The end of July saw the wrap of another very successful Surpass workshop-camp for 26 teens, out of Camp Byng on BC’s Sunshine Coast. Surpass is a week-long experience of multiple activities designed to promote community and personal development.
The sub-context to Surpass? Feeling good emotionally and physically; good enough to try out some new things which this year included yoga, Capoeira, vegetarian food, waltzing (!), a challenging ropes course, making new friends and, for some, experiencing a first-time away from home. We also hiked, swam, sang and played … just about everything you can think of, and had a great time overall. ?This year, our 5th Surpass, was certainly on par with the previous programs, though a new turn was that this year Surpass was offered as a credit course through SelfDesign High, and 17 kids opted in to do so. They are now completing requirements for full credit.
Overall, Surpass has exceeded the expectations I first envisioned when I launched the first version in 2007; I felt, then, that such a program – what I considered a richer ‘camp’ experience than what I had experienced as a teen – could have lasting beneficial effects, aside from just being a good time. Well, now I know that Surpass experiences have led to social relationships that have lasted years, including for my daughter who attended the first three years. And I’ve seen much evidence that Surpass can appropriately be identified as “Camp Endorphin“. To wit, with the right nudging from myself, the Surpass leadership team and participating kids, the positive neuro-emotional stimulation in Surpass activities, and overall, is helping to lay down a blueprint for robust, healthy development among adolescents and teens at a time when this is most helpful. And I see this as different from other camp-like experiences that often engender prolonged stress and anxiety.
?A comment from kids departing Surpass each year has been, “I want Surpass to be longer.” And I can’t help but wondering … what’s preventing kids from experiencing their learning lives in their (diverse) homes and home-towns as richly as they experience Surpass?
?If you’d like to know more about Surpass, check here. Not so long from now we’ll be planning next year’s program.
?For information on my book: Learn Your Way! SelfDesigning the Life You Really Want, Starting Now (2011) and to order a copy, go here.