Intentional Parenting & Camp Fire Clubs

Intentional Parenting: Autopilot Is for Planes

A few years ago a parenting book was published called Intentional Parenting: Autopilot Is for Planes by David Thomas, Melissa Trevathan, and Sissy Goff [linked to free e-book.] I love that title and their tips are great! Suggestions like “Be aware of your expectations” and “Give them tools to deal with their emotions” are beneficial for any parent or guardian.

I believe that none of us ever intended to raise our children on auto-pilot. Matter of fact, most of us started out with definite ideas how to raise the ideal child. But then things happen.

First, I quickly discovered that my own daughters did not come with a “how to” manual like my cars do. It would have been much easier if I knew all the “built-ins” my girls had from the beginning; like being inclined to be artistic, athletic or scientific; stubborn or determined; helpful or wishful.

Secondly, as a parent my life got busy and complicated; schools, sports, family, work and more work. Intentional parenting began to wane due to my responding to the demands of living and surviving.

For my wife and I, our determination to raise children with “no regrets” and guide them in their own paths toward becoming Thriving adults, inspired us to connect with other parents, including our church family who encouraged us and held us accountable to our parental goals.

Since my tenure at Camp Fire, I’m continually amazed by the numerous time-tested resources that would have been incredibly valuable to my wife and I, early in our parenting journey. I would like to share with all of you, one idea that has the potential to make your best intentions of being an intentional parent, doable:

The 2018-2019 school year has begun. Camp Fire Clubs are beginning too. I want to encourage you to sign up your child for the new school year- or better yet, start a Camp Fire Club with your family and friends in your neighborhood.

Now you may be thinking, “Is this just adding to my busy schedule?” My answer to that question is that having your child join a Camp Fire Club is one of the best ways to raise your child as you’ve intended from the beginning.

Here are just a few of the ways Intentional Parents can have a positive impact upon their children as a natural result of connecting with Camp Fire:

Social Skills: 96% of youth in Camp Fire try to get along with other kids, even if they are different.
Life Skills: 78% of 6th-12th graders in Camp Fire said that they think through their decisions before acting on them.
Purpose: 80% of youth in Camp Fire want to make a difference in the world.

Yes, Clubs do fun things; but Camp Fire is more than something else to do: it’s a way of life. Children learn a lot about themselves, their community and the outdoors; they make great friends, and gain skills they will use throughout their lives. And Club families have the opportunity to encourage each other as Intentional Parents.

Through character-building activities and lessons, Camp Fire builds caring, confident youth and future leaders. As we pay attention to what Sparks a passion in each young life we serve, provide opportunities for personal growth, and create a place for children to belong, Camp Fire helps bring out the best in each child.

Our mission statement expresses it this way;

Young people want to shape their world. Camp Fire provides the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are. In Camp Fire, it begins now. Light the fire within.

Light the fire within! At Camp Fire, that’s what we do. We listen, we encourage, and we provide the opportunity to uncover each young person’s unique interests. We help youth become the exceptional people they are destined to be, buoyant with potential to do anything they dream of doing.

Camp Fire Clubs and programs encourage youth to:

•    Become tomorrow’s leaders
•    Build character
•    Realize their potential
•    Learn skills they can use their whole life
•    Discover and enjoy new hobbies
•    Give back through community service
•    Think of others
•    Be non-competitive and inclusive
•    Think for themselves
•    Accept responsibility
•    Show initiative
•    Become self-reliant and self-confident
•    Use their voice to make a positive impact upon others
•    Set personal goals; change course where needed; reflect upon accomplishments

Everyone is welcome in Camp Fire; boys and girls, teens, Moms, Dads and family members. For more information on raising great kids in intentional ways, call the Camp Fire office and ask for Cheri, 805-773-5126. You will be a step closer to being the parent you intended to be.