Camp Woodland Blog

Trying Something New at Camp

When campers try something new, there are feelings of vulnerability and unease.

Lauren loving gymnastics!

We sometimes allow self-doubt and negative self-talk to tell us “I’m terrible at this,” or “I probably won’t be good at this” we say to ourselves.  But at camp, everyone embraces a can-do attitude.  Starting on the first Sunday at activity promotions, every activity area leader tells the ALL girls to sign up for THEIR activity, no matter their skill level.  It quickly becomes clear that anyone can do anything they set their mind to at camp and that beginners are respected. Feelings of, “Maybe I should know how to do this before I start” fade away.  This sets the stage for a community of supporting each other, no matter what the level. Even those girls who are nervous about trying something new quickly become more confident and proud of their determination.  It’s only the end of the first week of activities and many girls have already felt the assurance of progress. So many levels have already been passed and goals have been set. This lesson is such an important one to learn to carry us through life – “I tried something new. It was hard at first, but I got a lot better. I can do hard things when I set my mind to it!” Think of how much confidence this lesson, learned many times, can bring to the emotional toolbox of a child.

Annie trying riflery!

Angie said, about trying archery for the first time, “At the beginning it felt weird and new and also exciting.  I was afraid of the arrow!  Now I’m more confident.  I gained confidence by just starting to do it.  I even just passed a new level!”

Alice said, about trying riding for the first time, “It was so scary at first.  I was afraid of tipping over and I didn’t even know how to hold my hands or place my feet.  Now I can hold my hands correctly and place my feet without anyone telling me.  I am excited every day to find out which horse I get to ride.  I can stop the horse by myself and I’m not scared anymore!”

Maddie said, about trying riding for the first time, “I was nervous about riding and scared that I might fall off the horse.  Now I feel good and confident because one time, the teachers were holding the reigns and they let go and Max (the horse) ran for a second and I was fine.  So now I know I’ll be ok!”

I can’t wait to see how much progress, not only skill progress, but also the emotional progress of gained confidence, determination and bravery, the second week of activities brings!

Caroline trying horseback riding!

-Written by Aron who’s working in the office this year (also a camp mom, a 5th grade teacher and a former Woodland Counselor!)