One thing we tell both campers and staff throughout the summer is “Do hard things.” Often, we get the response: “Why?” For what reason(s), in this world of convenience, should we go out of our way to do things that are difficult?
If you search the words “leaving your comfort zone,” you will find numerous articles listing the positive effects it has on our attitudes, our work ethic, our happiness, and so much more. Breaking out of comfort zones forces us to learn and adapt in ways that we would otherwise never known was possible. It shows us how capable we actually are, and how much more capable we can become. When we succeed, it discredits our anxiety of failing and increases our confidence. When we fail, we discover how we can improve. Either way we gain new understanding of ourselves and our abilities. In addition to that, we prepare ourselves to handle the times in life when facing hardship is necessary. Through doing hard things, we are able to address our problems rather than avoid them.
During camp, we intentionally engage in difficult situations. We do the hard work. We collaborate with others. We face our fears. And through all of this: we grow. After camp, both staff and students report that they are glad they had these difficult experiences. They also report that they have matured, learned, and are thankful for the things that were hardest. We experience joy in our successes and goals from our failures. This is something we wish to see more of in the world. It is a practice that is not limited to the experiences of a summer camp, but can be a habit formed in daily life as we encounter challenges and opportunities for growth. So as you go on with life, we challenge you: Do hard things.