A Process of Recovery
Well, hasn’t 2020 turned out to be a year that none of us predicted?
From a smoky start to the year with some of Australia’s worst bushfires on record, and now to a major global health pandemic. The level of stress and uncertainty has tested the willpower in all of us, with a constant longing for a return to ‘normality’ and an eye on a future when we can get our lives back to regular programming.
So, let’s all count today as another day closer to a less restrictive lifestyle!
Change & Resilience
The one constant thing in our lives is change. It’s not something we can avoid, and the more we resist change the tougher our lives become. We cannot avoid the unexpected events in our lives, as it is these events that challenge us and force us to step out of our comfort zone. If we ignore or hide from the challenge of change, we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow.
Our resilience strengthens when we accept change as a necessary part of life and manage these challenges in a positive and constructive manner to gain the greatest benefit. This is an important part of our philosophy at Camp Blue as we partner with our families to give their children opportunities to face new challenges and the courage to grow and explore. No risk, no reward!
It’s been proven time and again that children are resilient and robust little humans that are less risk averse than they often get credit for. Given the right guidance and support, children can overcome emotional and physical challenges that far surpass the expectations and predications of their older, seemingly wiser, family and friends.
During Camp Blue’s Autumn 2020 online program, our hearts were warmed by seeing our campers taking home isolation in their stride and adjusting their lifestyles to maintain and stretch their comfort zones. The positivity and creativity of our campers was incredible and proved more than ever that our Camp Blue kids are pretty tough cookies!
We Are Here to Help
As Australia now embarks on a long recovery process, we are so happy to see children going back to school and reconnecting with their friends, face to face. We are also thrilled to be part of this recovery as we re-open our Camp Blue Manly camp for two weeks during these Winter school holidays.
All necessary precautions will be taken to make this happen, and from our collective years of work in the camp industry around the world, we firmly believe that our Camp Blue program is uniquely placed to give our campers and families a sense of safety and comfort, whilst providing a dynamic and vibrant experience. It is what sets us apart from other community vacation care providers and something we are immensely proud of.
A Time for Parents
But the benefits of Camp Blue aren’t just for the campers. It’s also a time for parents to focus on themselves while knowing their children are having a blast at camp. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to practice what we preach when talking to our children about resilience and how to cope. Granted, that’s easier said than done!
So here are a few ways our camper parents can use this time to build up their own resilience and embark on some self-care while their children are playing, creating, singing and dancing at Camp Blue Manly these holidays:
Connect with your friends and extended family
We’ve spent so much time isolated from the people we love over the past few months that many adults are now suffering from what’s being referred to as FOGO (Fear of Going Out). FOGO is associated with feelings of uncertainty and overwhelm at the prospect of our social lives coming back again.
So while your children are at camp, you can use this time to catch up for a coffee or lunch with some friends you haven’t seen for months. Current distancing guidelines and restrictions allow this to happen, so use it to your advantage!
Focus on what you can control and let go of things you can’t
The reality is that we have less control over things in our lives than we realise. You can’t control what people say or believe, you can’t control the weather, you can’t control your genetics, you can’t control the time, and you certainly can’t control your age.
But the one thing you can control? Your thoughts!
While you cannot control pain, you can control how you think about pain. You can control whether you think you will never recover and be the same again, or whether you think you will bounce back fine. Because pain is inevitable, but suffering is only in the mind.
In those times at Camp Blue when things don’t go a camper’s way or they are having difficulty controlling their thoughts, our counsellors are on hand to guide and develop their self-awareness and logic. Strong emotion and clear thinking don’t go hand in hand after all. When we can teach our campers to calm their emotion and live in the present, they will find the courage to let go and won’t let the past keep them from moving forward.
Our program helps to teach your campers to clear their thoughts, accept success and failure with grace and dignity, work co-operatively with others, and to allow the qualities of each camper to contribute to the greater community. It’s a group effort that is less about individual control than it is about acceptance and collaboration.
So, use this time to do the same and regather your thoughts so you can look to a positive future with many great surprises to come.
The beauty of the Camp Blue experience is having campers unplugged from technology at all times. Without the distraction of phones, tablets, video games and social media, our campers have a unique space to organically connect with one another and enhance the development of core soft skills (teamwork, communication, problem-solving, creativity, etc.).
These aren’t things that are learned only in childhood though; as adults we constantly need to focus on these things to provide us with continued growth and balance.
Take some time out of your day to unplug yourself from your notifications, breathe, and be present in the moment. Go for a walk, see a friend, go to a bootcamp or class (socially distanced and with a max of 10 people remember!) or take a nice bath. It’s a great way to reset and be ready for your campers when their day at camp is over.
Revamp your routines
As humans, we are creatures of habit who thrive on routine. But what happens when our routines become too overwhelming or counterproductive for our own happiness?
Earlier this year when our regular routines were put on pause, a lot of us took a while to get used to the change. This is normal, but instinctually we were able to adjust to the change and attempt to make the most of tough situation.
We’ve been forced to accept that some things we thought were important to us are really not that necessary, while the simple things we used to take for granted have moved up the priority list.
This is an ideal time to make a wholistic review of your routines and prioritise what is important to your happiness and well-being. Sometimes less is more, so keep it simple and remember to give yourself the opportunity to stop and smell the roses from time to time.