“Careful the things you say, Children will Listen.” Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim
Who ever heard their parent or a teacher say, “Watch your mouth” growing up? In my house, there was always a list of forbidden words, many with four letters, that I was to avoid saying at all costs. If I ever did slip up, watch out! But, I don’t remember a list of things TO say being as important. A lot of what NOT to do, without a lot of guidance on what I should do.
“Everybody says “Don’t!” everybody says “Can’t!” Anyone Can Whistle, Stephen Sondheim
At Ghostlight, we know the summer is a time when our campers think about getting a break from learning. Sure, no math, no papers due, but performing arts summer camp can be a time of incredible growth! We certainly don’t want to squander that, so we set out to help campers learn things they can say that have a positive impact not only in their lives but also on the lives of those back home. We begin with one simple question, “What does KIND sound like?”.
Here are some great responses we have heard this year within our summer theater camps for kids that we wanted to share with you. Maybe you’ll find them useful as well.
“Do you need any help with that?”
“Wow, you’ve improved so much since last time.”
“I’m proud of you.”
“That was brave.”
“Thank you.” (Simple, huh!?)
When it comes to bridging the gap between school years, there is a reason Ghostlight shines as the number one choice. Our theater programs for youth campers make sure that while campers are growing as actors and theater kids, they also grow in respect, confidence, and independence. By practicing kindness in rehearsals and classes, they aren’t just becoming nicer, they are paving the way forward to successful careers and relationships down the road. By working from a place of kindness, even hard conversations become easier.
Campers within our performing arts camps for kids learn to give and receive feedback by hearing what they did successfully and then learning how they can build on that to move forward. Directors, choreographers, designers, and teachers at Ghostlight learn to praise growth over talent. This is because talent will vary and is really hard to discern all the time, but change and growth are noticeable. By mirroring that back to campers at the moment, campers begin to notice it in each other and then in themselves.
This is an actual conversation I had this summer. (No lie! I had this conversation!)
“Hey! How were auditions?”
“Ok. I sang in the musical room.”
“Whoa! Wait. That’s huge. Is that something you weren’t expecting to do?”
“Not at all.”
"Wow, that shows incredible bravery and risk-taking. That’s amazing. How do you feel about it?”
“Good. It surprised me. I was proud of myself.”
Notice I didn’t ask how they think they did concerning casting or the response they got. I focused on highlighting their feelings of pride and growth. Kindness leads to self-assurance and confidence every time. Even in situations where the outcome isn’t what we hope for or expect when we show kindness to others, we frame life in a manner that allows for growth.
If giving your camper a summer focused on growth and confidence is what you want, reach out today and schedule a call. We would love to work with you in building that in your child.