Our campers have all been blessed with a number of wonderful talents. However, much of the time their talents still reside in the form of potential, rather than abilities. Potential can be frustrating for parents or teachers, as they see glimpses or flashes of the talent, but the effort is not sustained. And of course it is very frustrating for the child as well, because he or she is not able to do whatever it is. Instead of success – and the accompanying feeling of achievement – they may experience the opposite.
We believe there are two main routes to help convert potential into abilities. Firstly, these young people need opportunities to try new things and then to practice them. Many are hesitant to attempt new experiences, as they can be a bit resistant to new situations or understandably concerned about how successful they would be. By providing a structured, supportive setting to practice in and allowing for repetition to help refine their abilities, the potential can then become ability.
Secondly, in tandem with the supportive opportunities to practice, it is necessary to minimize areas/issues that are holding the child back. For example, many of our campers are very creative and could write some wonderful stories or books, but their organizational difficulties hamper their writing. While our campers possess a multitude of talents, there are similarly a variety of issues that interfere with developing those talents.
The Buckskin “Voyageur” program provides opportunities for success throughout the day. While the campers progress through levels in the structured daily activities, they are also working on Personal Growth goal areas selected by their parents. By increasing their strengths and minimizing the challenges, these young people become more capable and successful.