Apr 24, 2018
Summer Time Could’ve Never Been Better: Why Summer Camps Are A Good Idea for Youth and for their Social Skills Development
In this weekly blog series, I’m extremely excited to share with you a plethora of experiences and knowledge I’ve gained on a variety of topics. My goal is to help the reader grow in their own personal and professional development.
For more than 30 years I have been part of designing, organizing and running summer camps for youth ages 8 to 21. Over the years I have been blessed to play a role in assisting young people to discover many things about themselves, transform how they think, and most importantly, connect with others and their future.
I often share with parents, educators and youth workers that all children need more than academics, sports, career readiness skills. They need to seriously develop social skills that in turn will lead to positive relationships. One of the key components in our BIZNOVATOR Camps, hosted in Miami and cities around the world, is getting young people to develop friendships through the multinational students that participate in our camps. It’s all too common for our youth to feel comfortable with the peers that look, feel and think like them. We make certain that all our campers welcome different cultures and ways of being throughout the team dynamics and challenges that we organize. We teach that when networking or exploring new relationships it’s not just about creating a new friendship, but more about cultivating those relationships.
In all of our camps, the participants are encouraged and taught to network during their meal time. To explore and ask questions regarding how their culture compares to one another. What foods they eat, music they like. Here they are not only striking a good conversation, but also becoming more culturally diverse—at the minimum being mindful of ours. Children need to learn that all cultures have tremendous attributes to contribute to the global community. At the core of all this, children can start to develop more social / cultural sensitivities and awareness. In all of my years of working with children from around the world, I can honestly say that I have learned as much from them, as they have learned from me. The fostering, practicing and modeling of good social skills should be a key component of any summer camp or youth empowerment program.
Here’s a list of the key attributes that any summer camp, regardless of their mission and purpose, should prepare their participants to walk away.
While the mission of BIZNOVATOR is to empower, teach and create young entrepreneurs, social innovators and global leaders, we also focus on nurturing mindful, happy and successful young people that we know can add amazing social value to the world.
Juan Pablo Casimiro is Founder and CEO of BIZNOVATOR. With more than 30 years of empowering people around the world, Casimiro never misses a moment to teach and challenge his clients to live their dreams. Casimiro was born in Dominican Republic and grew up in New York City.