Kids Camp Journals— When you look at the many benefits that journaling offers, it’s not hard to see why it’s such a great summer activity for kids. Journaling improves self-esteem and boosts confidence, encourages creative thinking, and helps kids become more comfortable in expressing their ideas.
While many teachers have kids journal in their regular classrooms, journaling is also a great activity for summer camps and programs. Journaling can be integrated easily into regular camp activities in order to boost the benefits kids receive.
Check Out these Great Ways to
Make Journaling a Part of Summer Camp
Create a Regular Routine
As you prepare to include journaling with other summer camp activities, it’s important to create a space in the routine. Regular journaling has many benefits for kids, as it gives them an expected, safe place to record their thoughts and to consider their experiences.
Designate a daily or weekly time for kids to journal, such as each morning before the day begins or at lunchtime before starting the afternoon’s activities. Whether you encourage kids to reflect on their experiences from camp or whether they write about other topics, they will benefit from the opportunity to explore their emotions and ideas on the page.
Once you’ve created a time for journaling in the camp schedule, be sure to give kids the time to write. While kids can gain some understanding from a single journaling experience, they’ll develop more insight from regular exposure to writing and reflection.
Share Thoughts with a Friend
In many cases, journaling is a private activity, as it allows students to explore their ideas without fear of judgment or embarrassment. However, kids can also benefit substantially from discussing their journal entries with friends and partners in camp activities.
Before asking kids to share their journals, give them the choice as to whether or not they want to discuss their entries—or tell them that they will be sharing before they begin writing. Each child’s ideas should be treated with respect, and no camper should feel pressured to discuss anything that he or she would prefer to keep private.
Try pairing kids up into partners or create a small sharing circle where campers can discuss their individual ideas on a shared journaling topic. Encourage kids to be respectful of others’ opinions and to discuss their thoughts in a constructive, understanding manner. The sharing of ideas is a healthy way to promote diversity and new perspectives while also giving kids the opportunity to express themselves.
Reflect on Camp Activities
While there are plenty of prompts and topics to choose from, journaling about camp activities is a great way for kids to reflect on their summer experiences. Ask kids to write about a favorite camp memory or difficult new activity.
Writing about the experience can help them to remember the event and also allows them to see it from a removed perspective. As they reflect on the experiences they have at camp, kids will process the lessons they’ve learned in a more memorable, lasting way. At the same time, reflecting on a familiar activity will help them become more comfortable with the process of journaling—a practice that can serve them well throughout their lives.