WHY CAMP OZARK
NO ONE DOES IT BETTER
It’s just different
We want each and every camper we serve to have an incomparable experience.
Our world class setting and facilities combined with our meticulous attention to creating an incomparable environment and experience for kids is the hallmark of Camp Ozark.
In addition, we work hard to assemble what we think is the finest summer staff in the camping industry. From our setting, to our program, to our staff, Camp Ozark wants to do everything possible to make the summer camp experience incomparable for our camp families. This standard of excellence is the real VALUE of Camp Ozark.
Camp Ozark is fully committed to be an aid to families in the nurturing and development of children and adolescents. In addition to adherence to our mission and philosophy, this is achieved through our positive, energetic emphasis on a relationship with God through Christ carried out through our Spiritual Emphasis Program and our unique Values Based Camping Initiative borne out in the following:
Many psychologists believe that the single most important character trait a well-adjusted person can possess is a positive, healthy self-esteem. A healthy self-esteem involves a positive sense of self-worth. Self-esteem also includes a healthy self-image and a feeling of being “valuable” to others. Many kids today suffer from a poor self-esteem. They don’t like themselves. They don’t feel good about themselves. They don’t know if anyone likes them. Unfortunately, this is often reinforced at school, in sports and even in the home.
Many of the ills of society – drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, gang violence, failed marriages, etc. – can be attributed in large part to a lack of a healthy self-esteem on the part of the individual. At Camp Ozark we believe that a positive self-esteem is brought about by genuine affirmation, consistently and sincerely given, and by recognition of the uniqueness of each individual and the worth that is inherent in that uniqueness. Our goal is to increase self-esteem in kids by constant affirmation as to their inherent worth.
Self-confidence may be contrasted with self-esteem in that self-esteem is feeling positive about who you are, while self-confidence is feeling positive about what you do. The biggest hindrance to self-confidence is a fear of failure, which leads to a refusal to even try.
At Camp Ozark, we do not believe that self-confidence means knowing you are the best at something; rather self-confidence flows from knowing you can overcome any fear of failure, and from having the courage to try, to give maximum effort, to participate without regard to the potential, often self-inflicted, pitfalls of failure. Self-confidence means understanding that victory is in the journey, not the often uncontrollable result. Therefore, at Camp Ozark we want to instill self-confidence by encouraging our campers to try new things and validating their efforts, as well as encouraging our campers to find their passions and pursue them whole-heartedly. We want our campers to understand that failure is found only in the failure to try, the failure to dream, the failure to look beyond the possible and the pre-set limitations of others or society.
Personal integrity is perhaps the single most endangered value that exists in American society. Society teaches us that expediency is more valuable than integrity, that the end always justifies the means. The true character of each of us is found in our integrity – or lack thereof. Integrity means doing the right thing, regardless of the consequence. It is honesty and moral soundness. It includes truthfulness, honesty, respect for others, commitment and work ethic. The way this is best communicated at Camp Ozark is when our summer staff members, model these very attributes to our campers and when they, in a loving, respectful manner, require it of them.
At Camp Ozark, personal integrity will be tested every day. We know this because in life integrity is tested every day. We want kids and staff to be conscious of developing a worthy personal integrity.
If you look at today’s sports world, you will see that a defining metamorphosis has occurred in the realm of team sports. It is no longer about the success of the group; it is about the success of the individual. Teams are used simply as a means to an end on the part of the individual. This same attitude permeates much of society and can lead to a breakdown of the family, a marriage, businesses and any of the other myriad groups in society that depend on the ability of individuals to act collectively for the common good.
At Camp Ozark, we want the concept of the benefit of the group, over the benefit of the individual, to be modeled and taught. We want kids to understand that it is really true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, that it is the responsibility of the gifted to assist those not as gifted, that it is the responsibility of the individual to develop a greater concern for others than himself, and that ultimately the ability to create success in a group leads to greater success in life. This value will best be taught in the cabin, but also in team competition and other areas of camp as well.
Friendship is rapidly being replaced in society by “acquaintanceship.” Due to the internet, texting and especially social networking, where friends are made and lost with the simple click of a mouse, the art and value of true friendship is being lost in modern society.
At Camp Ozark, we want the kids to learn that friendship takes initiative, effort, investment, transparency, forgiveness and time. We want kids to leave Camp Ozark with new friends. We want them to strengthen previously existing acquaintanceship. We want them to observe the initiative, effort, investment, transparency, forgiveness and time that our staff chooses to give to each of them. We want them to learn there is value in friendship.
An independent child is an empowered child. Self-reliance, critical thinking and social confidence are all important results of a healthy sense of independence. Independent children have an easier time making friends, confronting challenges and staying positive.
At Camp Ozark, we know campers flourish and grow in confidence when allowed to exert some independence. Of course this means different things for a 7 year old and a 17 year old, but we encourage all campers to explore what it means to make choices on their own. Perhaps this is as simple as allowing a camper to set their own course during Mish Mash, to choose what to do with this 2 hours of free time. Or maybe it involves making a decision about changing their schedule. Maybe it is about learning to make their bed without being told, or making a choice to help a friend. Regardless of the way it happens, we love it when we see campers growing in their independence, when they spread their wings and try new things. Our goal is to provide a safe environment where kids can make choices, grow in independence, and discover they are capable of much more than they previously thought.
We know selecting the right summer camp for your child is an important decision. We are here to answer any questions you have.
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