Bad Girl, Good Business

S’more Smarts

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I just came back from camp (in a manner of speaking).

I went to the American Camp Association Tri-State Conference.

One of the main topics of conversation was the notion of 21st Century Leadership, and how most companies believe that today’s college graduates are totally unprepared to enter the working world. Sadly, I agree.

In fact, a national initiative called P21 is underway (because every initiative needs a catchy name, right?) But it’s truly not about hype and hyperbole. The “4Cs” that are missing from our current education system and parenting are:

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving
  2. Communication
  3. Collaboration
  4. Creativity and innovation

Here are some great charts and graphs about the current gap.

But camp (the 5th C?) is doing a swell job of filling in the gap that isn’t being filled by many teachers, moms and dads.

From storytelling programs to outdoor activities that challenge kids to take risks to full-season programming designed to build leadership skills (new from one of our clients), summer camps are rallying around the notion of helping kids grow into creative, communicative and confident adults — who can take risks and solve problems. I sat in on a fantastic session by Andy Pritikin, President of The American Camp Association NY/NJ about how he’s incorporated the concept into everything from hiring to camper and counselor rewards at Liberty Lake Day Camp.  The moving motivational keynotes by Marc Kielburger of the Me to We Foundation and Hillary Clinton (who talked about parenting more than politics) were highlights of the conference too. Summer camp ain’t just about lanyard these days.

But s’mores, campfires, and color war are great traditions that aren’t fading away any time soon. Camp on!

What’s New and Fun and Cool?

Although we met so many awesome people at the conference, here are just a few highlights of the exhibitors. Of course, camp is still supposed to be fun! Spikeball is sort of a next-gen volleyball. Kids who are still too young to go to concerts can be Camplified this summer. And the giant Camper Glow Globot was lighting up the trade show floor.

I also owe a shout-out to Driscoll Foods, who had healthy snacks (like juicy fresh navel oranges) in their booth. Beats the camp canteen any day! And the best post of the show came from Ivy Fife of Colorado Yurt Company who, when her booth didn’t arrive on time, tweeted, “Our booth shipment didn’t arrive. Interpretive dance to explain yurts?”

And here are some of our fave programs that reinforce the 21st Century skills listed above:

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred E-Seedling cultivates tomorrow’s entrepreneurs with fun activities and a board game.
BGGB_ShakingHands You mix…I’ll bake! Tiny Chefs teaches skills AND teamwork.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred Normally, this spot is reserved for something negative. But camp is all about positive thinking! No links here!
BGGB_Pointer I wouldn’t know how to blog if I didn’t learn how to tell a story. Write 2 Remember keeps literacy alive!




One Comment

  1. Julie Wood

    Thanks for the great post and the call out for eseedling!


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