At Moorelands Camp, every day is focused on learning the Habits and Qualities that will turn our campers into tomorrow’s leaders. Everything from cabin clean up, and passing food to your new friends at the dining hall tables, to spotting people at the Team Challenge course and helping set up tents during the overnight, teaches campers how to live leadership in every aspect of camp life.
- You live out the quality of RESPECT when your habit is to CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE
- You demonstrate the quality of RESPONSIBILITY when you DECIDE and PLAN
- You show people that you are CARING when you CONSIDER AND UNDERSTAND OTHERS
- You prove your TRUSTWORTHINESS when you know that you ACHIEVE MORE TOGETHER
- You grow in your CITIZENSHIP when you CARE FOR YOURSELF INSIDE AND OUT
But you might be wondering, how do you keep your child growing as a leader at home?
Here are some ideas:
Give your child age-appropriate responsibility
Helping kids become leaders means giving them responsibility. Every child can take responsibility – it helps them to contribute to the common good of your home. It helps to build self-esteem, and it gives children some purpose and something to work towards!
Sometimes finding the right level of responsibility for your child is the most important part. While children can not do everything that adults can, there are things that children can do. One of the best ways to acknowledge your child is to notice and comment…the behaviours you acknowledge are the behaviours that will grow! Small responsibilities now will give kids the chance to be tomorrow’s leaders with BIG responsibilities!
- Preschoolers (ages 3-5) can choose their clothing in the mornings (within your parameters) and help to maintain them in drawers. They can help keep their rooms tidied or toys straightened.
- Grade School-Aged Children (ages 6-9) can clear their plates from the table, load the dishwasher, and do simple chores around the house. They can fix simple snacks after school. They can get their backpack and homework ready for school the next day.
- Preteens (ages 10-12) can be responsible for packing their lunch for school. They can take care of their personal grooming. They can (within your parameters and perhaps gradually) walk with a friend to a set destination nearby. They can take on more chores around the house and entertain younger siblings.
- Early Adolescents (ages 13-15) should be able to get themselves up and ready in the mornings, do laundry, and depending on where you live, ride the bus or subway. They can earn money by babysitting or other jobs, and budget some of their spendings.
Allow your child to take risks, succeed, and fail
It’s our basic instinct to protect our children and to shield them from hurt, or failure. To help them feel successful, we often guard our children against situations where they might fail or face challenging things.
However, if a child never experiences challenges that they must problem solve, how will they learn to face challenges in their life as they get older? If we want to raise tomorrow’s leaders – resilient, capable, strong, and wise children – we need to allow them to take opportunities and face risks! Be sure to talk with your child about safety, situations, and making wise choices. Be present to help them navigate as they face risks and challenges. Try to hear out their ideas on problem-solving rather than jumping in too quickly to solve their problems for them!
It’s often hard to let go; like sending your child to camp for the first time! But helping kids to become leaders takes bravery – from both you and your child!
Helping Kids to Become Leaders: Relationships Matter
Leadership is most often learned through relationships, like the ones your kids build while while learning to become leaders at Moorelands Camp. For a week they make new friends and learn from camp staff and cabin leaders, experience many new things as they swim in the lake, learn to cook over a fire, try their hand at archery, and play all sorts of wild games at camp. They laugh, they learn, and they are 100% supported as they experience camp.
At home, the most important relationships are with you as their parents, and with siblings, extended family, and trusted family friends.
Children need to know that if they try new things, that you’ll be there to pick them up if they stumble. That if they don’t know which way to go, that you’ll be there to guide and teach them. That if they need to talk through a problem, that you’ll be there with a supportive and listening ear.
Leadership happens all around us.
Camp might be a mountain top experience that will create memories that will last a lifetime. But everyday life is where leadership takes root, flourishes, and grows stronger.
You are a leader in your child’s life! What will they learn from you today?