The GaGa Tournament started today and is an energy filled week of fun and competition for our Kindergarten through Tween campers. The excitement and emotion that comes along with this week creates a deep connection within our camp community as campers cheer each other on and enjoy a significant experience together.
While we maintain a very supportive and nurturing environment, there are times when we have activities where there is a winning team or individual. In the GaGA Tournament only one camper in each division will win. This allows the children to grow greatly- building their resiliency sportsmanship and perseverance.
Aside from this tournament being really fun and the campers showing great excitement in participating, we also know that this experience has value for our campers. Very early on, society teaches children that winning is important.
Many children go through a stage in which they don’t want to play unless they win. At Banner, we focus on working hard and teach that in doing their very best they have been successful regardless of the outcome.
Throughout the week, our counselors and Leadership Team will be focused on teaching this skill. We will be discussing and role playing sportsmanship. We will be working with campers throughout the tournament in helping them process with their emotions and move forward positively.
We would like our campers to learn the following things:
- Have fun participating and be proud of the effort you gave, regardless of the outcome.
- Focus on your experience, not just winning and losing.
- Winning or losing does not define who you are.
- Learn from your experiences. Learn what you did well and what you can do differently and work on maintaining self-control.
- The biggest winners get right back into the game.
- Practice sportsmanship – encourage others and cheer on your teammates.
- If you had fun, you won!
As you talk about this next week with your campers, please remind them of each of these points. In working together, we can teach yet another skill that will help our campers be more successful, resilient and happy people in the future.