The Comfort to Create
We recently took delivery of nearly 100 brand new costumes, in all shapes, sizes and variations. Our campers and staff will put these to very good use as part of campfire skits, themed meal times and our Creative Arts program.
Daydreaming about the absolutely amazing memories that will be created thanks to these costumes, the thought about what gives kids (and adults too) the comfort to be creative came to mind.
As a Camp Founder, Director, and professional hockey coach, this sure isn’t the first time I’ve thought of this topic, but it came to me so concisely today that I wanted to share.
It’s simple to understand that kids need to feel comfort in their environment in order to be empowered to create.
But what creates that comfort for them? For me, it comes in two parts.
The subconscious impact of the environment in which people find themselves has a massive influence over their comfort to create. For example, at camp, there is a lot of intention behind the layout of our site, the size and configuration of our sleeping spaces, the food we eat, the activities we do and how campers are given the choice to select what most appeals to them.
Without speaking a single word, we can impact the comfort level of the kids who interact with us by indicating that we’re a safe space, purposefully created with them in mind.
You can have all the inherent, subconscious level safety possible, but if the people directly responsible for facilitating the environment don’t display consistent, supportive behaviours through their words and actions, comfort ceases to exist. The theme needs to be consistently focused on the empowerment to create and the safety to fail.
In hockey, for example, the desire for a student to improve has to come from within. In many cases, it’s my job as the coach to help them find that inner desire to be the best version of themselves possible each time they come to the rink. How that looks for each individual certainly varies, but what always needs to be present from my perspective as the facilitator is that I empower them through encouragement to try new things, make things their own, and know that mistakes often need to happen in order for learning to take place.
Of course, not every element or facilitator kids interact with is going to be the perfect fit for them. But, with this knowledge of the roles these items play we can aim to create spaces and deliver consistent, supportive facilitation that gives kids the comfort to create.
Yours At Camp,
Founder & Director
Borealis Adventure Camp