This week I took a giant risk for my family. It was a spur of the moment decision forced by a series of events that led me to take the leap. I briefly weighed the pros and cons and decided that there was nothing to lose so I forged ahead. If it works out there will be a few major obstacles to overcome but the rewards will be worth it, if nothing comes of it then life will continue as it currently does and truly other than about $40 nothing will have been lost.
Risk taking is part of human nature, as a species we enjoy learning from our own experiences and living in the moments when we are challenging ourselves. Taking risks is something we all do every day, some risks are measured and undertaken with great clarity and hope of a positive end result others are more reckless and can lead to potentially negative consequences. Being able to judge the difference is a critical life skill.
As an adult my previous risk taking history helped me to gauge whether or not this current risk is worth talking. Fortunately children have adults to guide them in their choices and steer them from choices that would result in disaster. It is advantageous to their development if we are able to provide our children with the opportunity to take measured risks. Children benefit from challenging themselves and their own decision making. Much is learned by trying and succeeding but we also learn from trying and failing.
Camp provides endless opportunity for safe risk taking in both emotional and physical forums. You can reach out to a new friend, literally take the ‘Leap of Absolute Faith’ on the ropes course intentionally capsize your boat to practice your own self rescue skills, try new food, act in a play, try to reach the top of a mountain and so the list goes on.
Our campers at Runoia are encouraged to take on new challenges and are of course fully supported by caring adults, safety procedures and a community that is looking out for them. Through their adventures at overnight camp girls can gain life skills. The decision making processes that they develop will help them to weigh the pros and cons of future risks that will inevitably challenge them.