(Originally published in 2018 and even more applicable in our post-Covid world!)
To date, almost 30 million people have viewed Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED talk entitled Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance where she determined “grit” to be the number one indicator of success in our children. And to date, those same millions across the country are scratching their heads…wondering HOW to build more grit into their children.
Enter summer camp! Duckworth defines grit as passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
At summer camp, grit is an 8 year old, head bent over a wriggling worm and hook, determined to bait his own line and cast it out into the lake to catch his own fish. Grit is a 10 year old with white knuckles, gripping the holds on the climbing wall, reaching one hand and then one foot to pull higher than her last climb. Grit is the shy camper building friendships, and the unfocused camper harnessing their energy for leadership. Grit grows at camp!
A summer camp experience, for one week or ten weeks, becomes a unique grit building opportunity for campers to stand independently, flex their muscles and stretch their boundaries. Traditional measures of success like family income and test scores fade away. Within the safety and structure of the camp day is room for curiosity, discovery, risk and even failure! It is the perfect environment to celebrate a challenge, evaluate new strategies and summon the motivation to try again and again. Campers arrive home at the end of the day or week of camp sweaty and exhausted with sand in their shoes, with great personal satisfaction, and with newfound grit!
As adults, we look around and recognize a great need in our post-COVID kids (and in ourselves!), to rebuild lost grit, to shake off the limitations of the last three years and to move forward with strength. Our theme for 2023 is Moving Mountains, and we’re dialing in on the true source of our confidence. It’s not about the size of the mountain in front of us, or even the size of our faith. But it might just be about a gritty willingness to keep going….to place our tiny seeds of faith in the hands of our God who performs mighty deeds. And to hold confidently to this hope; that when we obey His commands and tackle the work He’s given us to do…in His name, we will see mountain MOVE!
Are you interested in a grit building summer camp experience? Check out all of the details for Day Camp, Overnight Camp, Leadership Training and Summer Staff opportunities on our website or contact the office at (570) 333-4098 x100!
Listen to the entire Grit TED Talk by Angela Duckworth here: https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance/transcript