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NOV. 29, 2018

The Value of Giving the Gift of Camp

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As the holidays approach many of us find ourselves spending countless hours on-line or at local shops searching for the perfect gift for our loved ones. We would like for you to consider the value of giving a special child in your life the gift of an experience at Eagle’s Nest Camp or on a Hante Adventure. Not only will they have fun, they’ll also gain life skills that will support their growth for years to come.

In her book Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs, Ellen Galinsky offers a blueprint, in the form of seven essential skills, for transforming the ways in which we nurture and educate children to become lifelong learners. For Galinsky, teaching children to “take perspective” helps them to develop strategies to determine how people think and feel, beyond empathy, so they can consider thoughtfully perspectives and feelings that diverge from their own. Developing this skill allows them to think about the larger world by putting their thoughts on hold through inhibitory control. This cognitive flexibility is necessary for the child’s ability to change focus from themselves to someone else. These strategies are linked concretely to future academic and work-related success as they enable children to consider thoughtfully the perspective of those around them and in the larger world.

On Hante Adventures and at Eagle’s Nest Camp we create everyday opportunities for children and teens to exercise these skills. Our participants live closely with each other, which exposes them to views and opinions unlike their own. They share community responsibilities and take turns with their cabin cleanup jobs, promoting an egalitarian community structure. In many of our classes, campers work collectively on projects and in initiative games. This teaches them to understand and respect the perspectives of others. On Hante, participants take turns being the leader of the day, where they must make decisions based on the needs and goals of the group. Also, at the end of each day on Hante, participants engage in sharing circles, during which they share highlights from the day as well as any challenges or frustrations they may have faced on that day. They learn to share with each other in a way that is honest and respectful.

At Eagle’s Nest we are intentional in our efforts to bring together a community that reflects the larger world in which we live – one that is inclusive of all thought and ideology, that draws participants from across the country and the globe, and one that includes a range of socioeconomic backgrounds. We want children to be able to interact with people who have conflicting ideas and perspectives, and we want to teach them how to “take perspective”, or make connections with those people and communicate in thoughtful, respectful ways. Creating an opportunity to teach children with these lessons helps them develop essential life skills and is a valuable investment in their future.

If you would like to provide the gift of Eagle’s Nest Camp or Hante Adventures to a special child in your life and need financial support we value you and would like to help support you. Please visit our website for more information about applying for Financial Aid. There are two deadlines for applying for aid: December 1st and February 15th. If you have questions or need help with registering, please contact our Registrar Molly Herrmann in the office at 336-761-1040 or by email at register@enf.org.

If you would like to support scholarships for other children to have these growth experiences, we hope that you will consider making a gift to the scholarship fund. You can give online to the 2018 Annual Fund.

by Molly Herrmann and Anna Lauria