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Why Camp Ozark Camp Ozark

Why Camp Ozark

VALUE - That is our simple, direct, one word response to this all important question. Through the combination of our incredible setting, facilities, program offerings, customer service and people, you will never find a better value in a summer camp experience. But the value of Camp Ozark cannot be measured only by these tangibles because the real value of Camp Ozark is in our values.

Camp Ozark is fully committed to be an aid to families in the nurturing and development of children and adolescents. In addition to adherence to our mission and philosophy, this is achieved through our positive, energetic emphasis on a relationship with God through Christ carried out through our Spiritual Emphasis Program and our unique Values Based Camping Initiative borne out in the following:

5 core values



Feeling positive about who you are

Many psychologists believe that the single most important character trait a well-adjusted person can possess is a positive, healthy self-esteem. A healthy self-esteem involves a positive sense of self-worth. Self-esteem also includes a healthy self-image and a feeling of being "valuable" to others. Many kids today (as well as adults) suffer from a poor self-esteem. They don't like themselves. They don't feel good about themselves. They don't know if anyone likes them. Unfortunately, this is often reinforced at school, in sports and even in the home. Many of the ills of society - drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, gang violence, failed marriages, etc. - can be attributed in large part to a lack of a healthy self-esteem on the part of the individual. At Camp Ozark we believe that a positive self-esteem is brought about by genuine affirmation, consistently and sincerely given, and by recognition of the uniqueness of each individual and the worth that is inherent in that uniqueness. Simply put, praise the kids as often as you can. Never demean a child purposefully. Help them appreciate their unique gifts and abilities. Our goal is to increase self-esteem in kids by constant affirmation as to their inherent worth.



Feeling positive about what you do

Self-confidence may be contrasted with self-esteem in that self-esteem is feeling positive about who you are, while self-confidence is feeling positive about what you do. The biggest hindrance to self-confidence is a fear of failure, which leads to a refusal to even try. At Camp Ozark, we do not believe that self-confidence means knowing you are the best at something; rather self-confidence flows from knowing you can overcome any fear of failure, and from having the courage to try, to give maximum effort, to participate without regard to the potential, often self-inflicted, pitfalls of failure. Self-confidence means understanding that victory is in the journey, not the often uncontrollable result. Therefore, at Camp Ozark we want to instill self-confidence by encouraging our campers to try new things and validating their efforts, as well as encouraging our campers to find their passions and pursue them whole-heartedly. We want our campers to understand that failure is found only in the failure to try, the failure to dream, the failure to look beyond the possible and the pre-set limitations of others or society.



Making the right choice, regardless of the consequences

Personal integrity is perhaps the single most endangered value that exists in American society. Society teaches us that expediency is more valuable than integrity, that the end always justifies the means. The true character of each of us is found in our integrity - or lack thereof. Integrity means doing the right thing, regardless of the consequence. It is honesty and moral soundness. It includes truthfulness, honesty, respect for others, commitment and work ethic. The way this is best communicated at Camp Ozark is when our summer staff members, model these very attributes to our campers and when they, in a loving, respectful manner, require it of them. At Camp Ozark personal integrity will be tested every day. We know this because in life integrity is tested every day. We want kids and staff to be conscious of developing a worthy personal integrity.



Promoting the common good

If you look at today's sports world, you will see that a defining metamorphosis has occurred in the realm of team sports. It is no longer about the success of the group; it is about the success of the individual. Teams are used simply as a means to an end on the part of the individual. This same attitude permeates much of society and can lead to a breakdown of the family, a marriage, businesses and any of the other myriad groups in society that depend on the ability of individuals to act collectively for the common good. At Camp Ozark we want the concept of the benefit of the group, over the benefit of the individual, to be modeled and taught. We want kids to understand that it is really true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, that it is the responsibility of the gifted to assist those not as gifted, that it is the responsibility of the individual to develop a greater concern for others than himself, and that ultimately the ability to create success in a group leads to greater success in life. This value will best be taught in the cabin, but also in tribal competition and other areas of camp as well.



Learning how to be a friend, make a friend and keep a friend

Friendship is rapidly being replaced in society by "acquaintanceship." Due to the internet, texting and especially social networking, where friends are made and lost with the simple click of a mouse, the art and value of true friendship is being lost in modern society. At Camp Ozark, we want the kids to learn that friendship takes initiative, effort, investment, transparency, forgiveness and time. We want kids to leave Camp Ozark with new friends. We want them to strengthen previously existing acquaintanceship. We want them to observe the initiative, effort, investment, transparency, forgiveness and time that our staff chooses to give to each of them. We want them to learn there is value in friendship.



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