We couldn’t be more proud of our partner, mentor, and dear friend, Scott Brody. As many know, Scott is the founder of Everwood Day Camp, owner and director of Camps Kenwood and Evergreen in Wilmot, NH, and most simply stated, is now also a global ambassador for the power of Camp.
Scott has always been an extremely active and influential member of the American Camp Association (ACA) serving as the National Vice President for 6 years and as a member of their Board of Directors for 9 years. Scott has taken his vast knowledge of the Camp experience and its impact across the country, and has spoken at many conferences with major business leaders, researchers, policy makers and experts in education and child development. Scott was recently named the Chairman of the “Beyond School” initiative at the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and Co-Chairs the Workforce Development initiative of the Alliance for Business Leadership.
Scott’s most critical message is that 21st Century skills or “non-cognitive skills” are now routinely cited by employers, academic researchers, and psychologists as THE most important skills students need to be successful in school, the workplace and in life. Skills including leadership, teamwork and collaboration, effective communication, creativity, and critical thinking and problem solving are critical in the 21st century, and coincidentally are the very skills that summer camps have been teaching for over 150 years. Sadly, these are also the skills that many of our high school and college graduates are lacking.
At the ACA National conference last year, Scott had the opportunity to meet with several leaders in education reform and child development from China. What they shared is that Chinese educators and researchers are also seeing the deficits in non-cognitive skills in their young people and are looking for tools to help create more well-rounded learners, community members, and successful members of the global community. They understand that summer camp experiences are rich in 21st Century Learning, and they are looking to explore how camps do this, and to build summer camps across their country.
In December, Scott spoke to a large group of thought leaders and educators at the 2014 Beijing Academy Seminar in China. The Beijing Academy is the leading new education reform-focused school in all of China. Scott was not the only speaker featured at this incredible event. The list included Richard Elmore from Harvard University (a leading expert in education policy and research), Ron Beghetto from the University of Connecticut (considered by some to be the leading expert in the US on creativity), Yong Zhao (professor at the University of Oregon, and the world’s leading expert on education in China & critic of high-stakes testing in China and the US), and education thought leaders from the UK and Australia.
Scott’s impact in China goes far beyond this one event as he is now working to develop a governing board and organization for Chinese Camps similar to the ACA, and has been working to open several resident and day summer camp programs throughout China.
You are probably wondering how Scott’s work in China will impact what we do at Everwood? I asked him that very question, and here’s what he had to say:
“In many ways, the work I am doing in China is my laboratory. It enables me to really identify the best practices for the teaching of 21st Century Skills to children and young people. I plan to take everything that I learn in China and bring it back to Everwood, where it can allow us to do our work at an even deeper level. It is informing all of our work – and not only that, it is giving me a more global perspective of the world that our children are going to step into.”
We will certainly keep you posted on Scott’s exciting work, and look forward to being a part of this global movement for 21st century learning!
For more about how we teach 21st Century Skills here at Everwood click here!