What you’ll find that sets Camp Fiver apart from other camps is how well thought-out and intentional their programs are. Yes, Camp Fiver is a place for children to have fun and get away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city that most of the children come from. However, the programs of Camp Fiver are geared towards fostering children’s growth and reaching their fullest potential in life. Essentially, every Fiver participant is expected to grow and progress on three pathways and those pathways embody the journey they take throughout the program.
I believe wholeheartedly in the Fiver program and the three pathways because I have been on that journey through the fiver program myself. The evidence is reflected in my two years as counselor as well as my two years as a leadership member on the Camp Fiver staff.
The first pathway is the Civic Mindedness Pathway and in this pathway Fiver works to build positive concepts of civic-mindedness and a citizenship among their participants and the community. They encourage their children to counteract the messages in their surroundings that entice young people to become egocentric. For the 7th and 8th grade students that I am working with in Camp Fiver’s Tap Program, they are expected to learn how to be tolerable of and empathize for people of diverse backgrounds. Throughout the summer, they will be exposed to role models from different backgrounds along with learning how to be tolerable and empathize with each other. They are all going through a major transition in their life, so they may potentially be overwhelmed by the shift in responsibilities, peer groups, and expectations. My hope is that as they are transitioning from middle school into high school, they will support each other along with being able identifying the people in their life and schools that they can use as a resource to make this transition as smooth as possible.
This pathway will be promoted through the facilitation of two panels where they will have the opportunity to communicate any hopes and concerns that they may have going into the high school application process or the high school transition. Along with that, they will be able to self reflect and share their own experiences for the purpose of identifying ways to overcome any of those concerns.
Healthy and Ethical Life Choices
In this pathway “, Fiver attempts to strengthen children’s innate resilience and adaptability, while encouraging them to make rational, ethical, and healthy choices”. This includes the counteracting common messages that tempt children to engage risky behavior. This pathway is extremely relevant to the age group of the children that I will be working with this summer because of the shift in peer groups and the importance that they can have on an individual person. For Camp Fiver’s 7th and 8th graders, they are expected have mentoring relationships with adults who are supportive and caring. This pathway will be enhanced through my one-on-ones with all of the campers.
I will have the opportunity to develop those mentoring relationships in my academic planning meetings, while also making sure all of my campers are able to identify the personnel within there schools that are there to support them as they go through their high school transition.
Education and Careers
With the Education and Careers pathway it is important for having a successful and fulfilling life. Fivers prepare for critical transitions and there is an emphasis on education and how it affects future success. Essentially, without the other two pathways, Fiver has the belief that the children could not attain the education and career pathways.
The 7th and 8th graders that I am working with this summer are expected to demonstrate curiosity and stay engaged in school. This is basically the most important aspect of my job, which is ensuring that all of my campers are able to identify schools that they are applying to and they have all of their basic needs and concerns meet as they apply for and begin high school.
With campers continue along the three pathways, the Fiver theory of change would provide the campers with the skills necessary to succeed in school and create engaged citizens.