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There was a time also when the need for counselors to be gifted with counseling and communication skills was less important than their knowing the ins and outs of the rituals and routines of camp.
Now, it seems it is hard to find a teenager or young adult who has the interest or skill in either.
The reality that must be confronted, however, is that childhood does not last forever.
Adolescence is not a process that has a predetermined end date — nor is there a guarantee in this culture that, left to their own devices, teenagers will learn the values and skills they’ll need to become responsible adults — or even camp counselors.
Camps that continue to accommodate their teens’ desire to have fun and socialize — without demanding their intentional commitment to the process of maturing — will most assuredly be disappointed by these former campers when they ask them to be counselors.
One respected colleague of mine took a stance at a conference last year, stating that teenagers should never be left to their own devices with a group of campers.
Parents were advised to make the following changes: For many of the parents agreeing to these changes was more difficult than the decision to send their sons to the program!
Camp Champions offered an opportunity for teenage boys to participate in an innovative program designed to promote responsibility and maturity.
The memorable weekend-long program was held at another camp in Texas in early September, taking advantage of hundreds of acres of forests and hills that offered an ideal setting for such an adventure.
For some, the commitment included driving five hours each way to attend the closing ceremony.
For others, it meant changing the whole way they’d set up life at home for themselves and their children.
It is not the age; it is how they are raised to be at that age.