This week we received a thank you note from a participant at a recent Let’s ALL Play training. We have received permission from him to share the letter with you because:
1. It was because of the support of our donors, advocates, volunteers and partners that we were able to hold this training – so it’s a thank you note to YOU as much as the Project!
2. It demonstrates just how EASY it is to include everyone when you have the 3 core beliefs – Every child can make a friend, every child can participate and every child can be successful. Inclusion is simply an environment where everyone can participate and everyone can belong.
My name is Josh, I am a counselor at the Finley YMCA and I was a participant of your inclusion workshop at Kanata during the Christian Leadership Council (CLC) weekend. I wanted to thank you for everything that you taught me and share with you how just in this past week it has helped me.
Just a few days into the week, I was leading four square with another counselor who also attended your workshop. She had the idea of starting a game of entourage* as an alternative to four square. A few kids jumped in immediately and loved the game while the other kids played four square. After about 10 minutes of four square, one of the campers started crying, foursquare became too competitive, and like most kids, she didn’t like the feeling of losing. I suggested that she go join the game of entourage and told her that there was no way to lose. She agreed and in less than a minute after playing entourage she was smiling and cheering her friends on. Later in the activity the same situation occurred, a girl got out, began to cry, and again I suggested entourage. Immediately, the same thing happened, her tears went away and she began to smile, laugh, and encourage those around her.
I wanted to share this with you because I think that its really incredible that a game as simple as rock, paper, scissors, can transform an upset child into a smiling camper. Thank you so much for all of your ideas and knowledge. I wish that all camp counselors were given the opportunity to take your workshop because the ideas and beliefs that you shared, when put into action by camp leaders, truly change the experience that a camper will take away from camp.
*Entourage is a variation on the classic game Rock, Paper, Scissors. Contact Aron for more details.