How Summer Camp Provides 21st Century Skills

We love CP! My children have loved Camp Pinnacle year after year, and this year was no exception. They make good friends, they bond with their counselors, they have a lot of fun with amazing activities, and they build confidence and independence. They find their cabin communities to be caring and full of friendships, and they enjoyed all their counselors this year. – Kate McCarthy, parent from Warrenton, VA

Adding to a fun summer, we strive for our Great 8 Outcomes to be learned through adventure, immersion in a close-knit and tech-free community, and interaction with outstanding role models. Studies show that experiences like Camp Pinnacle make children’s brains inherently more receptive to learning. Our emphasis on using the kind and inclusive community and challenging activities makes Camp Pinnacle the perfect place to both have fun and improve skills needed to thrive in the 21st century.

We closely follow and align our program with the research of the P21 (Partnership for 21st Century Learning) organization, leaders in education and innovation (at companies like Apple, Google, and Dell) who believe in focusing on non-cognitive and social skills:

1. Communication

Few ideas are the product of a single mind, and being able to effectively communicate in a constantly changing world is a much-appreciated skill. Teammates need to be able to share and articulate ideas, build trust, and understand each other as they work toward common goals.

2. Collaboration and social achievement

Because teamwork is essential to success, the ability to work and get along well with others is vital—even when your team is not of your choosing.

3. Creativity

The ability to generate multiple ideas and think out of the box is engendered by a supportive and free-thinking community and the absence of technology.

4. Critical thinking

The world’s problems require the ability to critically analyze a situation and formulate potential solutions that are not often obvious. Our environment provides unique opportunities to improve decision-making.

5. Leadership

We solve problems in groups. These groups need leaders with heart who know how to bring out the best in its members. Camp Pinnacle provides numerous opportunities to both lead and follow.

6. Self-management

Lasting success requires executive function: the ability to manage time, be responsible for self, and postpone short-term gratification in pursuit of more important long-term goals.

7. Resilience

Everyone encounters challenges and failures, and camp is filled with both. Those who rebound from failure and see problems as opportunities will succeed when others give up.

8. Optimism

An optimist is someone who welcomes challenge, believes that problems are temporary, and has the ability through effort and persuasion to effect change.

These skills are critical to thrive in the rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world in which we are raising our children. Recent data suggests that new communication methods (texting, social media messaging) are causing kids to lose focus, impeding the development of the very skills needed to succeed in a world filled with technology. We combat that by unplugging the internet and creating a community that flourishes with kind and supportive face-to-face communication.