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Dancing and Conflict

Hello everyone,

We had another great day at camp. Campers made the most of near-perfect weather by water skiing, rock climbing, sailing and doing all the normal activities.

It was Pirates of the Caribbean day at fencing (everyone was dressed up and speaking in a pirate accent), we dissected a fish in the BT Vet class, and we had a wicked game of camper vs. counselor dodgeball. On top of that it’s a Saturday so we had pizza and everyone’s favorite dessert: S’more Pockets.

But for me, the best part of the day was BT Idol. For this evening program, each cabin chose a song and then dressed up in costume to perform a dance routine. The campers came up with amazing dances, followed by witty commentary from the distinguished judges. Believe me when I tell you, everyone had a blast.

What really mattered though, was what happened before the dancing. That was the preparation. Some cabins like TM (our oldest cabin) have been working on their dance for days. Other cabins started preparing this afternoon. Common in the process of preparing for BT Idol, for all cabins, is some form of conflict. As a camp director I am a fan of conflict, and I’ll tell you why.

Whether it’s a group of eight, or a group of forty-eight, there are always different ideas about dance moves, costumes and songs. Everyone voices their opinions, and in the process of deciding what they as a group will do, disagreements ensue. These disagreements lead to the cabin sitting down with their counselors and working out a blueprint for how they solve conflicts in the future. In this way, BT Idol is really about conflict resolution- just cleverly disguised as a dance competition.

What impressed me so much today was how well it worked with our campers. The Maples had the typical age-appropriate arguments about songs; their counselors stepped in and helped them work through their conflicts. The Lindens had age appropriate arguments about dance moves and costumes and their counselors mediated their conflicts, albeit a little less so than when the girls were Maples.

The Tamaracks have been through this a few times and needed no help from their counselors. They picked songs, costumes, and dance moves with no fights and no arguments. They were capable of making a dance for forty (BLT) and forty-five (TM) girls all by themselves. Each girl had a role and felt represented. On top of that, their dances were amazing!

It’s this practice in conflict resolution that allows them to work together so well as a team. It was just about a dance this time, but in real life, there are real problems. Our goal is to give your girls life skills to last a lifetime. Conflict resolution and working as part of a team are two great life skills. And hey, sailing, fencing and water skiing are pretty fun too.

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