Resilience, as defined by The American Psychological Association, is “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress.”
The challenges and isolation that came alongside the emergence of COVID-19 have impacted each and every one of us and the ability to be resilient is integral to our health and well-being.
Because resilience – the ability to bounce back, adapt and move forward – is one of the main values we focus on at Banner each summer, Banner campers are ready for just about anything they encounter. And, just like any other skill, the ability to be resilient takes practice. Here are some of the things we focus on at camp to help our campers build this vital skill:
Relationships – at camp and at home – are vitally important when it comes to resilience. Campers have the opportunity to build new relationships and strengthen existing friendships each and every day at camp. The relationships help campers feel secure, they encourage campers when they feel frustrated and they allow campers to discover who they are. By practicing empathy, campers learn to listen to one other and feel for others. Campers who feel the security that comes along with strong relationships and have the ability to focus on others, are more resilient.
Each activity at Banner gives campers the chance to learn new skills. At camp, skills continue to develop. Through this development and mastery, campers develop self-confidence; not because someone tells them they are good, but because they experience success first hand. Self-confidence helps campers try again when things don’t go as planned or have the confidence to try new things.
At Banner, campers have the opportunity to practice independence from the very youngest ages. Whether it’s learning to put their shoes and socks on independently (we’re always right there to help) or picking activities for camper’s choice and electives, campers are learning to do things and make decisions by themselves. This independence gives campers the chance to work things out, problem solve and make decisions. Each of these skills helps campers be flexible and adaptable – because they know they have the skills to figure things out.
Ability to Cope
At Banner, we don’t brush away emotion, we teach campers how to name what they’re feeling without judgement and how to cope with each of those emotions. Campers feel all sorts of emotions at camp – from joy to sadness to frustration – and this is so important as campers learn how to accept and move on from what they are feeling.
Each camper is a contributing member of our community. They have a purpose. From being a good friend to helping clean up after lunch, Banner campers know that they are valued and needed. When campers feel a sense of purpose, they are able to adapt – and help each other adapt – to any new circumstance.
We saw resilience demonstrated over and over again at camp in summer 2020. We know that the practice campers have at Banner will help them each day, in every facet of life, all year long.