10 out of the 12 months in a year the Clinical Department facilitates parent workshops or combined parent/camper workshops. This past year, we’ve discussed and done games and activities related to such topics as traits of a healthy family, stages of change and effective communication. In the workshop this month, Group Treatment Coordinators used the first half of the session to share how we use the VOICES and 8 to Great curriculums at camp and then focused on Highway 7 from 8 to Great (Gratitude for the Present). The parents participated in a Gratitude Drill and an 8 to Great activity called “Light in the Darkness”. The room was darkened and each parent was given a small flashlight. After sitting quietly in the dark, each parent and GTC expressed gratitude for something and turned on their light. In the discussion that followed, parents responded to questions including one about the power of light over darkness, how the exercise can be applied to each of our lives and how we can help others turn on their own lights.
When the girls joined their parents for the second half of the workshop, teams competed to see which could name the most “One of the best things about_____ is” for a variety of items. The members of winning team chose between stress balls and gel pens as their prizes. Families were then given materials to create their own gratitude flowers; writing things they are grateful for on the petals and leaves. Some families worked together to create one for the family and others created their own individual flowers. Several flowers are displayed in our dining hall now as a “Garden of Gratitude”.