Making mistakes like a boss
We all know that for a girl to try something new, they can't be afraid to make mistakes, especially in front of others! When a camper feels safe to make mistakes, they're more willing to try something new; when they try, they build experience, and that experience turns into learning. This is especially true when it comes to language.
Having an accent, missing pieces of your vocabulary, or not knowing the right tense of a verb to use should all be badges of honour! It means, "I'm brave enough to try," and bravery is celebrated at Ouareau, whether it's with a high five, a smile, or simply the moment when you realize that someone else is trying as hard as you did. What's great at Ouareau is that one day you're trying your best in your second language, and the next you can be the expert, and help someone else out when they're trying theirs.
We're all in this together
Building trust isn't easy, but we acknowledge our shared goals from the start. At our Opening Campfires, we talk about how we are all in the same boat when it comes to language learning – even our bilingual campers! Whether they learned their second language at camp, or had the good fortune to grow up in a bilingual environment, bilingual campers believe in the power of supporting their peers in their language development, not just acting as Google Translate.
Our staff aren't all perfectly bilingual either — we hire them this way on purpose! Having role models that are equally "in progress" when it comes to their second language are a wonderful inspiration for girls to feel comfortable in demonstrating their second language skills.