The summer has started and you would love to see your child get outside this season and push their boundaries. Yet, you also know that your child has struggled with being adventurous in the past. Maybe you've looked at websites and photos of kids rock climbing or mountain biking have you thinking your child needs to be an experienced athlete to participate. What to do? If you were wondering whether outdoor adventure day camp is right for your unadventurous kid, the short answer is yes! Read on to learn more about how adventure camp can help your child tap into their adventurous spirit.
Every Child is WElcome Outdoors and at Camp!
First, there is nothing wrong with being on the cautious side or being new to outdoor adventure. You have to start somewhere, right?! Luckily, outdoor educators and instructors really know how to work with unadventurous kids. It’s what they do best! Camp staff are experienced not just in outdoor pursuits, but also working with children of all skills and ability levels. One way instructors accomplish this is by assessing each camper and communicating with one another what they feel is appropriate for each kid. Also, staff are adept at working with individual campers if they are hesitant or afraid, especially staff at Avid4 Adventure. Staff professionalism is one of the main things that set Avid4 Adventure apart from other programs. Our staff have the ability to empathize with kids that are scared, intimidated, or simply hesitant to try something new.
The Value of “Challenge by Choice”
The philosophy of Challenge by Choice is a central part of how we deliver memorable and confidence building outdoor experiences. The idea is that each camper has a choice regarding the level of challenge that they wish to attempt in an outdoor activity. For example, let’s say one camper wants to surf the waves at the kayak park. Their staff will decide if that camper has the necessary skill and ability, and if so, they will encourage the camper to tackle the challenge. However, another camper might be very intimidated with even just paddling the kayak run. Yet, what if they simply sat in the kayak at the put-in while the instructor holds on? Ultimately our instructors will never require campers to do something they are not comfortable with. They work with campers to find just the right level of challenge and meet them where they're at, providing lots of guidance and instruction along the way.
But Is That Really Having an Outdoor Experience?
Sure it is! In fact, maybe that camper just needs some extra support to see that everything will be okay. Oftentimes, even a slight step out of a child's comfort zone can amount to soaring levels of confidence. Then, when it’s their turn again, they might feel more ready to attempt kayaking the river. Granted, for us adults this requires a different mode of thinking. Instead of being rigidly attached to thinking that the kids must complete an activity a certain way, we can open the doors wide open to a variety of experiences. Our staff keep that flexibility in mind, which allows them to facilitate meaningful adventures for the kids.
When a Kid Refuses to Participate
Sometimes it happens where a kid flat-out refuses to participate in an activity. It’s rare, but it happens. So what to do? Luckily, we still have some options:
- Taking time to talk with the camper.
- Listening intently with a desire to understand.
- Working together to find a reasonable agreement.
Oftentimes there are very legitimate reasons why a child is hesitant to participate in the activity. Maybe they are worried about how they will appear to their peers. Or, perhaps they tried pushing their limits in the past, but had a negative experience. The great thing about Avid4 Adventure is that we provide a setting where your cautious child can stretch their perceived boundaries in a supportive environment.
Igniting the Spark for Future Adventure
The wonderful thing about experiencing adventure camp is that it can be the spark that ignites the adventurous spirit in a child. We always love hearing about what campers do after their week at summer camp is over. For instance, a child may want to go on a hike or may have a greater interest in biking after camp is over. Our hope is that by spending a week (or better yet, multiple weeks to continue building skills at camp and increasing their confidence outdoors) at camp your child will be more open to having meaningful and fun adventures outside for the rest of their life.
There are many reasons why Avid4 Adventure is a good fit for your unadventurous kid. However, sending your child to camp might just provide the experience that helps them question their boundaries, try something new, and ultimately inspire them to embark on more outdoor adventures in the future!
Are you ready for your child to explore the possibilities of outdoor adventure? Avid4 Adventure offers summer sleepaway and day camps for pre k - 12th graders in the Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs areas of Colorado, the Bay Area of California and in Portland and Bend, Oregon. Summer adventures for all levels include kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, survival skills, hiking stand up paddleboarding and more! Take a look at our program options by clicking the button below.