the “Emotional Self-Description” graph). So taking healthy risks is an important part of growing up.
The good news is that there’s no better place to learn about healthy risk taking than at camp. Indeed, Explorer Camps is an ideal environment for self-exploration and learning — a safe venue away from everyday influences that might often cloud clear decision making processes.
At Explorer camp children are actively encouraged to:
- Try new activities.
- Reach out to make new friends from around the world.
- Attempt to clear up misunderstandings or disagreements.
- Volunteer to help others.
- Mentor other children.