Since 1936, Camp Quinebarge’s mission has been to provide four values for campers: fun and memories, everlasting friendships, connection to nature, and building independence and self-reliance. In view of the latter, independence and decision-making are an important factor of the Camp Quinebarge Experience, so Quinebarge’s program provides a safe environment for campers to both choose weekly activities they have never done and also things they currently love. Campers can gain independence, follow their passions, and try new things. In addition, campers are responsible for getting themselves to their activities on time, which we do safely by having staff around camp, taking attendance right away to be sure everyone is present, and helping campers with accountability. Campers are also able to pick their own seats at meals, are encouraged to start conversations with new people, and are responsible for keeping their cabins clean. This puts the camper in charge of their time here at camp and really helps them to foster some independence throughout the summer.
Why do we put such an emphasis on choices and independence? Fostering independence is an important for for kids to learn because it:
- It builds resiliency by providing them with the belief that they are competent and capable of taking care of themselves
- It develops self trust, self-discipline, confidence, and patience.
- It teaches them motivation as they have the freedom to find their own reasons to achieve.
- It allows them to become good decision-makers as they have the autonomy to consider various options before choosing the one they feel is best.
- It gives them the freedom to experience choice, make mistakes, and learn self-growth.
- It makes them happy and healthy as they feel a great sense of achievement and success as a direct result of their own actions.
The need for independence and decision making only becomes more important when kids turn to adolescents. Decision-making is an incredibly important skill that teens must develop before they can be truly independent. When teens are required to make their own decisions, instead of parents just making them, they gain experience feeling accountable for the consequences of their decisions. Teens who are given both limits and the freedom to make their own decisions tend to be self-driven and disciplined. This means that they’ll tell themselves “no” long before the adults in their lives have to. Self-disciplined and motivated teenagers have a strong sense of control over their lives. Believing we have choice and influence in our own lives creates the positive outcomes including: better health and longevity, lower use of drugs and alcohol, lower stress, higher emotional well-being, greater intrinsic motivation and self-discipline, improved academic performance, and even greater career and college success.
Want to give your child the opportunity for growth and independence? If you have not enrolled in summer camp yet there is still space in certain weeks! Visit our website to learn more and enroll today.