At Ukatsu, we’re currently in the full swing of Summer Camp season. At our facilities, gamers are enjoying their days competing in tournaments, cooperating in team based gaming, and exercising their bodies in our daily physical activities. Just as importantly, kids at Ukatsu camp are absorbing life lessons from their camp counselors.
During our Fortnite camp, I decided to formerly share one of these lessons during conversational lunch time (no electronic screens!) in a session called “Real Talk with Joe.” To our surprise, our kids at camp requested more “Real Talks with Joe” during lunch, so the sessions kept coming throughout the week.
As a Parent or Guardian, you may be wondering what lessons were shared at the table. In this blog post, you’ll get a recap of the lessons we covered in one week of full day camp.
Lesson 1: Hit the Showers. And Wear Deodorant!
The first “Real Talk with Joe” began with a classic lesson we teach to all of our girls and boys at Ukatsu - think about personal hygiene. Though the subject itself may be awkward or silly, it’s no joke to say that staying clean and smelling great can really help when meeting new people and forming relationships with those around you. Knowing that you smell great and can take care of yourself can be a great confidence boost too.
As our preteen boys and girls begin to mature, it’s a piece of advice we’re trusted to already know, but sometimes, an explicit reminder goes a long way!
Lesson 2: Respect is Everything.
At our second lunch talk, our “Real Talk” took a more somber tone. The way we broke it down? Most problems arise because of a lack of respect, be it to a person, thing, or idea.
It’s a fundamental principle here at Ukatsu. Give Respect, Always - and NEVER force yourself upon another individual, be it physically or emotionally.
Though we serve all genders here at Ukatsu, it’s an especially important message we want to deliver to our young boys here at Ukatsu.
Lesson 3: Don’t let Competition Bring out the Worst in You.
At camp, sometimes our events can get pretty competitive. For many of our kids, going to camp may be the first time they’ve met a rival or someone who plays the game better than they do even if it’s their favorite hobby.
At Ukatsu, we believe that there’s a very critical learning moment when a competitor loses. Being able to handle loss with maturity is what we promote every day in our curriculum and within our Ukatsu eSports programs.
Instead of putting the blame on other teammates, rules, or outside circumstances, it’s far more productive to reflect within. Focus on the variables that are within your control, and understand that it takes a lot of deliberate practice to get better.
Lesson 4: Be Grateful for Your Parents and Guardians.
Personally speaking, I owe my parents everything and it’s currently my life goal to repay them for all the time they’ve spent working just to support me and my sister.
At camp, we practice gratitude daily, and remind our kids about being grateful for those who support them for coming to our camps.
We also remind remind them that at times, things may get difficult between parent and child, but that doesn’t mean we lose respect for the ones who raise us. Because at the end of the day, parents are their own individuals too, and doing their best as a human responsible for another, smaller version of themselves.
Lesson 5: “YOLO” - or in Other Words, Your Chance to Achieve Your Dreams is NOW.
For our last “Real Talk with Joe” we borrowed the common phrase “You Only Live Once” to close out our talks with a more inspirational message.
Despite your surroundings, (school, work, other people and communities) it is ultimately up to your own individual self to achieve your goals and aspirations. We remind our children that school is temporary, but the learning can still continue.
It’s our choice to do what we want with our own lives. Our campers know that they’ve got mentors, helpers, friends, family for resources, but there will never be a substitute for individual hard work and dedication.
We hope you enjoyed reading about a few of the lessons we try to teach here. Ukatsu is and forever will be thinking of serving our gamers and parents - and we can’t wait to hear from you again!