For years, we would visit organizations to conduct skill toy workshops and then leave. We knew that our impact could be greater if participants could continue to play and develop skills after we left. As a result,we developed a train-the-trainer model that includes a skill toy kit and other support materials to create sustainable programs. In the process, facilitators gain leadership skills such as communication and empathy, but also get comfortable with modeling vulnerability (you have to be ready to drop even when demonstrating a trick for a group!)
Here you will see a video of teens in the Camp Kiwanis LINK program leading programs for campers at this Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta summer camp. We did the training in the spring and the results lasted all summer long. Thanks to Director Carly Robinson for sharing the video and to Brian Edward for his creative capturing of the skill toys in action. Below Carly describes the impact of the training and kit:
"The addition of Flow Circus skill toys to our program has been a great asset, as a jumping off point for deeper communications with the campers – as well as a lifesaver during Rainy Days! Paul and Dawn trained our LINK teen leaders (LINK: Leaders In Natures Kingdom) teaching styles and helped them design a lesson plan to teach our campers during the summer program. Six of our LINK teens created the program, showing our younger campers (ages 9-12) how each skill toy works; as simultaneously, the teens learned about crowd control, motivation and public speaking. Our campers were able to rotate through the skill toy stations, learning what clicked for them, and learning that everyone faces different challenges – not just in learning skill toys – but in life as well. We love these guys and the fun learning they offer, and you will, too!"