Camp Fire promotes the concept of “challenge by choice,” which allows individuals to tackle the challenges they feel most comfortable confronting. In early June, Camp Fire Green Country partnered with a local youth services organization to offer leadership training and outdoor activities for three days at Camp Fire Camp Okiwanee.
During the training, a young woman named Melani felt discouraged about climbing the rock wall. Perhaps hindered by inexperience or insecurity, she felt unable to successfully make the ascent. Encouraged by her leader to view this as a “challenge by choice,” Melani slipped into a harness and waited her turn as she cheered on her friends. As her turn approached, Melani joked, “Hah! I bet I won’t even be able to get on the wall!”

However, with a bit of strategy and reassurance from the group, Melani started her climb. She stayed on the wall for only a few minutes before descending for a break. As she took a moment to assess the challenge before her and consider a new strategy, it was clear to the leader that Melani was embracing a growth mindset—that she now viewed this challenge as an opportunity for success rather than a possibility of failure.

Upon her second attempt, and inspired by her achievement, Melani ascended even further and found herself halfway up. Further bolstered by the support of her friends and adults, Melani demonstrated perseverance and resilience. In the moment of her triumph she was motivated, rather than intimidated, by the challenge—a life-changing transformation in perspective.