Empowering Teen Leaders and Inspiring Creativity
For ten years we’ve partnered with Director Carly Robinson and the LINK program at Camp Kiwanis in Danielsville, GA. Last month, we returned for Camp AMP’ED - a weekend of art, music, and performance education. Affiliated with the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta but located two hours outside of the city, Camp Kiwanis provides a perfect backdrop for teens to be inspired to express themselves and try new ways of doing it.
We kicked off the weekend with our Don’t Sweat the Flops keynote to get the teens comfortable with each other since they came from different schools and would be working together creatively for the next two days. We also wanted to get them comfortable with the idea that it might get messy once they started making things. We provided them with strategies they could practice with the flop balls during our session and then apply later when working on their group projects.
Later in the day, we did a skill toy workshop, but we weren’t the only teachers. LINK (Leadership in Nature’s Kingdom) is a leadership program at Camp Kiwanis in which a group of about 15 teens come out to camp one weekend a month all year long to develop the skills needed to become summer camp counselors. We introduced skill toys and juggling to LINK teens about 10 years ago during one of these weekends. We trained them on teaching and leadership skills that go along with our skill toy kit. That summer and every summer since skill toys have been a sustainable part of Camp Kiwanis programming run by the counselors.
Every few years we do a refresher workshop because the teens that have been trained by us graduate. This year, we did a webinar ahead of the Camp AMP’ED weekend with the LINK teens to go more in depth about how to teach the skill toys. Sure enough, when we did the skill toy workshop with the whole group which included the LINK teens, I noticed a few of them helping their peers and giving instruction on the different skill toys. They looked ready to take the lead this summer!
Can’t wait to hear how it goes, but for now here is what Camp Director Carly Robinson had to say about our partnership:
"Our camp events are always improved when Paul & Dawn are here! During our art, music and performance teen weekend event, Flow Circus was an inspirational keynote speaker with their exciting, engaging and ice breaking activities with Flop Balls. They shared with teens how to embrace the flops, because it is a chance to get better with patience and practice.
Flow Circus Skill Toys have been incorporated in the teen leader program for many years at Camp Kiwanis. We use this as an avenue for our teens to learn/practice leading groups, teaching skills and techniques, and practicing patience as they pass along their knowledge to our younger campers. We love having Flow Circus return every few years, to teach the next generation of teen leaders how to best teach and lead campers on embracing learning new skills. You can’t be great at everything on the first try, and skill toys variety of options is a great demonstration of how to learn and grow, and different kids have different strengths and weaknesses.
I know that when Flow Circus is on the docket, our teens will be engaged and involved while they’re here, and entertained long after they have gone. Paul & Dawn’s flexibility, humor, adaptable programming and professionalism is why we will continue to partner with them for years to come."
Carly Robinson, Camp Director, Camp Kiwanis