At Camp Cloverleaf, we are all about helping our campers learn how to advocate for themselves. In fact, it’s integral to our core values. But to be an effective self-advocate, you have to first have an awareness of your own needs.
Part of our social skills curriculum involves teaching our campers the basics of self-reflection. Self-Reflection is a great strategy for removing inner “road-blocks,” which can often be the root cause of frustration, meltdowns or behavior problems in academic or social settings. Reflection is also a skill that will help later in adulthood in many ways, including developing self-esteem. Being reflective means being able to think about what you have done, why, and if it was effective. When learning the process of self-reflection, one must first become aware of the world surrounding, and then eventually transition into knowing how to tackle problems and find solutions.
Now… this may seem to be a very abstract concept, especially for young kids, but it’s never too early to start introducing this concept. Later in life, they can continue to make these connections, which ultimately will allow them to have their needs met. Here is an example of a simple way we have begun to introduce this very abstract concept.
The reward is two-fold. The students practice looking inward and considering themselves and their world, and we get insight into their unique points of view!