Kindness rocks! That’s the message being shouted from the rooftops - or at least placed in garden beds and in the corners of stair treads - by the campers at Bay Path’s Camp Chillin’ Out. With anxiety levels on the rise among adolescent boys and girls, Camp Chillin’ Out aims to provide a wide a variety of activities to help teens build self-esteem and learn an assortment of coping skills. One of their favorite lessons? That sharing kindness helps not only the person on the receiving end, but it helps the person on the giving end, too.
"The kindness rocks project at Camp Chillin' Out follows the helper-therapy principle, where the helper and the person helped can both benefit from a supportive experience,” stated Shannon Worley, a camp counselor who organized the kindness rocks project and is currently pursuing her master of occupational therapy degree from Bay Path, as are all camp counselors. “Furthermore, the positive emotions and positive thinking gained from this experience can help to build resilience in the campers, influencing the ways in which they cope with adversity. "
Inspired by Meghan Murphy, who originated the idea by painting rocks with inspiring messages and placing them on a beach in Cape Cod, campers placed the rocks around Bay Path’s Longmeadow campus in the hopes of them being found and shared by strangers. When asked, "What does the kindness rocks project mean to you?" a camper responded, "If someone is having a bad day, and they find one of our painted rocks, it could brighten their mood and make their day better.”
Did you spot a kindness rock around campus or around town? We'd love to see it! Share a photo on social media and use the hashtag #CCOkindness. We can't wait to see where our kindness rocks show up!