A summer nature program is building social and emotional skills at camp through play, storytelling, and mindfulness activities.

Building Social and Emotional Skills at Camp Through PlayAt Putnam Regional Park near Petaluma, California, the Fiddleheads summer day camp is treating children to experiences learning about bullfrogs, bluegill nests, and wild berries.  But there is more to it than just a nature camp.

Fiddleheads is run by licensed therapists and professionals who are in training.  The focus is on building social and emotional skills through imagination, storytelling, play and mindfulness. Across the country, mindfulness is being seen as a way to improve focus and mood control for children.

According to Doug Lerch, founder of Seeds of Awareness, the operator of seven Fiddleheads summer camps, many campers struggle with developmental and behavioral problems, as well as sensory processing and impulse control. Some of the children have ADHD, and others just simply struggle to make friends and are introverted.

“Paying attention is a skill you have to learn,” Lerch said. “It can’t just be demanded, especially with kids with unique neuro makeups.”

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