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Camp Counselor Perspective: Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is Paramount

One of the counselors at Camp Colley this summer was a graduate student pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) at ASU. She shares her insight about youth development through participation at Camp Colley.

Learning happens on two levels at camp. There are skills that campers know they are learning through participation in each day’s activities. These include shooting an arrow at the target, paddling a canoe correctly, and making a bird feeder.

Although campers may not realize it at the time, they are also developing life skills. Through these same camp activities, youth are transformed as they learn to work as part of a team, cope with new challenges and adversity, assess risks and analyze possible outcomes. This social-emotional learning will help them be successful in all their endeavors throughout life.

One example is teaching boating safety. Skills to participate in the activity- such as paddling, positioning, and three points of contact are taught alongside the lifelong skills that are naturally incorporated such as teamwork, sharing the spotlight, cooperation, and patience.

Incorporating social-emotional learning into activity instruction is a natural fit and one of the reasons the nature experiences youth have at Camp Colley are impactful for life-long learning and success.


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