“My great passion around camp is to get more kids there, because I really believe that every kid should go to summer camp.”
In Episode 81, Travis Allison and I discuss the power of one person to make a huge impact on a child’s life, not only at summer camp but also in the home. Travis is a summer camp consultant at CampHacker.
- Kids need to be noticed and appreciated.
- Camp can be life-changing for kids.
- Small actions have big consequences.
- Noticing kids, spending time with them, and appreciating them can have reverberating consequences in their lives.
- It’s really worth it for parents to put the time and energy into finding the right camp for their kids because the impact can be life-long.
- Just a few words can change a life.
Travis: “Most of my work really focuses on helping camps better tell their story so that they can get more kids to experience this thing that, as I’ve experienced it, can be life changing and can be a home for kids that may not feel like they fit in lots of places.”
Audrey: “You have an excellent Ted Talk, called The Power of One, that shares your story about discovering camp and the power of camp for yourself.”
Travis: “I hope it’s an inspiration to people to say small actions have big consequences. And spending time and noticing and appreciating kids can have reverberating consequences.”
Travis: “I always looked forward to camp. It was the big anchor point for my year.”
Travis: “I had this really great experience where one afternoon, after lunch, my counselor asked me to step outside and talk to him during rest hour. He took me outside, set me down on top of a picnic table, and just said to me, ‘Travis, I want you to know that you’re going to be a great camp counselor.’ And for me, it was the first time that I felt like someone who wasn’t my parents, wasn’t a teacher, really had noticed and appreciated me.”
Audrey: “Sometimes we forget that we can just change a life by giving some kind of encouragement or a kind of blessing, or just showing someone that we see their strength. And I think it’s even more powerful when it’s not from a parent.”
Travis: “I was a kid who was educationally labeled early, as a gifted kid, and that put some strain on my very small social community. My parents did the work to make sure that I landed at camp, comfortable and excited.”
Audrey: “All the things that parents do to partner with a camp director are so important.”
Travis: “What my counselor saw in me was not what I thought everybody saw in me.”
Travis: “Every time you come back from camp you’re more like yourself.”
Travis: “No kid should show up at your site without knowing two things. One is the name and the face of at least one person at camp. The other thing is to know a ritual or something that happens on the first day.”
Travis: “All of these are part of building a child’s social resiliency.”
Audrey: “I write about that in my book. I call it the one-on-one and it’s something that we do at camp and I think parents can learn so much from that simple camp counselor strategy.”
Travis’s Ted Talk, The Power of One:
To find out about Travis and the services he offers, go to:
To contact Travis, hear more about his story or The Power of One, go to:
First Class Counsellors:
Audrey’s book, Happy Campers- Nine Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults, is coming out on May 7th. It’s available now for pre-order. Go to to find links to all your favorite book retailers where you can pre-order your copy. Audrey will send you some fun freebies, and an invitation to join her private Facebook group once you’ve completed the pre-order form.