Recognizing Character

Today is Character Day, a global initiative where a myriad of schools, organizations and families view films and printed materials and have the opportunity to join an online conversation about the importance of building character. Character Day is the brainchild of Tiffany Shlain, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards. Her website, Let it Ripple, as the site states “uses film, technology, discussion materials, and live and virtual events to engage people in conversation and action around complicated subjects that are shaping our lives.”

Although we partake in the day by sharing some of Let it Ripple’s films, for all of us at Edventure More, building character isn’t just a one-day event. It’s the result of parenting, school experiences, exposure to role models, and from what we’ve believe and have seen, time spent at summer camp, and more.

This summer, we took the data from parent surveys and took a look at the character skills we build through The EDMO Method™, our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) RECIPE of; Responsibility, Empathy, Collaboration, Initiative, Problem Solving, and Emotion Management.

What we saw was:

  • A 30% increase in the percentage of SEL skills fostered between campers who spent two weeks, versus one week at Camp EDMO.
  • A 39% increase in the percentage of SEL skills fostered between returning campers versus those that were coming to Camp EDMO for the first time.

For us, a great indication that there’s Method (The EDMO Method™), to our madness…

Camp isn’t the only place to build character, in fact, we found a great list on the Character Day website put together by Let it Ripple:

  1. Every night before bed, think of three moments or people you are grateful for.
  2. Identify your top three strengths and find ways to bring them into your life in new ways,
  3. Identify one strength you want to develop and make a list of practices you can do each day to strengthen it.
  4. Think of people you see everyday but don’t know personally — find out their name and something about them. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
  5. Next time you’re in a group setting, if you’re a shy person, try to raise your hand or speak first; if you’re a vocal person, let others speak first.
  6. Recognize character strengths in others and compliment them regularly.
  7. Think of one of your heroes and identify the strengths you admire in them
  8. If you have an email that is stressing you out, sleep on it before you send.
  9. Recognize teachable moments in real life and on screen and identify what strengths they exercise.
  10. Ask people for permission to post (PTP) before sharing their photo online.

We suggest you visit the Character Day page on the Let it Ripple website or their facebook page throughout the day today, Wednesday, September 26, to view the films, materials and discussions that will be happening there. Character Day is one day but character counts year-round.