Youth Development

“Youth cannot know how age thinks and feels. But old men are guilty if they forget what it was to be young.” – J. K. Rowling

Workshops on Youth Development

This category offers a range of sessions focused on positive youth development. To search for a keyword on this page, press Ctrl + F on your keyboard. To search the entire CampSpirit website, use the search bar in the upper right corner of this page. To discuss workshop customization, propose new content or book an event, please contact Dr. Thurber directly or call (603) 557-8100.

Workshops on Youth Development

Title Description
Motivation: Why We Do What We Do For any leader, educator, or supervisor who has wondered how to get more horsepower out of their students, campers, or colleagues, this is the workshop to ground and inspire radical new approaches. Forget carrots on sticks and start thinking about instilling intrinsic motivation by igniting the human needs for connection, autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Theory and research buttress the applied, practical strategies in this transformative workshop.
Becoming a Youth Development Professional: Making the Transition from ME to KIDS Day and overnight camps are powerful, positive developmental experiences for children. Their growth hinges on the quality of their relationship with your staff, so it is essential that they begin to see themselves as youth development professionals. This honest workshop pushes staff to make the transition from focusing on themselves to focusing on the needs of the young people they serve.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Clingy or Crazy? Understanding Human Attachment and Separation Anxiety Attachment begins developing at birth and is the single most powerful determinant of the health of our interpersonal relationships. How do we form internal working models of our caregivers’ responses to displays of distress? Anyone with a serious interest in child development will benefit from this essential primer.
Cracking Kids’ Secret Code: Hear the Subtext and Read Campers’ Minds All children speak two languages: What-they-say and What-they-mean. Learning to hear the underlying message in what children say is the fastest way to cultivate the kinds of respectful relationships that increase compliance and decrease behavior problems. Entertaining video clips give staff lots of practice using this advanced technique.
Dragons to Darlings: Transform Any “Problem Child” Camper All staff want to spend time with fun, compliant campers, but it’s the difficult campers that will keep them honest and develop their leadership skills. Reverse your staff’s avoidance of any “problem child” by giving them the tools they need to understand undesirable behaviors and unlock the good in every child.
I’ll Knock Your Teeth Out! Understanding and Preventing Bullying Bullying behavior is both prevalent and misunderstood. Did you know that most bullies actually have high self-esteem? Or that most bullies are themselves also targets? Using contemporary data and original documentary footage shot at camps, this workshop will enlighten your staff and help bully-proof your camp.
Kids Today: Essentials of Child and Adolescent Development Understanding the maturational milestones for boys and girls of different ages is essential for any youth development professional.  This workshop examines the social, emotional, cognitive, moral, and spiritual development of children between ages 4 and 16. A must for younger, less experienced staff.
Samson and Delilah’s Missed Opportunity: Avoiding Gender Role Stereotypes Boys in our culture are socialized to be emotionally cold and macho; girls to be deferent and hypersexualizied. Sensitize your staff to recognize and undo these harmful patterns of socialization. An enlightened camp experience can help all children to form authentic relationships and express their true voices.
Equity and Diversity: The Fabric of Camp Celebrating the differences among people introduces a whole new level of enjoyment to the experience of day or overnight camp. It may be human to fear differences at first, but a skillful leader can guide the group toward a deep appreciation of all that makes us unique. This pioneering workshop cleverly reveals staff members’ own perspectives on diversity at camp, thereby promoting appreciation and respect.
[This workshop also offered as a video training module on Leadership Essentials.]
Why on Earth? Understanding and Predicting Children’s Behavior Take the mystery out of children’s most perplexing behaviors by exploring the links between nature, nurture, objective events, and subjective interpretations. Once your staff see how almost all behavior is driven by predictable emotions, their ability to confidently “manage” that behavior will increase tenfold.
You’re Not Crazy, But Kids Think You Are! Untwisting Children’s Mistaken Beliefs Many children’s core beliefs, such as “Adults were put on this planet to entertain me” and “Hard work will always lead to success,” breed entitlement, confusion, and ultimately disappointment. No responsible adult can effectively lead children without first examining the fundamentally different way they view the world.

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