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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
When signing up for our programs it is important to know what to expect from us. Here are 5 expectations that can be counted on:
- Staff will be child focused and engaged. This means that all of the energy will be placed on interacting, engaging, and developing relationships with the children. It is not a time for staff to be socializing, to be passively watching the games, nor to be making afternoon/evening plans.
- The social skills learned during our programs are learned in an ORGANIC way. That means that all of the social skills are learned during natural interactions and during natural relationships. This is the way all of us learn to socialize, and the way all of us practice these skills.
- Our programs are active and fun. The settings we offer include hiking, swimming, team building activities, team sports, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, and tumbling.
- We challenge our participants. Growth can not happen unless we are pushed outside our comfort zone. Dealing with uncomfortable feelings is a big part of developing social skills, and being properly supported can grow confidence. Positively navigating outside the comfort zone will grow that comfort zone.
- Developing MEANING is key to generalizing. Finding meaning in both the activity as well as the relationships is the secret formula for being able to generalize skills learned with us to other areas in life. Finding meaning in a peer relationship drives the individuals to work harder to maintaining good interaction and communication, and it becomes a natural way of seeking friendship. The skills can then be used in a different setting where a meaningful relationship has developed.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The same applies within our programs. We always have a clear goal of fostering and growing social relationships within our groups, but the manner in which we do that can be different in each group and in each individual. For example, we might capitalize on someone's interest in car's, dinosaurs, or trains. There is no right or wrong way of accomplishing our goals, but finding the unique and local paths is important to create MEANING in the interactions and in relationships. The meaning is what helps each individual to carry the skills they learn with us into new social environments.