ADHD Learning Strategies – Life Skills
Life skills training permeates everything that we do at BASEcamp. Part of what makes summer camp so great is that it provides for education by immersion. Studies show that the quickest way to learn a foreign language is to spend time in a foreign country where that language is spoken exclusively. The same idea holds true for learning life skills. By staying in a dormitory with their peers and instructors, they have the opportunity to put into practice the skills they learn during the day.
Team building allows campers to work together in social situations just as they would in the classroom, their daily lives, or down the road in the workplace. Team building challenges campers to problem solve and execute working with others. It shows them how to be accountable to themselves and the rest of their team.
From the moment campers arrive they will be assigned a team for the week. Throughout the week they are guided in team competitions and events. Campers learn to support their team, encourage each other, and provide help to each other when needed. This type of experiential learning gives campers a skillset that can be used in so many areas of everyday life outside of BASEcamp.
Teenagers are exposed to literally thousands of negative influences through the media and their peers every day. Campers need to know how to handle these pressures and how to cope with the vastly different messages they receive on a daily basis.
At BASEcamp, we encourage campers to begin thinking about integrity and how it relates to their own identity. Each night, campers and staff gather around the fire for Fireside. It is during this time that we begin to unpack ideas relating to humility, service, gratitude, compassion, and mercy.
Throughout their time at BASEcamp, campers have opportunities to meet in smaller groups with our staff to discover how they can begin to apply these principles to their own specific situations. The fruit of applying character and integrity to the decision-making process is confidence.
While staying at BASEcamp, campers are exposed to a variety of independent living skills. While a week at a summer camp is not going to teach someone to be fully independent, they are given ample opportunity to begin learning new skills and putting them to practice. Under the guidance of our staff, campers will be expected to keep their rooms clean, help prepare meals, do their own laundry, and complete assigned chores. Each camper comes in at different skill levels. Our staff work with campers individually to meet them where they are.
Health and Wellness
Healthy living is an important aspect of independence. Campers at BASEcamp are taught healthy nutrition habits by giving them the opportunity to help create menus for the week alongside our dorm staff. They learn about portion control and healthy eating choices.
Campers are expected to participate in physical activity each morning while at BASEcamp. This is an individualized physical training, monitored by dorm staff and the campus nurse, to ensure that each camper is receiving the perfect amount of physical exercise each day.
Campers are also taught healthy hygiene habits. Dorm staff go over hygiene standards with campers each morning before starting their day.
student has to have their own way of dealing with the world. They need to be ready and equipped mentally to face their own unique set of challenges and hurdles. As we discuss these things at BASEcamp, we like to think of this as ‘Building a Toolbox” or building ADHD learning strategies.
What we are talking about here is helping our students to be better students and to be better equipped to face the world. Our ADHD learning strategies start with learning to keep and maintain and orderly environment around each person – which is why we have dedicated clean-up time. We want the students to take an active role in maintaining their space. We will also work on the power of voice, of expression, and of personal expression. It is critical that our students get the chance to build and improve on the ways they communicate with each other, with parents, and with other adults. Our program is not just about the classwork, and our classwork is not just about the academics.
The whole program is built around the idea of giving students the tools to help themselves, in as many areas as possible. We want to help students develop a set of ADHD learning strategies that will actually help as they move forward through school and through life. We weave this thinking into our coursework and summer schedule. It is critical!
Does your student have enough tools to work on issues that they face? Of course not! We are all of us trying to learn how to deal with the world and are a constant work in progress. At BASEcamp, we take the students’ work in progress and put it into overdrive!