The Compass Program is a year-round program that offers virtual group learning experiences to our campership recipients that foster meaningful relationships and guide them to navigate their lives with a sense of belonging and purpose. It further prepares the campership recipients for the camp experience through extension activities and discussions around camp-related themes.
Compass Program participants will meet monthly from January through May. The Compass Program coordinator, with the support of a team of assistant coordinators, will guide the participants in group activities and discussions around belonging and purpose. Each class will include welcome rituals, a group experience, personal exchanges, and then a closing ritual.
The younger participants will be guided through a workbook of activities exploring topics around belonging. They will investigate what it means to understand, value and accept themselves, how to build meaningful relationships with others and how to proactively build belonging with the wider world.
The older participants will be guided to explore who they are and what matters to them so they can purposefully navigate their life ahead. They will uncover who they are and the gifts that they have. They will explore the world’s needs and how they can contribute. Ultimately, they will learn skills to navigate their lives with purpose.
Compass Program Curriculum
At the core of A Thousand Summer’s year-round virtual curriculum is Wayfinder – a progressive and developmental social and emotional learning curriculum consisting of group learning experiences that foster meaningful relationships and guide campers to navigate their lives with a sense of belonging and purpose.
Wayfinder is a youth development program that provides an innovative learning experience to foster meaningful connections and guide students to navigate life with purpose. It strives to equip youth to answer the big life questions, address youth mental health symptoms, and help youth find purpose in life.
The curriculum is broken into 2 toolkits:
BELONGING TOOLKIT (6th through 8th grade) – Feeling that we belong is foundational to experiencing life as meaningful. The Belonging toolkit guides our younger campers to build meaningful, compassionate relationships with themselves, other people, and the wider world through 21 activities.
- Belonging Year 1: SELF – Building meaningful relationships with ourselves
o Campers learn to explore their identities and experiences through activities focused on sharing, reflecting, and understanding. Lessons include building community, storytelling, developing good habits, investigating emotions, and dealing with pressure.
- Belonging Year 2: OTHERS – Building meaningful relationships with others
o This curriculum supports campers to build meaningful and compassionate relationships with each other, their communities, and the wider world. Campers learn skills in empathy, relationship management, inclusivity, their place in the natural world, interconnectedness, and humanity.
- Belonging Year 3: ACTION – Proactively building belonging
o This curriculum supports campers to be change agents by equipping them with the critical skills to proactively increase belonging with themselves, each other, and the wider world. Critical skills learned are goal setting, growth, care, support, diversity, and community.
PURPOSE TOOLKIT – Guiding older campers (9th through 11th grade) to explore who they are and what matters to them so they can purposefully navigate their life ahead.
- Purpose Year 1: SELF – Uncovering who we are and the gifts we have to offer
o This curriculum supports campers to explore who they are by uncovering their personal stories and the gifts they have to offer the world. Lessons include experiences, stories, joy, values, growth, wisdom, strengths, and skills.
- Purpose Year 2: OTHERS – Exploring what the world needs and how we can contribute
o This curriculum supports campers to consider their relationship to the world beyond them, what issues they care about, and where they might be called to contribute. Lessons include finding wonder, observing impact and influence, gaining perspective, creating identity, and exploring passions.
- Purpose Year 3: ACTION – Learning skills to navigate our lives with purpose
o This curriculum supports campers to be change agents in their communities by equipping them with the critical skills they need to navigate their lives with purpose. Lessons during Year 3 include purposeful decisions, collaboration, braving the unknown, staying grounded, and looking ahead.
Camp Preparation Extensions
The Camp Preparations Extensions customizes Wayfinder content to the camp experience. The curriculum includes action-oriented activities, discussion, personal assessment, and reflection questions to support appreciating the outdoors, living in a community, being a leader in a community group, developing grit in new activities, service to our peer group, respect for nature, and authority, and more.