Here at Camp Fire, every day is about helping kids thrive. But we wanted to take one day a year to really do it BIG. That’s why we started Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® in 1997. Every year on the third Thursday of March, thousands of adults across the country join Camp Fire in lifting up young people…with the power of words.
Yep, words. On March 16, we’re asking for your voice. A few simple words can change the way kids see themselves, their strengths and even their futures.
Here are five ways you can make a big impact this Absolutely Incredible Kid Day®:
- Match the medium to the kid. Know a YouTube connoisseur? Make a video. A little artist? Draw a picture. An emoji prodigy? Send a text. An enthusiastic conversationalist? Make that phone call. A lover of the written word? Write a letter. Even if it means getting out of your own comfort zone, choose a format that fits the age, habits, and communication style of kid you’re encouraging.
- Go beyond incredible. Admirable. Amazing. Astonishing. Astounding. Awe-inspiring. Brilliant. Extraordinary. Formidable. Gifted. Impressive. Inventive. Marvelous. Notable. Outstanding. Remarkable. Splendid. Stunning. Super. Talented. Unreal. Wonderful. It doesn’t have to be “incredible.” Send a message that’s as unique as the kid you’re encouraging.
And highlight more of who they ARE, not just what they do.
- Be specific about why they are incredible. Sure, it’s nice to be told you’re incredible. But it’s even better to know the details. Remember that we help kids develop a growth mindset when we praise their effort, strategies and progress. Instead of just saying “You’re incredible,” we can say, “You work really hard to make everyone in your class feel included.” Or “Your diligence in practicing the piano inspires me to keep practicing my own skills, too.” The more specific you are, the more encouragement you’ll give.
- Make it personal. Why do they matter to you? What difference do they make in your life? What have you learned from them? Is there something you wish someone would have told you at their age that you can pass on? Put some of your own story in the message, and it will mean twice as much.
- Keep it up. You don’t need to wait for next year to make a kid’s day. Put a reminder on your calendar to follow up on the message you sent in a week or a month. Support from caring adults is a key factor in helping kids thrive. Those few simple words of encouragement on a regular basis can literally change a young person’s life.