Written by: Amelia Haslam Smith, Camp Director
Challenge by Choice, also sometimes referred to as Power of Choice, is a theory introduced to camp by our amazing challenge course trainers and something we have adopted and implemented at all of our camper activities because we love it so much.
Challenge by Choice is just what it sounds like, it’s the camper’s opportunity to take control of how they want to challenge themselves by how they participate in the activity. For example, at our climbing tower and zipline campers can choose to challenge themselves by encouraging their friends to climb, helping spot the climber, trying on the harness to see how it feels, or climbing up the rock wall and ziplining down! All of these things are great ways to challenge yourself based off your own comfort levels and how you’ve challenged yourself previously.
For our campers, Challenge by Choice helps them work on critical skills and sets them up for success by:
- Empowering them in a new situation
- Practicing decision making skills
- Providing intrinsic motivation
- Providing a sense of control and safety
- Checking in with themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally
- Feeling autonomous
- Using critical thinking skills
- Practicing achievable goal setting
And we love all that stuff!
One of our favorite things to see is our campers using Challenge by Choice to help them grow and challenge themselves over the years they come to camp. We have had campers start by just trying on the harness their first year, and slowly, as they gain confidence and find courage, their intrinsic motivation to climb grows and they end up building their way up to climbing that wall and ziplining down!
Challenge by Choice has helped our campers accomplish some amazing things like; holding a snake, paddling in a kayak solo, kissing a fish, getting in a sailboat, and going all the way to the top of the Screamer (our giant swing!) all by providing that sense of control and safety while helping them set goals that are good for them!
We love Challenge by Choice, and hope you do too!