Summer Camps Give Students the Confidence They Need to Be Successful
Campers come out of our programs sparkling with confidence because they've come face to face with their own success. We don't leave it to chance, belief, or wishful thinking. We let them experience for themselves just how good they are. We build in opportunities for them to succeed. They don't just believe they can be successful, they know it - because they've done it.
Teens shouldn't have to miss out on achievements because they're afraid they'll fail. They're afraid to find out they can't do something. They tell themselves, "As soon as I feel good enough about myself, I'll try something big." But what we've found by working with teens is that self-confidence works exactly the opposite way. It comes from going after something aggressively - and achieving it.
It's a matter of starting small, of going for little successes and building from there. Campers break through the self-confidence barrier over and over again with the help of what we call the Success Model. We use this strategy throughout our programs, not just for academics but for life skills, attitude - you name it. Campers first experience small private successes, then work their way up to giant public ones. All along the way, they're building on what they know they can do - with the help of lots of repetition and practice.
We rehearse for success. They use the energy of their previous success to catapult them into the next. For instance, when we work through memorization skills, the first things we do are large-group callouts where they can stay anonymous if they're afraid they don't know the answer. It's very safe. Next we practice in small groups or pairs, leading up to individual performance which can be a teen speaking or performing alone in front of the group, or in some cases the individual performance of taking a test. Where they fear to go in one giant step, they can go with confidence in a series of small steps, each built on the foundation of a previous success.
We love it when we get letters from summer camp graduates about their academic breakthroughs. They understand and remember a lot more, their grades have improved, and their SAT and college entrance scores have gone up. These are some of the end results of a process that begins with the way they think about themselves. We hold these truths to be self-evident: Every person is a capable learner, people learn in different ways, and learning happens best in a fun, engaging, and challenging environment.
To get these principles firmly in mind, teens learn their ABCs: A is for Attitude: What we tell our minds about something in advance will affect the outcome. When young people approach their education from a "This Is It!" mindset and have an insatiable curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, they can learn just about anything. A "bring it on!" attitude makes learning easier.
B is for Belief: What we believe about our abilities affects our performance. If a person believes she's a poor learner, guess what? Her belief will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if she decides to tell herself, "I'm a good learner and I'm getting better every day," her ability to learn goes up.
We all have the power to choose our beliefs - those who choose empowering can-do beliefs are much more likely to reach their goals. C is for Commitment: There's awesome power in making a commitment. Once people lock on to a particular goal or course of action, they discover resources they didn't know they had. When they make a commitment to learning, their energies shift.
It's like a giant lens that suddenly comes into focus.
At SuperCamp, the learning and life skills summer camps for students in grades 4 through 12, kids learn about the 8 Keys of Excellence. Parents, go to http://www.SuperCamp.com now to learn about enrolling your son or daughter while space remains. Age-specific programs are available for students in grades 4-12 and incoming college freshmen. At the website, you also can get a free eBook that gives you an inside look at what works with teens.
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