When it comes to camp, most of us fall into two categories: those who went to or worked at camp and those who did not. Those who did not often think of camp as a place where kids go to have fun, learn to make smore’s and where parents can send their children to have some peace and quiet during the summer. For decades, those of us that went to camp have lived with an understanding of the benefits and skills we gained there. Many of us attribute a portion our success and happiness in life to our experiences at camp. It turns out that for over 60 years camps, like Crestwood, have been teaching the skills that only now the experts are discovering are critical for success.
The 21st Century skills that we talk about at camp are also known as non-cognitive skills or the 4 C’s – Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Communication, Collaboration and Teamwork, and Creativity. The world’s largest employers, corporations and leaders were surveyed on the skills they look for most when seeking new members of their teams and overwhelmingly the skills that fell into the “non-cognitive” or 4 C’s topped the list. Recently, many of the world’s largest organizations have joined together to form The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, www.P21.org. It consists of many of the country’s leading educators, researchers and employers such as Apple, Education First, Lego, Ford, PBS, American Camp Association, and many more. This coalition was formed to solve a problem they were facing: more and more young people entering the work force without the skills needed to keep America competitive.
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Our beliefs along with those of social science experts point to a few primary reasons:
More than ever, camp plays a vital role in giving children a complete education. In combination with a great school and a loving family, camp will provide the “non-cognitive” social skills that children need to be successful later in life.
Camp is a place where kids learn: