Going to camp for the first time can be scary. The familiar pieces of a child’s life are interrupted at camp as they sleep in a strange bed, eat different foods, are surrounded by different people, and experience different things. Especially for kids who haven’t been away from home or families before, a week at summer camp seems daunting.
We have a saying at Camp Wyoming: We can do hard things. Studies have shown that standing like a superhero can make you feel more confident. Our campers and staff strike their best superhero pose and shout out, “I can do hard things!”
Be away from home for an entire week? “I can do hard things!” Hike up really big hills? “I can do hard things!” Meet new friends? “I can do hard things!” Try foods you don’t think you like? “I can do hard things!”
Camp helps kids look confidently at the things that scare or overwhelm them. When they strike a superhero pose and say, “I can do hard things,” even if they aren’t sure that’s true, they set themselves up for success. They believe in what might feel impossible. Things that previously seemed out of reach become within their grasp. And before they know it, this same attitude is applied to more than just walking up a big hill or taking a bite of peas. They are standing confidently as they prepare to take college entrance exams, as they stand up to a bully, as they run for a seat on student council. Those things that used to scare them become a hurdle they confidently leap over.
2020 was hard. However, if camp has taught us anything, it’s that we can do hard things. Learn to cook new recipes instead of eating out? We can do hard things. Hold church services virtually? We can do hard things. Gather with family on Zoom instead of in person for the holidays? We can do hard things.
So friends, when you start to feel weary, strike your best superhero pose. And remind yourself: We can do hard things.