the compass blog

Project Graduation

Aug 9, 2021 | Happened at Camp

Graduation means a fresh start and often a large leap into whatever’s next. For this year’s Tims Camps grads, that leap has looked a little different.

Whether you’re graduating from high school, taking time for yourself, entering the workforce, starting college in a new city, or starting university from a computer at your parents dining room table – saying that these past couple of years have been tough is an understatement.

Our 2020 graduating campers however, have the opportunity to tackle post-secondary education and the work force a little differently. According to Jason Delserro at Employee Benefit News, “Employees will need these 5 skills in the post-pandemic workplace”, and here’s how our campers are better prepared because of their time at camp!

  • A mind for problem-solving

Problem-solving is a skill many hiring managers have historically prioritized; however, the pandemic’s impact on the workforce placed a much greater emphasis on solution-oriented individuals. When the pandemic hit, employers and business owners found themselves in untraversed situations that required fast, strategic solutions with “all hands on deck” support to keep the business running. Employees who demonstrated a leadership approach to problem-solving showed a vested interest in the business. They remained inquisitive and challenged the why versus simply completing the task at hand. Looking ahead, the workforce is likely to continue to experience bumps along the way, yet this curious, owner-like mindset will remain a top skill for the workforce. – Directly from article (Jason Delserro Chief Talent Acquisition Officer, 2021)

Untraversed situations?! I bet you most of your fellow coworkers haven’t paddled over 75 Km based on a map, compass, and landmarks. They also probably haven’t been stuck waist deep in mud from a rainstorm that you weren’t expecting. Whether you were solving an escape room or on trip, you were expanding your ability to problem-solve, no matter what was thrown your way.

Camper portaging a canoe through mud.
  • Experiences that thrive

While transferable skills bring relevance to a candidate’s past experiences, from an employer’s perspective, these experiences offer insight into how a candidate could thrive at work. The challenges of the pandemic presented new opportunities and perhaps may have even uncovered new areas where workers excel. – Directly from article (Jason Delserro Chief Talent Acquisition Officer, 2021)

Camp never fails to offer new and exciting experiences. Previously, our program was often the first time some of our campers have ever been on a plane, crossed the Canada/US border, or even left their hometown. Currently through our eCamp program, campers gain the experience of working within a group over a digital platform – with remote learning and workplaces popping up more and more, this is a vital skill to have moving forward.

Camp counsellor leading a group activity
  • An ability to inspire trust

The pandemic unveiled the need for trust and collaboration among employers and employees. The efficacy of remote work and accountability from the employee, paired with the support of the employer was rooted in the concept of mutual trust during this trying time. As the workforce moves forward and new forms of collaboration and how work gets done become the norm, it will be imperative that employees have the ability to inspire trust in their daily interactions at work. While often overlooked in the recruitment process, this skill will only help to strengthen a team and workforce. – Directly from article (Jason Delserro Chief Talent Acquisition Officer, 2021)

Think back to your eighth night at camp, you and your cabin just got back from the final campfire and you’re all sitting in a circle in the bunkhouse common room, your counsellor then asks if you’d like to share your proudest accomplishment. Remember the warm and fuzzy feeling of being able to completely trust your cabin mates, who were strangers to you just a couple of days ago. The trust that has been built within your cabin was not by luck – that was your ability to inspire trust within your peers! How rad is that?!

Counsellor and camper playing cards at campsite
  • A service-driven mentality

A service-driven mindset continues to lead as an important skill in today’s world of work. The ability to put others before oneself in work and life can drive worker connections. Those who prioritize the needs of others above their own possess an important, universal skill regardless of their industry or role. Having a service-driven mentality can impact interactions among employees, colleagues, clients and customers – offering a positive, lasting effect on work. – Directly from article (Jason Delserro Chief Talent Acquisition Officer, 2021)

Camp has put our campers one step above this category, in realizing that we must allow space for ourselves and our mental wellness in order to thrive in other areas of our lives. Through learning to disconnect with technology while at camp and to connect and welcome our emotions, we are creating a safe space for ourselves and our peers to prioritize the needs of the community at large. The aspect of community within our program will help our youth to not only think about other’s needs, but to empathize and grow alongside one another.

Campers climbing a high ropes course
  • An affinity for building relationships

Building strong, enduring relationships has never been more of a priority – especially as businesses look to reunite, and in some cases, rebuild in a post-pandemic environment. How an employee can interact and foster professional relationships can be a powerful skill to promote sponsorship and advocate for others and the work at hand. – Directly from article (Jason Delserro Chief Talent Acquisition Officer, 2021)

Fostering relationships is at the core of what we do at Tims Camps. While focusing on the healthy, strong relationships, we also recognize that there is a great need to provide the tools to navigate unhealthy and negative conflicts. Through our Full Value Contracts, the use of challenge by choice, and continued boundary setting – camp promotes the need to transfer these skills to life beyond the summer. Because of this, our youth will be strides ahead in their ability to foster positive relationships within their communities.

Campers hugging at water's edge.

References:

Jason Delserro Chief Talent Acquisition Officer, A. (2021, July). Recruiting. Retrieved from Employee Benefit News: https://www.benefitnews.com/opinion/employees-will-need-these-5-skills-in-the-post-pandemic-workplace

Questions about school, work, camp, or taking care of yourself?

Visit the Camper Toolbox for help.