Conquer Bullying at Camp
Bullying is not something new within the sphere of education and youth. As time goes on, it seems we come up with more effective ways to combat it, however it doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. Addressed in popular shows such as Glee, bullying is something that children are taught to look past, to turn a cold shoulder to and soldier on. However, not all children are this type. Not all children have a friend base to return to, like the Gleeks. As much as we’d like to think that traditional anti-bullying techniques will work for any child, that isn’t always the case.
Bullying doesn’t just come in the standard ‘jock vs. nerd’ format; anyone can be a bully. Bullying can even come from someone a child considers to be his or her ‘friend’. A new challenge that today’s youth are facing is cyber bullying. The frightening aspect of this is adults don’t always have the opportunity to step in and help. Facebook comments, instant messages, texts and emails are all ways that children can be targeted. It’s important for parents to be aware of these more modern vehicles of bullying. Luckily for us here at Camp North Star, cyber bullying is not something that is accessible. Computers and personal phones are not a part of camp, and therefore children are disconnected from the possibility of being bullied or harassed by hometown schoolmates.
Why, might you ask, are we reaching out about bullying? Because we too are educators and youth advisors, and the affects of bullying can often times reverberate from the school year and affect campers here at CNS. However, at camp, bullying is something we rarely experience. When children come here, they are comfortable being themselves. The needs to be stronger, more popular or superior all tend to disappear at camp. Counselors are trained to keep an eye for behaviors like cliquing and exclusion, and campers are encouraged to focus on the community aspect of being at camp. When something like bullying is unacceptable on every level, by every member of a community, it becomes that much more engrained in a child’s mind.
Though camp may be a safe haven from bullying, children can still face it back at school. At camp, we can teach them that there is always a safe place for them; there is always a helping hand, and always someone to listen to their fears. We hope they can trust in these truths outside of camp, but as parents, we encourage you to educate yourself about your child’s life, and what they may be facing at school. There are many online resources that can help children and parents better understand, and possibly work through bullying. Also, we at camp are always available to give advice or support on situations that happen outside the summer.
Bullying is something that most people experience; whether they witness it, inflict it, or are a victim of it, it affects lives. Has camp affected how your child responds to bullying?