March 10, 2020
Psychologist Dr. Kennedy-Moore identifies the three primary ingredients for friendship: Openness, similarity, and shared fun. At Outpost, these friendship-making essentials are incorporated into each three-week session and into the structure of our camp.
- Openness: Openness is what “unlocks the door” to friendship. It is created through greetings, kindness, and compliments.
- Each of Outpost’s camp sessions begins with a focus on name games and get-to-know-you games to provide structured opportunities for children to take the first steps toward friendship.
- Similarity: Commonalities help children relate and deepen their bonds.
- At Outpost, small groups are created with similarity in mind. All campers are placed in groups with children of the same age and grade. Our partner lunches and partner games allow campers to take turns finding common interests (an important social skill) in order to strengthen budding friendships.
- Shared Fun: Shared enjoyment is how kids go “from friendly to friendship.”
- Shared experiences are what camp is all about! From hiking through nature to a secret fort to practicing and performing skits, our goal at Outpost is to create shared fun within each small group and within the larger community of Outpost.
It is our privilege to facilitate these three important aspects of friendship-building at camp!
The friendship ingredients and definitions are from Dr. Kennedy-Moore’s three-part Psychology Today article titled “How Children Make Friends.” The article describes specific behaviors to teach children feeling unsuccessful at making or keeping friends.
Dr. Kelly Jones
Executive Director, Outpost Summer Camps
“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.” Brené Brown