Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Four Core Values and the Camp Motto!

Summer Camp is NOT just fun and games.

Okay, that's a BIG part of it.

But here at Camp Pendalouan, we are also in the business of developing kids into strong individuals. One of the chief ways we do this is by incorporating the Four Core Values and The Camp Motto (I'm Third) into every aspect of our programming.

Read on to learn a little more about the Four Core Values and The Camp Motto and to see how we bring them to life and get kids excited about being honest, caring, respectful, responsible, and third.

Honesty (The Blue Banner) - At Opening & Closing Campfire each session, four counselors stand before the whole camp and speak about each of the Four Core Values. When talking about honesty, counselors often speak about being True Blue - emphasizing how being honest with others and themselves makes life easier, more fulfilling and is just the right thing to do.


Caring (The Red Banner) - "The easiest way to remember which color represents Caring is that it is red like your heart." At the end of the day, we'll often ask the whole camp as they are gathered on the steps of the Lodge, "Who can tell me about a caring act that their cabin mate did for them today?" And the hands will fly up like metal to a magnet. Caring is one of the easiest Core Values for campers to understand, and is often their favorite when asked.


Respect (The Yellow Banner) - At minimum, the expectation for a Cabin group is to act like a team. At it's best, the outcome of a cabin group is acting like a family and hopefully emulating the Golden Rule. Both a team and a family cannot survive without mutual respect between members and we often tell campers, "EVERYONE here at Pendalouan deserves your respect."

Responsibility (The Green Banner) - There are so many opportunities for campers to be responsible at Pendalouan - at meal times, during Cabin Clean-Up Time, during Service Activities, when putting away equipment at the end of activities. We often describe responsibility as "taking care of things that belong to you or are under your care" and connect the value to taking care of our bodies, our friends and family, our belongings, and our specific tasks and chores. We remember the color because of our responsibility to the environment and the healthy green plants that are part of it.

The Camp Motto: I'm Third - First established as our Camp Motto in 1930, I'm Third has always held a central role at YMCA Camp Pendalouan. I'm Third is short for God First, Others Second, I'm Third. Here at Camp, we share examples and stories of selflessness and sacrifice. We promote putting someone else before ourselves and offer generous praise when seeing campers and staff living the Camp Motto and being Third. Few things are actually carved in stone here and the "white" stone above our fireplace helps us remember this color.

How We Incorporate These Values Into Our Programs

Bands - Every Sunday before campers arrive, our counselors grab a new batch of Core Value Bands and get ready to distribute them to campers. When our staff see campers doing something that demonstrates one of the four core values, they give that kid a band and praise them for their action. By the end of the week, campers are giving them to each other! We even have had some campers bring back their bands from previous years at camp!


Activity Development - In designing our camp activities, we always make sure that they help fulfill our mission statement and embrace Camp's Core Values.

Reinforcement - Someone once said, "In speech, we give ideas life." We are constantly talking about these values and the Camp Motto - at Chapel every morning, during the Nightly Cabin Taps Talks, in activities and all camp events - the list goes one!

Role Modeling - We also practice what we preach! Each of our staff members are carefully interviewed, evaluated, and expected to uphold, promote and embrace the Four Core Values and the Camp Motto. We consider these values the foundation for the Spirit of Pendalouan.

We recently asked our Facebook Community what their favorite Core Value is. Have you seen the answered or answered yourself yet? Check it out by clicking here!

YMCA Camp Pendalouan is a fully accredited resident and day camp. While at Pendalouan, kids and teens make friends, create life long memories, and learn new skills all the while having fun in a safe environment. At Pendalouan, you are a part of a family and campers are lead by highly qualified and trained staff.  If you would like to learn more about Camp Pendalouan, check out our website, the Camp Blog and our Facebook page.

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