…a staff management system
…a professional development certification program
…a group of camp professionals who believe camps are one way to close the skills gap
…using the camp staff experience as a vehicle for change and growth in young people
…a way to recognize & reward the development of critical workforce skills
e21 believes that
camp is the ultimate internship
What do we mean by this? In a corporate internship - which many of our staff (or parents!) believe they need to secure in order to progress in their career ambitions - an intern’s duties are often limited to the more mundane, like running errands, data entry, research or administrative work. While the industry itself may relate to the career the young person wants to pursue, they are not necessarily learning and practicing the real skills required to be successful.
Research has shown that these skills can not be learned by reading a book, listening in a classroom or by observing others. They can ONLY be developed by experience, using real projects and conflicts and obstacles to try and try again.
When we talk about the skills staff need to succeed, what are we referring to? e21’s staff management framework is underpinned by the concept of 21st century skills and their development and measurement within the Camp setting.
So what ARE 21st century skills?
You may already be familiar with the phrase "21st Century Skills", and you may even employ it in your marketing and programming - many camps are already positioning themselves as platforms for 21st century learning. If so, do you include learning for your staff or are you focused solely on camper outcomes?
Or, you may be new to the phrase. So what exactly does it mean? It is used to describe traits, competencies and knowledge that are considered by employers, institutions and educators to be required (and lacking in applicants) for success in today's world. They are often referred to as non-cognitive skills or soft skills - things such as leadership, critical thinking and creativity.
These skills are best acquired and strengthened through some sort of experiential learning, like….CAMP!
e21 has identified six key skill areas that are essential both to the performance of a role at camp, and that align with those reported as being necessary for success academically, personally and professionally. They are: