24 Years, Kids, and the Power to Change

 

 

24 years of running camp programs has taught us a lot.  Don’t invite raccoons into the cabins with open containers of Oreos, always make sure the bus driver really knows where they are going, and make sure you carry some tissues for that mom who is sending her kid off for the first time.  On the more serious side of our experience, we’ve developed a keen understanding for what provides our campers with the best opportunity to develop socially, physically, and become a happier person.  

We have taken 24 years of running summer camps across Texas and released a new framework and curriculum called The 4 Cornerstones. It is designed to provide children ages 3-18 with a greater opportunity to develop socially, physically and emotionally. We can’t grow to be happy, healthy adults unless we have the opportunity to be happy, healthy kids.  Amazing things happen for kids when given the opportunity to be in an environment that is inspiring, positive and one that leverages their inherent creativity, sense of wonderment and desire to be active. This new and innovative way of running summer camp is the culmination of 24 years of working and playing with children.  It is also one that sets Kidventure on an innovative and exciting path. 

A few years ago parents of 1,432 children who attended a Kidventure camp responded to a survey we conducted.  We asked them to rank their assessment of their children’s back-to-school (early Fall) readiness on a scale from 1-10. They were also asked to qualitatively gauge their children’s overall wellness for the start of school as worse than the year prior, the same, or better in academics – reading, math, and science retention, in physical fitness strength and endurance, and emotional stability – social skills and behavior.

The results were stunning. 94% of parents reported that camp made a positive impact on their kids.  They were able to retain information from the prior school year better (delete), were more athletically capable for the start of school (delete), and their temperaments were more balanced. I’ve been doing this for 24 years and even I was surprised at just how much summer camp does for a child’s well-being. 

These findings and our work with thousands of children since 1994, drove us to distill down exactly what were the elements that benefit the whole child most at camp.  In other words, what activities and practices contribute greatest to the outcomes we strive for, for our campers. Outcomes like a greater sense of self-confidence, emotional stability, better fitness, greater courage, and social adeptness. Once we determined that, we set out to craft a more powerful and effective program.  The culmination of this process became The 4 Corners. Essentially, it now serves as a framework that will provide for all camp activities to exist under one of the Cornerstones which include; (1) Creativity (2) Exploration (3) Physical Activity, and (4) Reflection. The framework is adjusted for each age group so that it is age appropriate, but the results are the same.  

Our story is about giving kids this unique opportunity to be the best they can be.  Childhood should be the chance to explore the world, to try new things, learn to succeed and fail, to become stronger socially and emotionally.  We must help equip them with the tools to be that happy and healthy adult. Camp simply serves as this unique and advantageous platform with which to accomplish this.  

About Kidventure, Inc.

 Kidventure, Inc. is a privately held family business headquartered in Austin, Texas, and was an outgrowth of a summer camp program in Houston. Kidventure has been providing award-winning Summer Day Camps, Overnight Camps, and After School Programs  in Texas since its inception in 1994. The family oriented company runs active and purposeful programs with activities aimed at serving the whole child, including science, athletics, art, team building, and more. The company’s goal is to help grow happy, healthy kids and boasts trained and experienced staff, low ratios of staff to children, character-building,, and a safe environment for youth.

Kidventure operates thirty locations including  camps in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Hunt, and Rocksprings in Texas, and has consulted with schools in China [officials representing public and private schools to bring this methodology / influence / inspire integrity in their culture]- invited to introduce . Youth programs include day camps, overnight camps, after school programs, parent nights out, holiday camps, and other events. Annually 9,000 children attend over 14,000 weeks of camp and after school Kidventure programs across Texas. In 2018, Kidventure celebrates 24 years of running camps in Texas.

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