Camp Echo Lake Values - Why Effort Matters

The world is a competitive place, and there is winning and losing in every aspect of life.  Winning feels better than losing, but there are lessons to be derived from each.  Sometimes, the value a child can gain from having a losing experience is minimized when all participants receive trophies or ribbons just for participating. That being said, there is something you can truly lose when you subscribe to a “win-at-all-costs” mentality.

In one of the most bizarre sports stories to steal the headlines in recent memory, two girls high school basketball teams in Tennessee were banned from their district’s postseason after trying to lose against each other, to avoid having to face a dominant team in the playoffs.  (Click here to read the full story.)

Whereas the coaches and players on these teams were solely focused on a result, at Camp Echo Lake the focus is placed squarely on the journey.  This is the thinking behind the awarding of “Fuzzies” to campers for trying hard at activities (sports or otherwise).

At Camp Echo Lake, there are plenty of opportunities for campers to compete at various levels.  Whether the competition is more casual (during activities) or more intense (during Tribal, inter-camps and tournaments), our campers are constantly reminded about the value of being good teammates and treating their opponents with respect.  Whether we win or lose, our expectation is that our campers will give their best effort and be proud of how they carry themselves whenever they compete.