Kids Overcoming Fear: Inspiring Outdoor Adventures that Will Give You Goosebumps
Take a moment to think back on your childhood. Remember those long summer days when your greatest concern was getting back home before dusk? Your main responsibilities consisted of making sure your room was clean and helping with chores around the house every once in awhile. Ok, now that you've successfully time-traveled, think about a time when you were faced with a decision to overcome a childhood fear when trying something new. Maybe you were a little nervous at first or maybe even flat out terrified to step outside of your comfort zone. After some encouragement (or persistent convincing) from a friend or relative, you finally built up enough courage to get on that bicycle, jump into the deep end of that pool or try that weird, new food. Afterwards, you felt like you were on top of the world and nothing could stop you (ok, maybe not after you tried brussels sprouts for the first time but you get the point)!
Whatever your memory may be, those childhood moments have a profound and lasting impact on us throughout the rest of our lives (whether we realize it or not). We may even base how we make future decisions on those seemingly trivial yet truly pivotal moments in our lives. The wonderful thing is, these types of moments happen EVERY DAY at Avid4 Adventure summer camps. And we're going to share some (a very small fraction) of those moments below. Did your camper have a memorable experience you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!
Trasformative Outdoor Adventures
My daughter was just becoming more confident riding her new larger bike, without training wheels and with a hand brake no less. After the mountain bike riding day, the instructors informed me that she was scared at first to try something new - riding down hill on a dirt path, something we have not yet done with her. With the instructors calm guidance and the other kids cheering her on, instead of walking her bike down, she decided to try it and rode down all of the hills with great success! Now she feels so confident in trying new things, even those that may scare her. Thank you for instilling that drive and confidence in her in such a supportive and adventurous environment!
We enrolled our son in Rock Climbing Skills Camp because his friend was enrolled and he wanted to join him. Going into the week my son had indicated he was quite nervous and fearful of rock climbing. I inquired if he wanted to switch to another sport and he responded that he thought going out there could help ease his fears and being with his friend trumped his anxiety. He couldn't have been more correct. By the end of day 1 he was so proud of his ability to tie the proper knots and was already looking forward to more climbing the next day. Each day he ran from the car at drop off, excited to commence his day of camp. The real indicator of his enthusiasm was that a week later he inquired if I'd be willing to take him rock climbing again. I told him I'd need a refresher in belaying and knot tying and he told me that he'd take care of that for me, he knew how it was done. Based on that, I'd say the wonderful experience at Avid4 has cured him of any climbing anxiety he had.
My son has autism and is learning to navigate new and different social situations all the time. Engaging in an activity he is passionate about, with others who also were skilled and passionate was great for him. He learned that he can develop friendships with people solely based on a common interest. He also learned a little more about how to have fun doing something he loves without a "winning" component. He was stretched emotionally this week, but his counselor was accommodating, helpful, and patient. We are very appreciative!
My son overcame so many fears this week. He gets nervous and it was scary for him to be with a new teacher and peers he doesn’t know. He left after day one excited to go back! He also was afraid to take the training wheels off his bike because he gets nervous to take physical risks. My son knew how to ride a bike after day three! I cried! Thank you!
Rock climbing has been something my daughter has feared for a couple years, and she overcame that fear at Avid. She tried both the easy, medium and hard routes, loved it, and wants to do it again. The confidence Avid is inspiring in her to take risk and try new things is so important for her growth as a person!
My pre-teen told me “Honestly mom, this has been one of the best experiences of my life.” Whoa.
My daughter was nervous to ride on the pump track, and at the end of the day during pick-up, Shelby encouraged her to visualize riding it that night. She did a few minutes of visualization that night and in the morning. That next day, she rode the pump track! Shelby and my daughter were super excited! Love the encouragement and bonding that happened this week - will definitely sign her up again next year!
My son had an absolutely wonderful and empowering experience at Avid camp. He had been scared to ride a bike before this past week - not only did he get riding, he was encouraging other kids to get back up and try again too! There were a lot of other firsts for him this week in addition to biking, like kayaking and canoeing too, and with the support and guidance from the instructors he was meeting every challenge with confidence. Thank you for the awesome adventure for my child this week!
Our daughter struggles with confidence and making new friends. This was the first week of Avid and she was by herself-meaning she had no friends in camp with her. She not only had a fantastic time but she made friends with kids in her group, loved the activities, and for the first time jumped off her paddle board to go swimming in the lake. She loves the Avid camps!
We knew our 5yo daughter was ready for two-wheel biking before camp started, so we began teaching her in front of our house. She had the coordination but was terrified for us to let go for more than a few seconds. Two days later, she came home from her first day of biking at Avid4 and couldn't wait to show us her progress. We went outside immediately and she went racing up and down our street, grinning the entire time. We couldn't believe how far she had come after just a few hours with her peers and counselors. Even more than the new skill itself, we were so happy she felt so confident, secure and strong.
On their first day out on Clear Creek, Rosemary tipped out of her kayak and had to demonstrate the water exit she had learned the previous day. She reported that this event was both "the worst" and "the BEST" part of her day. While the experience was a bit frightening, she clearly took pride in overcoming a fear and a challenge. I love that her counselors encouraged her and helped her turn the experience into an empowering one-- one that she will remember always.
My daughter Maggie was in tears the night before camp. She was so nervous and afraid because she didn’t know what to expect and didn’t have confidence she could handle the task at hand. After I picked her up that FIRST day, she was asking to go to the overnight camp next year! She had a blast and was over the moon about her adventure. Each night before the next day of camp, she had a hard time containing her excitement for what was to come. As a parent I was thrilled with the overnight transformation and the courage and confidence Maggie received from camp.
I have a child who is usually reluctant to take on any outdoor activity which requires getting dirty and muddy. She is my cautious child, one who tends to overthink things and as a result, she is sometimes anxious about trying new activities and sports. Through Avid, I was so pleased to see her come home each day with excitement about all the knowledge and skills she picked up and a real desire to return the next day. At the end of the week, she told me herself that she had conquered her fears and tried new things she would never have thought she could. As a parent, that is truly the best thing you can hear at the end of a camp week. I'm glad she was able to have the Avid experience this summer!
At Avi4 Adventure summer camps, we're on a mission to empower kids to live healthy, active lifestyles in the outdoors. Through teaching outdoor adventure sports to pre k - 12th graders, we help kids build confidence and give them the tools they need to continue exploring and adventuring for life. To learn more about our programs, click the link below.