“Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”- John Maxwell
A number of different places and programs will tell you that they specialize in leadership development, but Camp Gravatt will show you that development before your very eyes. Gravatt Camp and Conference Center is an Episcopal camp and conference center that offers respite from the tumultuous world to children and adults throughout the year, but summer camp is something different. Summer camp at Camp Gravatt is a place where children come to be challenged with something new, while being loved and accepted exactly as they are.
The leadership development program through Gravatt starts as soon as a child comes to camp, immediately working to empower them to try new things, function independently from their parents, and work together with their friends and peers to problem solve and overcome obstacles. For example, when a group goes through the low ropes course, many of the elements require the group to work together to solve a problem. A single person is unable to complete an element without the support from the rest of the team. This practice encourages children to identify strengths and weaknesses among themselves and others in their group in order to solve the problem set before them.
After a number of years attending the summer camp program, rich in team-building, campers are able to sign up for the Leaders in Training (LIT) program, after their Freshman year of high school. As an LIT, campers undergo a leadership training program that either prepares them for their future as a counselor at Gravatt or helps them to hone those vital leadership skills as they become more involved in their own communities. Following the LIT program, campers can be selected to be Junior Counselors.
As a Junior Counselor, teens spend a few weeks of the summer volunteering, being placed in cabin groups to observe and be a part of cabin dynamic, and seeing the in’s and out’s of how camp operates. They are never in a cabin group alone; they are always paired with a permanent staff member, who provides an example of how to interact with and incite confidence in campers. After a summer as a volunteer Junior Counselor, some Junior Counselors are asked to apply to be on permanent staff the following summer.
As a permanent staff member, counselors are given a new group of campers each session, and they are given the opportunity to inspire future leaders themselves. Gravatt is confident that this process is successful because it has been in effect since Gravatt opened in 1949. This program allows campers find themselves going full-circle from campers to LITs to junior counselors to staff where they are given campers of their own for the cycle to continue.
Camp Gravatt can offer your child so much, including the exciting activities you would expect to find in a summer camp program: swimming, campfires, archery, field games, plenty of time outdoors, etc., but it also offers so much more: self-confidence, independence, faith formation, and most importantly, the ability to empower others. Gravatt is showing kids each summer how to make a difference in a world that needs change, and that kind of empowerment speaks for itself.
If you are interested in sending your child to summer camp at Gravatt, you can register at www.campgravatt.org. Questions and concerns can be directed to (803) 648-1817!