Kids have all kinds of different talents
How to find and nature yours
Good Morning Camp Friends!
As you wake up today, think for a moment about what makes you unique. What is about yourself that really makes you different than other people. Fingerprints and snowflakes are all unique and despite being millions of them, they still are different than one another. People are the same way and so are you. Maybe you can hold your breath longer than your friends or perhaps you’ve made an entire lunch table of your friends double over in laughter from burping the ABCs. What’s your particular skill that’s exclusively different?
No matter what your talent or interests are, there are always chances to expand on them and improve them. Now your mom may not want you perfecting your belching, however, practice does make perfect.
Now you may sit here and think over and over and still are not able to put your finger on exactly what makes you different and that’s perfectly fine. What you can do is make a difference for someone else. You can be different by doing something that other people don’t always do, and that’s stepping in and including someone. Sitting around a campfire and telling stories and laughing is a great way to end the day for most of us, but we’ve all seen that one person who is sitting just a little further away and laughing not quite as loud. The person off and alone by themselves, staring up at the sky or deep into the fire quietly. Maybe they don’t want to be included and maybe they just want to be alone- but you never know until you ask them. Make a difference by becoming a leader and asking them to join you. Invite them over, include them and make someone’s day. Camp is supposed to be a fun way to escape the day to day routine and have an experience and everyone should be able to take advantage of that. Some of them just need a little push in the right direction.
So how do you help and what are some ways to include people? You can start off by having discussions and conversations that can include all those around you. Try to avoid the “inside jokes” between you and someone and save those for when you’re not in a group setting. Nothing makes a person feel more like an outsider than two friends gabbing back and forth about topics only they are familiar with and experienced. Next, ask questions! Start with something simple like “What’s your three favorite movies?” or “Do you have any vacation plans this summer?”. Go with a topic that seems interesting and fun and will allow them to open up a bit and generate some excitement. Approach them as well by grabbing a stick, pop a marshmallow on the end of it and hand it to them. Invite them to join the group and introduce them or if you don’t know them, introduce yourself and welcome them to the circle. Of course anyone else COULD do it, but why not you? If doing so is really outside of your comfort zone, then ask a camper you know well to help do it. Team up with a buddy and make someone’s night memorable.
The same applies to playing a game or being involved in a group activity. No one wants to be picked last, especially the kid who’s new to camp or the one who’s too quiet to speak up. Take a chance on them and pick them first and make their day. It doesn’t always have to be about winning. It can however always be about making someone feel like a winner.
These thoughts and ideas aren’t limited to camp by any means. These all can be applied to school life and other daily social situations. Don’t let someone sit alone at the lunch table. Grab a few pals and saddle up next to them and strike up a conversation. Some acts of kindness don’t even need a huge amount of effort, either. Things like holding doors open or simply saying “Thank you” are easy things you can do to make an impression.
The moral of the story here is that we are all different. Some of us embrace our talents and some of us are still trying to find them. I for one definitely cannot burp the alphabet, but I can’t deny that those who can are pretty impressive. But what we call can do is be a friend to others and reach out when they are struggling to fit in. Don’t rely on someone else to do it. Make someone’s day today!